How to Use HIIT When Swimming


Swimming offers a ton of benefits. According to, these include the fact that it is low impact so it is easier on your joints, it improves endurance, builds muscle, and it’s relaxing while still being a great workout at the same time. One way to kick it up a notch and get even more from your in-pool routine is to use HIIT while doing your laps.

HIIT stands for high intensity interval training and it involves alternating between high and low intensities throughout a single session. This works your muscles to exhaustion in a way that makes them grow, burning off any extra fat you may have on your body. How do you incorporate this into your current swimming routine and gain these types of advantages?

Incorporating HIIT Into Your Current Swimming Routine

For starters, work into it slowly. This means just engaging in one or two high intensity intervals during your first swimming session. From there, you can add one a week until your entire time in the pool is spent alternating between high and low intensity swimming.

This helps your body acclimate slowly, reducing your risk of injury and increasing your results. Plus, be sure to throw in some sessions that aren’t HIIT focused so you don’t risk overusing your muscles and causing more harm than good. What does a typical HIIT session look like?

A Typical HIIT Swimming Session

If you’re ready to add HIIT to your current swimming routine, here is what a typical session might look like:

  • 5 minutes of warm-up in the pool at light to moderate intensity swimming to warm up your muscles prior to working them to exhaustion
  • 30 seconds of high intensity swimming
  • 1 minute of low intensity swimming
  • Alternate between the high and low intensity intervals for 4-6 cycles
  • 5 minutes of cool down at light intensity

While this may seem like it is too short of time spent in the pool to get results, HIIT is known for creating a positive response in the body relatively quickly. Try it and you will see!


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