There is no doubt that swimming is excellent at toning, strengthening and shaping the body, especially the tummy muscles. But for some, swimming lengths can become a little tedious to say the least.
Some swimmers thrive on the repetitive action of swimming lengths in the pool. These people have the very sought after ability to completely zone out while they swim. Many do this by concentrating on the feel of the water on their skin, the sound of the other swimmers around them or even on what they will be making for tea later! But some swimmers, myself included, tend to get a bit bored of completing lap after lap, stuck behind the same enthusiastic (i.e. splashy!) fellow swimmer. It is for those more easily bored people who still want to reap the tummy-toning benefits that I have written this post.
Start your workout with a few lengths, I know it’s dull, but swimming lengths in breast stroke, back stroke and butterfly will really help you to see results in the tummy area quickly. So do as many as you can before you get bored to warm up your body, and making sure that you stretch beforehand.
Once your lengths are complete, swim towards the deep end until you cannot touch the bottom. Grip the side of the pool gently with your hands and lift one leg at a time towards your chest as quickly as you can. This will tone your abdominal muscles while giving you a good cardiovascular workout.
Next, start to tread water and see how long you can keep it up. Aim for at least a minute, then rest and repeat four further times. As your tummy muscles (and the rest of your muscles!) get stronger you can add another set on the end…then another…
Swim back to where you can easily stand up and start to walk across the shallow end of the pool, lifting your knees towards your chest as you go. The resistance from the water will work your muscles, and you can help this along by really squeezing your abdominal muscles as you lift your leg.
Finally, grab a kick board and hold it to your chest. Lie on your back in the water and kick your legs whilst trying to keep your body as close to the surface of the water as possible. This one is a real killer! But remember; no pain, no gain!
Finally, finish off your belly-busting workout with 20 pool-side sit ups before escaping to the changing rooms, and expect to feel a little achy tomorrow!
Happy Swimming – Sarah Bohn