Core muscles for swimmers

Core muscles training program for swimmers

How do you start working on your core muscles to improve your swimming, maintain your lower back and, while doing so, lose weight and look better?

It is important to understand that the important thing in this article is not the exercises themselves, but the gradual program to keep your lower back safe from injury. In the article we will show recommended exercises, but mostly outline a precise training program to strengthen the core muscles gradually and without injury to the lower back.

Loosening lower back= swimming much faster

Why do people with lower back pain have difficulty with abdominal exercises and immediately feel their lower back?

When you do dynamic exercises your abdominal muscles work hard, but when all the core muscles get tired your back starts working incorrectly and after a very short set of core muscle exercises you can feel a sharp pain in the neck and back. Lower back pain can be unbearable and therefore it is advisable to do everything gradually.

It is always recommended to start with the WEST swimming technique in order to lengthen the muscles and adjust the swimming style, and after two to three months start to work on the core muscles (the cost of a full three-month WEST course at the price of only one private lesson).

Before starting, you may want to watch a one-minute video with 8 exercises to understand your future goal.

 

Exercise # 1 – Static Abs

How to perform the exercise:

Place the elbows on the mattress at shoulder width, more or less, head down, straight body, palms loose, and do not move until the exercise time runs out.

Exercise goal:

Static abs is one of the best exercises for all sports, and is really the basis for strengthening abdominal muscles and core. The advantage of the exercise over the rest of the exercises is that it can be done even when there is some back pain. It stabilizes the body at all and allows us to hold our back even later in walking. This core exercise for swimmers is the basis and starting point for all other exercises.

Personally we always recommend starting with him and even finishing his training.

Exercise # 2: Static Abs on the side

How to perform the exercise:

Place one elbow on the mattress, the body on the side, the upper leg resting on the mattress in front of the lower leg, the upper hand on the hip, the body straight, the abdomen is held.

You can switch sides every 10 seconds or every 30 seconds. In the early stages of exercising it is recommended to switch sides as soon as the pelvis falls down slightly.

Exercise goal:

Working on your side muscles , for a better pull while swimming.

 

Exercise # 3 – Opening hands on the side and placing a hand under the body

How to perform the exercise:

Lean on one elbow, upper leg forward, body on the side, the other hand stretched up. After the stretch, bring the upper hand under the abdomen and then again to the stretch. It is recommended to perform the exercise for 5 times and then switch sides.

For the stronger among us, you can lift the upper leg 30 cm over the lower leg.

Exercise goal:

This exercise, even without any moving at all, strengthens all core muscles and posture. When we move the hand under the abdomen we also strengthen the diagonals or the possibility of better rotation in the water, and also open the breath and chest.

 

Exercise # 4 – lifting the foot and then hand, clockwise, 10 seconds each lift, 5 seconds back to static abs

How to perform the exercise:

Start the exercise with static abs, then lift a hand or a foot clockwise for 10 seconds, starting with the right hand, right leg, left leg and so on.

Exercise goal:

Beyond the very important preparation for exercise 5, this is one of the most important exercises in working on core muscles for swimmers, which purpose is actually to make the body roll, and to maintain the back and especially the head while swimming.

 

Exercise # 5 – static diagonals, lifting leg opposite arm

How to perform the exercise:

Start with static abs for 5 seconds, then 10 more seconds with your left hand up and your right leg stretched forward, go back to 5 seconds static abs and then lift your left leg and right hand.

Exercise goal:

Maintaining the balance of the body, with the opposite arm and leg stretched in opposite directions, is exactly the work of swimming in freestyle and backstroke, with the goal here being to help combine the core muscles in swimming and still maintain the correct flow line of the body.

In WEST swimming we don’t work with the legs but there is a work of dragging the feet by stretching the hands. In WEST swimming, this exercise allows us to use our legs for better buoyancy and maintaining the back.

 

Exercise # 6 – Starting position for push-ups “position 2”

How to perform the exercise:

Keep your body in “position 2” with straight arms at shoulder line, a straight stomach, a slack head facing down.

