Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Train Like an Olympian: Swimming

I know I'm not the only one who envies swimmers' bodies. They are cut like steel without an ounce of fat on them. Though a lot of it probably has to do with how exposed your body is during swimming, it mostly is because you need strength to take those strokes, especially in your core (which explains the rock hard abs). Swimmers can train in the pool for like 20 hours a week, which most of us can't do. But have you ever looked at their bodies and wished that were yours? Well, let's steal a few exercises from their playbook besides just swimming.

The Diagonal Wood Chopper: Michael Phelps' trainer had him do this exercise to strengthen his abs. Basically, you hold a medicine ball above your right shoulder (like you would hold an axe), and then swing it until you use the ball to touch the floor on the outside of your left foot. As you do this, keep your abs tight and your knees slightly bent. Make sure the movement comes from your core, not your lower body.

Planks: Swimmer David Roberts does a pre-workout warm-up by doing various forms of planking for about twenty minutes. Yes, I know, that's some people's whole workout. He mixes it up by doing regular planks, side planks, and all sorts of variations. 

Sit-ups: Ryan Lochte, who is expected to dominate the pool during the London Olympics says he does core workouts for about an hour 3 times a week. Yes, that's just his core. He mixes a variation of planks, sit-ups, and other core exercises to give him that definition. 

One major conclusion is that core workouts are very important to get the strength required to push through the pool. Maybe you're not a swimmer, but it sure doesn't hurt to have those abs. Try these workouts today.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

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