Swimming, swimming, in the swimming pool. When days are hot, when days are cold, in the swimming pool. Do you remember that children’s tune?
I can talk about the virtues of swimming all day long because I LOVE to swim. Many of you who have known me for a few years might remember that I even became lifeguard certified! You might also recall that it was one of the hardest things I ever took on. I also taught water aerobics at a community college and it was a blast.
But enough about me.
Let’s talk about YOU and swimming.
Training in the water is a great way to take care of building that essential core strength.
The muscles of your torso stabilize your spine and provide a foundation for all movements. Since water is gentle on your body and it offers natural resistance, it’s a great environment to train in.
Before doing these movements warm up for 5-10 minutes. For this you can walk in the shallow end of the pool. These moves will require water dumbbells and a noodle.
Remember to breathe as you perform these exercises. Perform the movements slowly and make sure you feel the muscles you are targeting actually doing the work. Using the natural resistance of the water, you can make these moves as easy or as hard as you’d like.
1. Abdominal Rolls: Lie face up in the water holding a dumbbell in each hand. Stretch your arms out to your sides and extend your legs. Pull your knees to your chest. As you do this, roll onto your stomach. Now from your lying face down position, pull knees to your chest and roll again. Perform 8-12 reps of this (one rep includes a back and front position).
2. Reverse Crunch: Place one dumbbell under each knee as you lie on your back. Place your noodle under your arms, across your upper back. You are now in the crunch position. Extend your legs and bring them back in. Remember to breathe. Perform 8-12 reps.
3. Deep Water Walking: Hold one dumbbell in each hand, legs directly under your body. Walk your legs under water. Keep walking your legs. Remember, you are in deep water so your legs are not touching the bottom of the pool. Walk slowly or speed up. Start with 30 seconds at a time and work up to one minute.
4. Oblique Side-Lying Flutter Kicks: Holding the dumbbells, lie on one side with good alignment, and flutter kick for a count of 8 to one side. Switch sides and flutter kick for 8 beats on the opposite side. Move back and forth a few times on each side.
So enjoy the water and let me know how you like working with these moves.