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Improving Your Core to Get the Most Out of Your Swimming and Running



The core in today’s parlance refers to the support framework of the body, which comprises of select muscle groups that bear the brunt of the frame while enabling it to achieve an effortless balance. Irrespective of whether the individual is an athlete or an ordinary individual, strengthening or improving the core is essential to make the smooth functioning of the body and its various muscles. This is, in fact, quite useful to runners and swimmers, who rely on the strength of their core muscles to traverse distances with ease.

Core training strengthens the body against common injuries and improves coordinated movement of the body, thereby enabling the athlete to move faster with little or minimum strain. Here are a few tips that can help one improve his or her core:

Stretch the Core

Training the essential muscle groups such as the Transverse Abdominis (TVA) lying deep in the abdomen, obliques (both internal and external), frontal abdomen muscles, and the Erector Spinae running from the neck down to the lower back form the basis of core improvement.

While planks are ideal for exercising the TVA, arm sweeps and cross over crunches help flex external and internal obliques, respectively. The abs are best tuned using crunches, whereas stretching techniques help strengthen the back muscles. It is, however, essential to achieve a workout pattern that trains all the core muscles of the body to work in conjunction.

Stabilize the Core

While stretching routines build the tendency to get flexible and supple, it is vital to strengthen the core to achieve balance and stability. Several techniques right from medicine and swiss balls to wobble boards, foam rollers, and planks help make balance while testing the strength of the different muscles of the body. Exercises such as press-ups and squats, yoga postures, and pilates training all work towards strengthening the torso.

The core is the basis of all activities. While arms and limbs portray an effortless motion, it is the core that provides stability and strength, enabling the body to propel itself to complete an action with less strain or stress.

Remedy for Poor Body Posture

Smooth, athletic movement relies a lot on an individual’s body posture, which generally gets developed over the years. Hunchback and slouched shoulders are characteristics of poor posture that are primarily attributable to long-term desk jobs. Abs, lower back, glutes, shoulders, upper back – the entire core becomes weak when the frame lacks a stable posture. Stretching shoulder muscles, throwing them backward, tightening the glutes and abs enable comfortable movement of the limbs, especially in the case of swimmers. Body rolls and the ability to kick through water show considerable improvement with postural remedies, increasing the power of each stroke.