Swimming is known for being a great aerobic exercise with numerous heart health benefits. Since the entire body is working together, swimming is also great for toning the muscles of the lower and upper limbs.
Not many people, however, know that exercising in the water is actually good for toning the abdomen and strengthening the core. Water provides a natural resistance that is 15 times stronger than air, making core exercises not only 15 times more challenging but also more effective. With the absence of weight and impact, aquatic core exercises are ideal for people with joint or back problems.
Benefits of Core Exercises
Strengthening the core is more than just for looking good and staying in shape. A strong core can improve balance and stability and harmony among your lower muscles. With a stronger core, you are also able to carry out many physical activities with ease, from something as simple as bending down to tie your shoes to an impressive golf swing.
Did you know that one of the secrets to good posture is a strong core? Weak core muscles often lead to slouching, difficulties in breathing and increased wear and tear on the spine. The last one is linked to lower back pains, which is a sign of a weak core.
Core Strengthening Exercises
Kickboard kicks – This is a well-known exercise for people who are still learning to swim. If you are not yet confident with your strokes, this is a perfect exercise for you. Hold a kickboard in front of you. With your arms outstretched, start kicking to propel yourself forward. Keep doing this until you feel tired and cannot continue safely.
Leg lifts – Leg lifts are great core exercises for beginners who struggle with carrying their weight on the ground. The buoyancy and the resistance of the water will help you stay afloat. Stand on the shallow end of the pool with your back facing the pool’s wall, then place your forearms on the pool deck. Straighten your legs and raise them until they are floating parallel to the pool’s floor. Hold this position for eight seconds, rest then repeat 10 to 12 times.
For advanced workouts:
Pikes – This workout is ideal for swimmers who can float without the help of a kickboard or other floating devices. This is also an advanced core exercise that challenges both your core and your upper and lower limbs. Start from a standing position in the water and pull your knees up to your chest. Lean back and straighten your legs into a pike position. Your body should look like the letter ‘V’ with your bottom pointing directly to the pool’s floor. Beginners may only hold this position for a second or two, so this workout requires a lot of practice. To keep yourself afloat, use your arms and push them backwards in a circular motion.
Vertical flutter kick – Begin in a section of the pool where your feet cannot touch the floor. Keep yourself upright and afloat by kicking your feet front to back alternately like scissors. Keep your legs straight and point your toes while doing this. You can feel sensations in your core while your gluteal muscles and legs work together.
Workout in Your Very Own Backyard Lap Pool
Enjoy the health benefits of aquatic exercise in your own backyard lap pool installed by Guardian Pools. We are a trusted manufacturer of fibreglass pools in Perth, with many styles and colours to choose from. Connect with us today for more information.