Calories Burned Swimming Calculator

Swimming is no doubt the best aerobic exercise to keep oneself fit and to keep active. Most of enjoy swimming and pretty much aware of the fact that it helps in burning calories but little are we aware of the fact that how much calories will be exactly burnt during swimming.For the purpose we have come up with this unique calculator which helps to estimate the calories burned during swimming .


Swimming Type

Distance Type


Calories Burned:

How do the Swimming Calories Burnt Calculator work?

Calories burned during swimming calculator works on the formula:

Total Calories Burned = Duration (in minutes) x (MET x 3.5 x weight in kg) / 200

MET is the metabolic equivalent and is based upon the pace used while swimming.This means the faster you swim the more likely you are to burn your calories and higher would be MET .It is a standard which has already been calculated by physiologists.(2)

How Many Calories Does Swimming Burn depending on activity

While it is a great workout that can help tone your body, how many calories does swimming burn really? Calories burned during swimming depends upon the metabolic equivalent (MET) and also the duration of swimming.

The following table illustrates the MET values for various types of swimming and also the amount of calories burned(3)




Tubing, floating on a river, general



Treading water, moderate, general



Backstroke, recreational



Breaststroke, recreational



Water aerobics, water callsthenics



Laps, freestyle, front crawl, slow, light or moderate effort



Lake, ocean, river



Leisurely, not lap swimming, general



Sidestroke, general






Crawl, medium speed, ~50 yards / minute, vigorous effort



Backstroke, general, training or competition



Treading water, fast, vigorous effort



Laps, freestyle, fast, vigorous effort



Crawl, fast speed, ~75 yards / minute, vigorous effort



Breaststroke, general, training or competition



Butterfly, general



Moderate-to-heavy effort, manual labor, lifting ≥ 50 lbs, heavy maintenance



Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for a Typical swimming Activity

Swimming in general burns 180 calories for a person with 125 pounds of weight for about 30 minutes of activity whereas for a person weighing 155 pounds 233 calories are burned in just 30 minutes(4)

Calories Per Hour for a Typical swimming Activity 

Different individuals burn different calories depending upon the swimming strokes but an average individual who weighs 68kgs i.e 150 pounds burn 400 calories per hour during 1 hour of moderate intensity swimming and 700 calories approximately during 1 hour of high intensity swimming(5,7)

How many Calories Does Swimming Breaststroke Burn Per Hour?

Swimming breastroke can burn anywhere between 300-560 calorie per hour and 150 -280 calories for every 30 minutes depending on the person's weight and the speed(6,8)

For an individual who weighs 63 kilograms (140 pounds) approximately 337 calories are burnt per hour during swimming breastroke(7)

How many calories do you burn doing the breaststroke vs backstroke?

The amount of calories burned during swimming will depend on your weight, type of swimming stroke, the duration spent in swimming and also the speed.However the breastroke helps is more effective and burns 10% more calories compared to backstroke.

For example, an individual weighing 200 pounds burns 505 calories per hour during breaststroke swimming and 457 calorie during breaststroke swimming activity for about an hour(8)

How much weight loss is possible with swimming?

Swimming is definitely helpful to loose weight as it burns calories vigorously.The amount of weight loss depends upon the weight, age and the duration spent in swimming.Swimming vigorously for an hour helps to shed 4 pounds of weight if done four times a week for a month .Swimming moderately for 30 minutes helps to loose 1 pound of weight per month if done four times a week(9)

How long does it take to see results from swimming?

Swimming on a regular basis for an hour is beneficial in losing weight and improving overall toning and flexibility.It takes almost a months time for swimming to be effective.

What burns the most calories running or swimming and which is better?

It would be difficult to figure out and compare the exact amount of calories burned by an individual during both the workouts as there are many factors involved in it such as the surface and the intensity of workout.

However if a person runs at a speed of 5 miles per hour burns 606 calories compared to a person swimming for an hour burns somewhere between 233 to 878 calories depending on the stroke applied and the intensity.

Running helps in burning 70% more calories than swimming but it is not practical for the ones who are overweight or obese.On the other hand swimming is the best workout and the water plays an important role in provding resistance and buoyancy than air hence it is a complete workout and effective for joints as it they dont have to bear any extra weight or pressure(10,11)

How much swimming is equivalent to running a mile?

