You need well-built, lean muscles.

Getting a Swimmer's Body in Your 20s

by Susan Resneck

The sight of water droplets rolling off broad and straight shoulders, long arms, apparently handmade abs and a perfectly toned thighs is difficult to resist. While it is difficult to get such a body without months of frustrating exercises and diets, being in your 20s comes with an abundance of hormones that will help you build a dream body.

1. Swim Training

Frequent, moderately intense swimming will help your body adapt to the water by exercising the muscles necessary to create a swimmer's body. For effectiveness, use several swimming styles to work different muscles across the body while at once ensuring that you gain the power to propel you through the water, says the University of New Mexico's Len Kravitz, Ph.D. Swimming is an excellent cardio exercise, which burns calories and fats, minimizes the production of visceral fats and eats into the subcutaneous fat deposits, eventually giving you a rocking body.

2. Strength Training

Swimming is as much about skill and grace as it is about raw power. This burns calories and fats to create well-toned, lean muscles. You need to exercise your abs, chest, calves, thighs, shoulders and back, according to the April 1998 issue of the journal of "Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise." The lucky news is that growth hormones, insulin-like growth factor, testosterone and estrogen, which are necessary to build lean muscles, burn fats, and bolster oxygen consumption, tissue building and recovery after punishing strength training and swimming sessions, peak during your 20s.

3. Bone Mass

Build your bone mass, too. Sure, too much strength training and weight lifting may give you a body builder’s body, but once or twice weekly exercises will give a swimmer’s body. Lift as much weight as you can to push your body and mind to their limits and in order to exercise all bones, change positions and inclinations as far as can be safe. Spinal and hipbone mass peak during the mid-20s, which means that you got the time of your life to make bones to stand on in your 60s and stay free from osteoporosis. Hitting the gym is hardly the only bone-building option. Try running, dancing, hiking and weight training, including presses and squats. These load the bones with your own weight, which removes the risk of carrying too much weight than is safe.

4. Eat Right

Aerobic exercises as well as strength training burn a considerable amount of calories, while the growth and adaptation of your body requires a wealth of other nutrients. It is no surprise that Ryan Lochte puts away 12,000 calories a day, but you should be fine with just 3,000. You need a balanced diet, but go heavy on proteins, omega 3, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, vitamins, proteins, iron, calcium, phosphorus and more than 20 grams of fiber a day.

About the Author

Susan Resneck has been a nutrition and fitness writer since 2000. Resneck has worked as a nutrition specialist and dietitian since 2000, focusing on metabolic and hormonal balancing. Her articles have appeared both online and in print for publications such as Simple Abundance, "Catskill Country Magazine" and "Birds and Blooms.

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