Swimming is an amazing total body workout. It’s good for your heart, muscle tone, and depending on whom you ask, it can be very good for weight loss.

How Calories Are ‘Burned’

The rate at which your body burns calories for energy is known as your metabolism. When you exercise, this rate increases. Just how much and for how long depends on a wide variety of factors including: gender, body composition, and most importantly your level of exertion.

But how many calories can you really burn while swimming? And how does it stack up to other endurance sports like running or cycling?

The answer varies, but here are a few numbers to ponder:

Related: 5 Ways To Burn More Calories When You Swim

Factors To Consider


Related: 30-Minute Swim Workout to Burn Max Calories

First, your weight plays a big role in how much you burn. Generally, the more you weight, the more you burn. Additionally, a person’s metabolism is also an important factor in how many calories are burned. Below are some estimates based on research data by the American College of Sports Medicine. These estimates are based on time (one hour of swimming), rather than total distance.

  • A 130-pound person swimming freestyle for one hour will burn 590 calories swimming fast, and 413 calories swimming slower.
  • A 155-pound person swimming freestyle for one hour will burn 704 calories swimming fast, and 493 calories swimming slower.
  • A 180-pound person swimming freestyle for one hour will burn 817 calories swimming fast, and 572 calories swimming slower.
  • A 205-pound person swimming freestyle for one hour will burn 931 calories swimming fast, and 651 calories swimming slower.

Mixing Up The Strokes

Each competitive stroke engages different muscle groups so you’ll burn more or less depending on how much of each stroke you swim. If you want a killer workout, you should do IM work!

Related: How I Lost 10kg Swimming with MySwimPro

The king of calorie-burning is butterfly. According to Nutristrategy.com, the calorie torching ranges from 649 calories for a 130-pound person to 1,024 calories for a 205-pound person.

How Does Swimming Compare to Running and Cycling?


Related: Why Technique Is So Important To Swimming Fast

• Running for an hour at a 9:00/mile pace burns anywhere from 649 to 1,024 calories depending on your weight, and the amount of calories burned naturally goes up the faster you go.
• Cycling for an hour at 15 miles per hour will burn anywhere from 590 to 931 calories depending on weight.

Swimming is right in the discussion, and considering how easy the sport is on your joints, it’s a workout you can enjoy doing—while knowing that you’re getting results.

Share your goals with with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

For more swimming tips, workouts and resources, download the MySwimPro app! Try ELITE COACH free for 30 days.

30 day trial

3 thoughts on “How Many Calories Does Swimming Burn?

Comments are closed.