You’ve heard it all before—having a strong core is key to staying balanced. This becomes even more important when it comes to swimming, so we’ve asked Team Amino Vital Athletes Megan Jendrick and Jenny Lagerquist to share their top core strengthening moves.
- Stability ball crunches – These crunches allow you to extend back as far as possible, then pull up all the way forward from your elbows to knees, says Jendrick. It works the full range of motion. Sit on the stability ball with your feet flat on the floor. Lower your spine onto the ball as you walk your feet away from the ball until your shoulders, back and tailbone are resting on the ball. Exhale, and slowly curl your torso towards your thighs. Hold for one second, then gently inhale while slowly uncurling back towards the ball. Keep feet planted on the floor at all times.
- V-Ups – V-Ups are a favorite of both athletes when it comes to strengthening their cores. Lie on your back with legs straight and arms straight overhead, fingers clasped together. Lift your arms, upper body and legs towards each other, as high as you can. At the top of the movement, only your buttocks should be touching the floor. Lower yourself slowly to starting position
- Planks – “Planks aren’t usually thought of as a swimming-centric core workout,” says Jendrick. “But it’s actually very good, especially when done with the arms as far out in front of you as possible because it’s similar to the position your body is in while swimming.” Lie on your stomach and prop yourself up on your elbows and toes. While keeping your body in a straight line and looking straight down at the floor, press gently into the floor with your elbows, and spread your shoulder blades away from the spine. Resist allowing your tailbone to rise toward the ceiling or slump to the floor.
Jenny suggests doing these core exercises at least three times per week. Lagerquist mentioned it will help you to pull and kick from the core, maintain better body alignment and position, and subsequently, swim faster.
Thanks for the moves, ladies! Tell us: What are your favorite core exercises?