Strengths: Swimmers Body vs Runner’s Body
Swimmers tend to be tall with a defined torso, long arms and broad shoulders. One of the most unique characteristics of a swimmer’s physique is the upper back. A swimmer’s back creates a wide “V” which tapers to a narrow waist.
Swimming is a full body workout that incorporates both upper and lower body movements. Since swimming is a full body workout, swimmers tend to have more balanced physiques.
Distance runners tend to be light, lean and small in terms of height and weight. Sprinters, who require power over endurance, often have larger leg muscles and a more defined physique than distance runners.
When comparing the runner’s body to a swimmer’s body, runners have a lower body fat percentage. This is because the more body mass a competitive runners has, the harder it is to fight gravity and the less efficient they will be.
Weaknesses: Swimmer’s Body vs Runner’s Body
Although swimming is a high intensity workout, swimmers tend to have higher percentages of body fat than runners. Fat is more buoyant than muscle mass and swimmers who have a higher percentage of fat tend to float easier in water. Also, cool water can stimulate the appetite, so after a workout swimmers may consume more calories than other athletes.
Runner’s strength lies mostly in their lower body which includes quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. Due to the fact that the majority of their focus is on lower-body strength, distance runners often have low upper body strength.
Opportunities: Swimmer’s Body vs Runner’s Body
Swimming is a low impact workout, which is much easier on your joints than running. Water based exercises can reduce your body weight by 90 percent, which reduces stress on the joints.
Though running and swimming are both high intensity workouts, running burns more calories. According to the Mayo Clinic, a 160-lb person running for one hour at 8.0 mph will burn approximately 861 calories. However, the same person swimming at a vigorous pace for one hour will burn only 715 calories.
Threats: Swimmer’s Body vs Runner’s Body
The most common injuries for swimmers include shoulders that become unstable during a swim, which can lead to discomfort and tendinitis. Other common injuries include discomfort in the inner knee, hip, and back.
Common injuries for runners include tender pain around the kneecap, tendinitis, inflammation in the feet and shin splints.