Spring is here and summer isn’t far off. So, NOW is a great time to get ready for one of everyone’s favorite warm weather sports: Swimming.
Like most sports, swimming requires a great deal of core strength to achieve optimal results. Since all movements emanate from the core, it’s critical to build a strong base of support for the prime movers so they can function properly.
An excellent training tool to strengthen your core is the Swiss ball, because it challenges your nervous system, builds up your stabilizer strength and adds variety to your workout.
The core conditioning exercises I’ll discuss here are specifically designed for swimmers and have a high carryover to the sport.
Behind the scenes
The prime movers of a swimmer’s upper body are the latissimus dorsi (lats) and pectoralis major, along with the subscapularis, teres major and triceps. For kicking, the prime movers are the hip flexors and quadriceps.
Most of a swimmer’s power comes from the latissimus dorsi and hip flexors. These muscles originate in the back and/or the pelvis. If the origin of a muscle isn’t stable, less than optimal power will be generated. Also, if your pelvis is unstable, you will not be able to generate maximum power with each kick and stroke and your times will increase.