Swimming and running are calculated in the ratio of 4:1 which indicates that if a person runs four miles then his swimming is equal to one mile at the same time duration(12)

Swimming Workouts

The strokes used during swimming matters a lot and works on the following muscles.

Breaststroke works on chest, back of shoulders, quads and calves

Backstroke swimming works on middle and upper back, trapezoids, quads and glutes

Freestyle swimming works on chest, triceps, biceps, forearms, quads, neck , middle and upper back.

Butterfly swimming stroke works upon chest, shoulders, neck, abs, upper back, lower back, calves, quads, lateral hamstring and trapezoids.

Swimming workouts works at all levels but for beginners these workouts will be helpful to get used to swimming at the required pace.

Beginner Swim Workout : 500 yards

  • 4 x 25 yard warm up
  • 2 x 25 yard freestyle with 40 seconds rest in between each 25
  • 2 x 25 yard kick of your choice with one minute rest between each 25
  • 2 x 25 yard backstroke with 50 seconds rest in between each 25
  • 2 x 25 yard breaststroke kick with one minute rest in between each 25
  • 2 x 25 yard kick of your choice
  • 2 x 25 yard cool down

Make sure you do two rounds of the following and make a faster interval at the second or taking less rest or gap

1 x 50 yards

2 x 25 yards (13,14)


  1. Its destress and relaxes:Swimming is the best way to tackle down the stress levels.If done on a regular basis it helps to lower stress levels, anxiety , depression and improves sleep levels and patterns.
  2. It is great for general well being: Just indulging in 30 minutes of swimming three times a week, coupled with a balanced diet is one of the best way to stay healthy, active and have a positive mental outlook. It is more fun filled with done with friends.
  3. Helps in toning the body:Swimming is an excellent way to enhance muscle strength and tone the muscles in comparison with other aerobic exercises.This is due to the fact that all the muscles are involved in propelling through the water.It is also helpful in improving bone strength in post menopausal women.
  4. Swimming enhances flexibility as it involves all the joints and ligaments of the body.
  5. Helps to loose weight:Swimming is perhaps the most effective way to burn calories and achieve the desired weight loss goals. A gentle swim for just half an hour helps to burn 200 calories which is more than double that of walking.Burns those calories. Increases energy levels:Being inactive for longer periods of time leads to sluggish metabolism and leaving you tired .But just 30 minutes of swimming three days a week is enough to boost your energy levels and increase metabolism.
  6. Relieves joint pains and aches:Swimming is a good way to keep the joints moving and keep them healthy.It is a great activity which could be helpful to relieve certain types of aches and back problems.It is beneficial for people suffering from arthritis as the water provides resistance and support to the joints.
  7. It is sweat free and perfect for summer splash:If you are afraid of sweating and that makes you weird for workouts then swimming would be the best choice for you.It is the only activity which helps to keeps your body cool by absorbing the heat generated and also to get rid of toxins released by the body.
  8. Lowers the risk of diseases:Swimming is not only great fitness but also is a great form of cardiovascular exercise.Just involving in 30 minutes of swimming a week helps to prevent heart diseases, stroke and type 2 diabetes.
  9. Improves sleep:Swimming is a great way to induce sleep.According to a report from The Sleep Foundation, 2013 individuals who were involved in swimming improved their sleep levels twice and overcame other sleep related problems.
  10. Improves Asthma: Swimming gives you a great opportunity to practice in the moist air so that one can lower the symptoms related to exercise induced asthma.
  11. Whole body conditioning:Swimming is the best way to condition and tone the whole body.Swimmers can tone their upper and lower body as they are using all the main muscles and the best strokes for toning are the freestyle, breaststroke and backstrokes(15,16,17)

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do you have to swim to burn 500 calories?

One hour of vigorous breaststroke swimming can burn up to 500 calories.

What happens if you swim every day for a month?

Swimming, every day for a month, can improve your lung capacity and stamina. Also, it helps tone your body and boost mental health.

Does swimming burn belly fat?

Yes. Swimming is a full-body workout and can help tone your overall body, including the belly.

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