We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
Swimming any stroke relies on the abdominal muscles to maintain body control in the water. Strong abdominal muscles allow a swimmer to move fast in the water and prevent excessive stress to the body. There are a variety of exercises that you can do to tighten stomach muscles and improve your swimming performance.
The four most common swimming strokes are the butterfly, freestyle, breaststroke, and backstroke. The butterfly is considered the most difficult of the four strokes and second fastest stroke after the freestyle. The freestyle is the fastest stroke and preferred by experienced swimmers for its efficiency. The breaststroke can also be a difficult stroke due to the coordination involved in the arm stroke's water-pulling motion and the frog kick performed by the legs. The backstroke is performed while the swimmer is on his back. These four strokes utilize the stomach muscles to balance the swimmer's upper body and lower body movements.
Four main stomach muscles support the torso and allow movement. The deepest muscle layer, which stabilizes the torso, is the transversus abdominus. The rectus abdominus is located between the ribs and pubic bone and is commonly referred to as вЂњthe six-packвЂќ; its main function is to move the body between the ribcage and the pelvis. The other two sets of muscles are the external and internal obliques, which allow the body to twist. The external obliques are located on each side of the rectus abdominus. The internal obliques are located inside the hipbones. When these four stomach muscles are strong it is easier to swim more efficiently and achieve faster starts and turns.
Tightening the Mid-Section
Some abdominal exercises can be performed on land that focus the movement on the abdominal muscles and tighten the mid-section, according to Swimming World. One exercise is a belly-up, which involves laying face-up with hands on the belly, lifting the shoulders and lower back off the floor. Beginning swimmers can perform 10 reps, intermediate swimmers should try 50 reps and advanced swimmers should do 100 or more. Another exercise is the allabs, which involves laying face down with arms extended overhead and lifting the chest and lower rib cage off the floor. For this exercise, beginning swimmers should do 10 to 15 reps, intermediate can do 20 to 30 reps and advanced should do 50 or more.
Incorporating the Legs
Other stomach tightening exercises performed on land incorporate both the mid-section and legs. Swimming World recommends bicycles, which involve laying face up, with the knees bent, and clasping your hands behind your head, and moving the legs in an alternating pedaling motion while twisting the body so the leading elbow meets the opposite knee. Beginning swimmers should perform 25 rotations; intermediate swimmers should do 50 rotations, and advanced swimmers should do 100 or more. The double-leg pike is performed by laying face up with the arms overhead, simultaneously lifting the arms, torso and legs. Reach for your toes while keeping the legs straight. Beginning swimmers should perform five to 10 repetitions; intermediate swimmers should do 15 to 20 repetitions, and advanced swimmers should do 25 to 50 repetitions.