Want to know how to perfect your form? Get your core in shape! As swimmers, we tend to focus a lot on our getting our arms and legs moving but we forget that it’s our core that connects it all.
Powerful abdominal muscles are the key to strong, coordinated movement of the arms and legs. Your abs are what keep your body moving in flawless connection during freestyle swimming and the backstroke. To get the undulating motion that you’ll need for the butterfly and breaststroke, you need your ab muscles to be in top form.
So, are you ready to get focused? We’ve got you covered! Here’s how to get your core muscles in amazing shape and take your swimming to the next level.
If you go to the gym regularly, one of the best workouts that you can do is the reverse wood chop. All you need is the stretch cord. Set it so that it is anchored at floor level. Hold onto it with both hands. Squat down to grab the cord then twist it up and away from your body, moving it from your lower left to your upper right side. Do reps of 12.
You don’t need the gym to get your core in shape though. The best anytime, anywhere workout is the plank. There are a lot of different ways to mix things up here but let’s start by talking about the classic plank. All you need to do is get onto your forearms and toes, making sure that your elbows are directly below your shoulders. Squeeze your abs and butt. Start off by trying to hold a tight, straight line for 30 seconds then work on increasing that time. Be sure to stay focused on keeping a totally straight line and not allowing your stomach to drop down. And don’t forget to breathe!
Ready to take it to the next level? Enter the superman plank. Once you can hold the plank position for a minute, it is time to move onto this powerful move. Get into your good, old fashioned plank position then extend your opposite arm and leg away from each other. By taking your arm and leg off the ground, your abs will go into hyper-drive. Work your way up to 20 reps and focus on keeping them slow and steady.
If your forearms are starting to feel the carpet burn, get on your back! Another great ab workout is the x crunch up. To get started, lie down on the ground and make the shape of a letter x. Basically, that means that you should have your arms overhead with both your arms and legs spread away from each other. Lift your opposite arm and leg off the ground and push them forward until your hand can touch your foot. Lower them both back down to the ground as slowly as you can then repeat on the other side. Do it 12 reps at a time and you’ll have powerful abs in no time!