Swimming Strong

November 28, 2001

Grab your goggles! In one European study, researchers followed athletes who switched from doing just one kind of exercise to triathlons—swimming, running and biking. After multi-area training, the athletes actually performed better in their original sport. This news comes as no surprise to ballet dancers, who know that cross-training can improve their leaps and bounds by, well, leaps and bounds. Swimming in particular has a few upsides that you might not have thought about.


  • Like ballet, swimming requires coordinated movement between the upper body and lower body.
  • If you have a tendency to hold your breath while dancing, swimming could help you break the habit since exercising in the water forces you to regulate your breathing.
  • The resistance of the water makes it a low impact exercise for your joints (more so than running or jumping). So on top of building strength and endurance, swimming is also a great recovery exercise.
  • Choreography often favors one side of the body over the other, but strokes such as freestyle can help correct muscular imbalances since they use even left- and right-sided movements evenly.


Hit the pool, along with the barre!