THE IMPORTANCE OF CORE STABILITY IN SWIMMING
A strong core is a requirement for swimmers looking to increase speed and improve their technique. In order for swimmers to minimize drag resistance through the water, the core plays a very important role in keeping the body in a stable streamline position. Further, core muscles that are not well conditioned can lead to technical flaws and stroke inefficiencies, which could make or break a chance at the podium.
Need for Core Strength
The core is crucial to support large muscle groups to help power through the water. In order for the body to support great technique, the core needs to be able to simultaneously sustain the propulsive force that is coming from the arms and the legs. Unlike land sports, swimmers have to generate force without using the ground. On land, athletes are able to use the ground to help generate power created from the muscles in the lower extremities and through the kinetic chain of energy, which is then released into whatever action they are engaged in. As a result of this difference, it is imperative swimmers have strong torsos. Thus, swimmers must include exercises in their training regimens that work abdominal muscles to maintain muscular balance and equal distribution of force throughout the body.
Benefits of a Strong Core
There are many advantages that come with having a strong core both in and out of the pool. Core muscles are responsible for stabilizing the spine and the pelvis which in turn help steady and strengthen the lower extremities. For instance, strengthening core muscles facilitate increased speed and efficiency in the water as improved stability allows swimmers to better leverage larger muscles to help propel them through the water. Often our swimmers want to improve times by focusing on the power of their stroke or kick, altogether forgetting about the time they actually spend cutting through the water in the streamline position. By improving core strength, your athletes will be able to hold their bodies straighter throughout the position, creating less drag and ultimately increasing speed. A stronger core will also greatly improve your athlete’s technique throughout any stroke as the obliques and hip flexors help control the movement of the upper and lower extremities.
Improving stability and technique is undoubtedly crucial when cutting time and increasing speed through the water. Therefore, incorporating a variety of core strengthening movements in your program will prove essential when targeting these goals; helping your swimmers shed seconds in the water while also making them better athletes.