Exercise goal:

Beyond working on the core muscles, we perform one of the most important exercises for balance and maintain the delta, the muscle that works very hard in swimming, but can also be easily injured by improper training, inflexibility or a swimming technique that is not customized for body structure. In addition, the exercise prepares us well for Exercise 7 and in the future for push-ups.

 

Exercise # 7 – From starting position to shoulder touch and then hand switch

How to perform the exercise:

After learning to be in “position 2”, raise one hand and touch the opposite shoulder for 10 seconds, lower your hand back and immediately raise your other hand.

Exercise goal:

Especially in this exercise, beyond working on the core muscles, the work is to balance and strengthen the shoulder stabilizers. Beyond working on the Delta, here we actually work on all the shoulder blade adductors and abductors – the Rotor Capps. The exercise is very important for people who suffer from “swimmers’ shoulder” and repeated shoulder injuries. We in Water World and the WEST swimming technique believe in prevention before injury, so this exercise is extremely important for swimmers.

 

Exercise # 8 – From static to starting position and push-up

How to perform the exercise:

Switching from push-up to a static abs, once switching through the right side and once through the left side.

Exercise goal:

Moving from static abs for swimmers to straight hands requires a very strong balance of the core muscles, the delta and the triceps, the muscles that are so important to us to improve swimming ability.

 

Exercise # 9 – Knee to the side and back to static abs

How to perform the exercise:

Moving from their static abs through the side of the body until the knee almost touches the chest and returning to static abs without lowering the foot to the mattress.

Exercise goal:

Beyond the core muscles that work very hard, we work the thigh adductors and abductors. This is very important for breaststroke swimmers and for better footwork while swimming.

It is important to know that the exercise can be dangerous if you have severe pain in the lower back, so I would recommend, if the pain is acute, not to perform the exercise and concentrate on other exercises.

 

Exercise # 10 – “Pilates” abs

How to perform the exercise:

Lift your body slightly up, not too high and not too low, your feet about 30-40 cm from the floor, palms rise and drop to the side of the body. The ultimate goal is to reach 100 hand movements.

Exercise goal:

Strengthening the core muscles, strengthening shoulder stabilizers. The goal in swimming is mainly to use the core muscles at the end of the pull.

 

Exercise # 11 – Static Banana

How to perform the exercise:

Lift your legs forward at a height of about 30-40 cm, shoulder blades slightly less, it is recommended after 20 seconds to lower the shoulder blades and legs down and return immediately to position.

Exercise goal:

Better use of the core muscles and legs in dolphin motion while pushing off the wall in each of the swimming styles.

 

Exercise # 12 – “Kicking” Banana

How to perform the exercise:

Do exercise 11 exactly, only this time kick your feet and move your hands up and down.

Exercise goal:

Strengthening and stabilizing the movements of the feet in swimming through improvement of the core muscles in motion.

 

Exercise Number 13 – Diagonals “Bikes”

How to perform the exercise:

Place loose hands on the nape of the neck, without closing the hands behind the head, pointing a hand to the opposite leg when the other leg is straight.

The goal of the final exercise is to reach 100 diagonals without interruption.

Exercise goal:

Using the core for better water rotation and stronger pull without effort.

 

Exercise # 14 – Bending the elbows in half sitting

How to perform the exercise:

Sitting at a table position, pelvis slightly down, feet forward a little before knees, bend your elbows. The goal is to reach 20 sets of elbow bends.

Exercise goal:

This is one of the best exercises that allows you to do elbow bends and still avoid hurting your elbow, unlike similar exercises, where you really have to hold all your body weight.

This is an amazing exercise to strengthen the triceps.

 

Exercise # 15 – Relaxation exercises for the neck and abdomen – buttocks on the knees, arms stretched at shoulder width

How to perform the exercise:

Place your buttocks on your heels and stretch your hands forward slightly wider than of shoulder width.

Exercise goal:

Releasing and relaxing the abdominal muscles, as well as lengthening the arms and stretching of the shoulders.

