The Swimming Triangle: Physical Conditioning
Attention swimmers! Did you know that your core muscles act as a bridge connecting your upper body to your lower body? A strong bridge will create a stroke higher in propulsion and lower in drag. Abdominal exercises that are high in repetition and slow in movement are one of the best ways to strengthen your core. When determining the order of exercises, it's best to perform a lower abdominal exercise first, an oblique exercise second, and an upper abdominal exercise third. Listed below are examples of each:
1. Lower Abdominals - Leg Raises
Lie down on your back with your legs locked out. Angle your head and shoulders upward off the ground. Place your hands underneath your tailbone. Lift your straight legs off the ground until positioned directly above you. At this point your body should look like a reverse "L". Slowly lower your legs back to the ground until your heels are approximately one inch off the ground. Repeat slowly for one minute and then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat often.
2. Obliques - Crunches
Lie down on your right side with your knees slightly bent. Lift your legs approximately two inches off the ground and place your hands on your ears. Twist your upper body to the left so that your shoulders and your upper back are parallel to the ground. Using your obliques and your abdominal muscles, lift your upper body as high off the ground as possible and hold. Repeat slowly for one minute. Rest for 30 seconds and then repeat on the opposite side.
3. Upper Abdominals - Sit Ups
Lie down on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Lift your tailbone approximately one inch off the ground. Place your hands on your ears. From here, lift your upper body as high off the ground as possible using your abdominal muscles. Hold for two seconds and then lower to the starting position. Repeat slowly for one minute and then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat often.
Learn more from Coach Baker at one of his Peak Performance Swim Camps, located at various locations across the United States and abroad. And learn more about The Swimming Traingle, Coach Baker's New Book, and order your copy here.