When you choose to train for a triathlon, you need to be in top form for three very different sports. Do you have a weak link? If a single leg of your tri—be it swimming, biking or running—isn’t on par, it holds back whatever advantage you may have in the other two. For those of you looking to boost your swimming performance, here are some helpful conditioning tips.
First, while arm and leg strength is important to swimming, your ability to improve really depends on your core strength. Many exercises can help you strengthen your core, including body weight resistance through Pilates or TRX. Or perform balance exercises on a fitness ball, which works your core as your body tries to control the instability the ball creates.
You can also improve the swimming leg of your tri through strength training with medicine balls and kettlebells. Both of these tools provide weight training that builds core and arm strength through dynamic movements with weight resistance.
For a simple core workout you can perform anywhere, here’s a move to try: Go into a hands and knees position on an exercise mat. While maintaining a flat back, lift your right leg and left arm straight up, and hold this position for a few seconds. Go back to the hands and knees position, and switch to the other side, doing a total of up to four sets with up to 12 reps each. (You can see more here: 8 Core Exercises to Make You a Stronger Swimmer.)
MORE: Fix the Weak Link of Your Triathlon: Biking and Fix the Weak Link of Your Triathlon: Running
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