Can Swimming Make You Stronger?

Close up of swimmer Man swimming butterfly strokes

Building a strong body can lead to a host of health benefits, including reducing pain, protecting you from injury and even improving your confidence. But you don't have to visit the gym and pump iron to get stronger. Although swimming is a cardiovascular exercise, the water creates enough resistance to provide a thorough strength-building workout.

Strength From Head to Toe

According to data from Bucknell University, exercising in water increases the resistance to your muscles by as much as 14 percent over land-based workouts. Every move you make in the water, regardless of your swimming stroke, strengthens your muscles. Swimming is a total-body exercise that effectively uses every muscle group during the workout. In addition to its cardiovascular benefits, swimming on a regular basis can lead to increased strength in such major muscles as your shoulders, back, glutes, core, legs and arms.