Summertime is here, and that means people around the world are gearing up for a splash! Swimming is a great way to enjoy the warm weather and get in shape. Whether you’re a professional swimmer or just looking to have some fun in the pool, you might be wondering how you can maximize your calorie-burning potential when you get in the water. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down exactly how many calories you can burn swimming, as well as other important factors to consider. So grab your swimsuit and let’s dive in!

What is Swimming?   

Swimming is an amazing form of exercise that can be done virtually anywhere you have access to water. It involves propelling yourself through the water with a wide range of combined strokes and can be used to target many different muscle groups. You can participate in swimming for leisure or as part of a competitive team. No matter your motivation or circumstance, it’s a great way to get in some cardio.

How Many Calories Can You Burn Swimming?  

The number of calories you burn when swimming can vary based on several factors. Generally, swimming for thirty minutes will burn around 200-400 calories. But the results can be greatly influenced by your weight, size, and stamina.

For example, a larger person will typically burn more calories than a smaller person because of their size. Additionally, people with a higher level of swimming experience and conditioning will be able to move around the water for a longer period and will burn more calories as a result.

Swim Stroke Overview   

The most popular swim strokes are Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and Butterfly. Let’s take a look at each of them.


Freestyle is the most common and fastest swim stroke. During this stroke, you alternate breathing to one side while you “pull” your arms through the water. This movement helps propel you forward and burns lots of energy.


Backstroke is very similar to freestyle except you’re face-up in the water. This stroke is great for beginners because you only have to think about one arm moving at a time. This gives your body a chance to catch up with yourself as you move through the water.


Breaststroke is a bit slower than the other strokes, but it still generates a lot of intensity. During this stroke, you pull both arms through the water while your legs kick behind you. You don’t get a chance to breathe as often with this stroke, so it can be challenging to maintain throughout long distances.


This stroke is the most complex of all four. During the butterfly, you need to move both arms and both legs together, making this a great cardiovascular exercise. This one may take some practice, but if you can master it, you’ll be rewarded with a great calorie burn.

Calories Burned per Stroke   

Now that we’ve broken down the different swim strokes, let’s take a look at exactly how many calories each can burn during a thirty-minute session.

Freestyle – Freestyle is the most popular swimming stroke and will burn the most calories at around 300-400 per thirty minutes.

Backstroke – Backstroke will burn slightly fewer calories at around 250-300 per thirty minutes.

Breaststroke – Breaststroke will burn around 200-250 calories per thirty minutes.

Butterfly – Butterfly burns the most calories at 300-400 per thirty minutes.

Important Considerations When Swimming   

Calories aren’t the only thing to consider when you’re swimming. Here are a few other factors you should think about before getting in the pool.


When you’re planning a swimming workout, it’s important to know what your objectives are. Are you just looking to stay in shape or do you want to compete with the best? Knowing your goals can help you stay focused and set more achievable milestones throughout your journey.


Swimming is a great form of cardiovascular exercise, but it’s not for everyone. Your current physical condition and swimming ability may limit you in certain areas. If you’re new to the sport, make sure you start off slowly and build up your endurance over time.


Safety should always be your top priority, even when you’re having fun. Make sure you’re aware of your surroundings at all times and avoid swimming in unsupervised areas. Additionally, make sure you practice proper swimming technique and listen to any advice your instructor may give you.

Swimming is an activity that can be enjoyed by everyone, no matter their age or ability level. Not only is it a fun way to stay active, but it also helps burn calories and keep us fit. Knowing how many calories you can burn swimming can help inform your workout plans and keep you motivated. So grab your swimsuit, head to the pool, and start burning!