Spring Into Swimming
Heading down to your local community pool or outdoors for a relaxing swim is an activity that many look forward to. Swimming is a fabulous low-impact cardiovascular workout that definitely will strengthen and tone your entire body – upper body, lower body & core! Most of us probably learned how to swim when we were younger and yet, most adults find it an incredibly challenging activity. But if your body isn’t conditioned for swimming, your shoulders and low back may take a beating. Here are a few exercises you can try to help prepare your body for swimming.
Anterior and Posterior Arm Lifts:
Lie on a bench holding light handweights (2-5 pounds). Keeping your abdominals contracted and your chest slightly lifted, slowly raise the weights forward until they are horizontal with your body. Then return to the starting position and press weights backwards. Keep your arms only slightly bent during the entire range of motion so the motion comes from the shoulder joint not the elbow. Repeat 8-20 times.
Rear Leg Lifts:
Lie on your stomach with your legs straight and your head in a comfortable position. Slowly lift both legs off the floor – focus on lengthening and reaching the legs rather than how high you can lift. Keep your abdominals tight and contract your buttock muscle. Pause and then return to the starting position. Repeat 8-20 reps.
Opposite Arm and Leg Lift:
Lie on your stomach and place your hands on the floor in front of you. Keeping your abdominals tight slowly lift one leg and the opposite arm off the floor. Focus on lengthening, reaching and stretching your body instead of how high you can lift. Once you’ve got the technique, increase your speed and flutter your arms and legs quickly. Repeat for 30-90 seconds.
Lie on your back over a few pillows positioned at the height of your shoulder blades. Position your arms overhead and just allow your body to stretch over the pillows. This is a great stretch to lengthen your swimming muscles.
Sherri McMillan, M.Sc. has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for over 25 years and has received numerous industry awards including International Personal Trainer and Fitness Presenter of the Year. She is the author of five books including “Go For Fit – the Winning Way to Fat Loss” and “Fit over Forty” and is the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver and can be seen running, hiking or cycling with her two children, Brianna and Jackson. She can be reached at www.nwPersonalTraining.com or www.ShapeupwithSherri.com Note: As an avid Columbian reader, you can redeem a 2 week pass at her world-class training studio to help get you started. Contact 360.574.7292 for more details.
Join us for the RUN TO REMEMBER (May 28th 9am – Downtown Washougal, WA) Join us for this Memorial Day Mile and 5k/10k running and walking event on Memorial Day weekend that will benefit Battle Buddies, an organization that provides Service Dogs for our Veterans. Let us honor the brave men and women who have or are currently serving in our Armed Forces and remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice fighting for our freedom.