Why Core Strength Will Make You a Faster Swimmer

Michael Butler
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Swimmers rely on core strength to propel themselves through the water faster and easier. The core is made up of the stomach, back, chest, and abdominal muscles. When you are swimming, these muscles play a vital role in creating the momentum needed to move through the water.

It’s no surprise that swimmers spend a good portion of their time strengthening their core muscles as it’s crucial to their performance.

This is why it’s important to include core exercises in your workout routine. Strong abdominal muscles not only strengthen the core, but also improve your balance, improve your hip flexibility, and protect your back. This is critical for longer distance races.

Here is a list of eight effective core exercises that you can work into your regular routine. Make sure to consult with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine, especially if you have past or current injuries.

Seated Knee to Elbow

How to do it:

With your knees bent, grab your left knee with your left hand, and place your right hand on top of your left knee.

Lean forward slightly.

Slowly bring your left knee towards your left elbow as far as you can. Be sure to keep your back straight while doing this.

Hold for a moment, and return to starting position.

Repeat for 10 to 15 repetitions per side.

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To dramatically improve your swimming performance, you need to start training the core muscles.

I often saw a swimmer with shorter arms and shorter legs. His body type is referred to as a swimmer’s body. What makes swimmers swimmers is their core strength.

If your arm length and leg length are within the average range, your core will be what propels you through the water, helping you swim faster.

For example, consider how the core works in the freestyle stroke. In freestyle, your body moves along a straight line, but you’re doing it in a curved path, which works your back and shoulders very hard. In freestyle, the body consistently flops back and forth, and the core keeps the head, neck, back, and shoulders in a straight line. By doing this, the core lengthens and relaxes every muscle in the body to let the body glide through the water with less energy.