|Use balance board to strengthen your core|
In most of my posts, I keep repeating that a strong core body is a necessity for good swimming technique. Now, I am not talking about having a six pack. That is just a silly goal and usually requires some dietary and muscle supplements to achieve or superior genetics :). (Nothing I really condone myself, but everyone is the master of their own body, so I won't lecture about that here.) Furthermore, the mysterious term core body workout is not only about your ab muscles, it is much more than that. In laymen’s terms, a core workout includes muscles which span between your sternum and your hips, so they include the abs, hip flexors, obliques, diaphragm and many more. In other words, having a strong core could be loosely compared to having a nice straight body and good balance when you stand on one foot.
The core body plays an important role in keeping your swimmer body nicely aligned while you swim and thus decreases the drag your body has in the water. Whether you swim on your back, side or front, the small and large muscles in your core keep you straight. So, the stronger the core, the better swimmer you will be. This is also one of the reasons it is quite difficult to learn to swim for some people as they do not know how to engage the right core body muscles to keep them horizontally and vertically aligned. This is especially true when a person is learning how to float on their back and cannot get their hips to the surface. Also, due to weak core muscles, many people swim in a snake like pattern with their hips going side to side.
|Cleaning the floor swimmer style|
The instability in your body you generate by taking one foot off the ground forces you to work a lot of different muscles that you wouldn't normally engage in everyday life. These muscles are crucial to the stability of your joints and to the strength of your core. As with any exercise you perform, having good posture while strengthening your core is a must, so next time you are cleaning the floor, vacuuming, doing dishes or performing some other mundane task at home, just think "core body workout" to spice up your housework. Perhaps it won't be as boring as before since you now have a more noble goal of health instead of just getting the dirt out :)