 

Exercise # 16 – Relaxation exercises for the neck and abdomen – arrow above the head, buttocks on the heels

 

Place your buttocks on your heels, hands in an arrow above your head, and stretch the arrow forward.

Exercise goal:

Releasing and relaxing the abdominal muscles and lengthening the arrow and arms.

 

Exercise # 17 – Relaxation exercises for the neck and abdomen – knees to the abdomen

How to perform the exercise:

Bring your knees to the abdomen gently, head on the mattress, and close your eyes while stretching.

Exercise goal:

Relaxation of the abdominal muscle, regulating the pulse and releasing the lower back.

 

Exercise # 18 – Relaxation exercises for the neck, back and abdomen – knees to the abdomen with lateral movement

How to perform the exercise:

Bring knees to the abdomen and slowly move your knees from side to side.

Exercise goal:

Relaxation of the neck, lower back, and core muscles, which worked very hard in practice.

 

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How do you practice? Core exercises can be done between 2-6 days a week (neither 7 nor 1, once a week will cause only pain and damage).

It is recommended to change the workout only after you have repeated a certain workout at least 4 times. It is recommended that you change your workout once a week and practice 6 days a week. Training takes 10 gross minutes a day.

 

Workouts to strengthen the core muscles for swimmers:

Workout # 1

3 times 30 seconds static abs (Exercise 1), between every 30 seconds a 10 second break with hands to the front (Exercise 15), when finished twice 30 seconds on the side (Exercise 2).

Workout # 2

2 times 1 minute static abs, between each minute a 15 seconds break (one of the 15-18 release exercises), one minute dynamic abs on the side (5 hand opening to one side, 5 to the other side, until the minute runs out), 1 minute break for stretches and one more minute of static abs (Exercise 1).

Workout # 3

1 minute static abs (15 second rest), 1 minute on the side with hand stretched up, every 5 switch side (30 seconds break for stretches), 1 minute exercise # 4 clockwise (every 5 sec lift an arm or a leg), 1 minute exercise 18 – knees to the abdomen move from side to side, last minute static abs.

Workout # 4

1 minute static abs (15 second rest), 1 minute on the side with hand stretched up, every 5 switch side (15 seconds break for stretches), 1 minute exercise # 4 clockwise (every 5 sec lift an arm or a leg), 1 minute exercise 18 – knees to the abdomen move from side to side, ½ minute diagonals, last minute static abs.

Workout # 5

1 minute static abs (15 second rest), 1 minute on the side with hand stretched up, every 5 switch side (15 seconds break for stretches), 1 minute exercise # 4 clockwise (every 5 sec lift an arm or a leg), 1 minute exercise 16 – arrow with buttocks to the heels, one minute diagonals (every 20 diagonals bring knees to the abdomen), last minute static abs.

Workouts 6-11 are for your choice when your goal here is to build yourself an interesting 10-minute gross a day program.

 

It is important to know that there is no such thing as the best program, but the best program is a changing one, basically letting the core muscles work each time differently on the same muscle, so the muscle is optimally maintained for swimming.

 

Workout # 12 and last to strengthen the core muscles for swimmers – 8 minutes in a row + 2 minutes Stretching:

1 minute static abs (exercise #1), 1 minute on the side with hand stretched up, every 5 switch side (Exercise 3), 1 minute lifting an arm and an opposite leg (exercise #5), 1 minute hand to the shoulder, switch hand every 5-8 seconds (exercise 7), one minute Pilates abs (exercise #10), 1 minute kicking banana (exercise #12), 1 minute diagonals bicycles (exercise #13), last minute static abs (exercise #1).

 

* If for any reason you feel lower back pain you must consult with the professional team of Water World to adjust the swimming training to work on the abdominal muscles.

* Do not forget that you must prepare the body and lower back, and release the shoulder blades. This means that it is always recommended to build a shock absorber for the body before strengthening, i.e. to swim according to your body structure using the WEST method and only when the body is ready you can start to strengthen the core muscles.

** It is always advisable to consult with the professional staff at Water World to properly integrate the core muscles in accordance with swimming training.

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