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VIDEO: Best Core Exercise For Swimmers

March 19th, 2012
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Core exercises are an important part of an overall fitness routine, leading to improved balance and stability.  It also helps to train the muscles in your pelvis, hips, lower back and abdomen to work in tandem.  There are a variety of exercises one can perform in a pool to help strengthen the core muscles.

In this instructional exercise video from SwimEx, see how to use a kickboard to engage the abdominals. The push-and-pull style exercise also encourages proper posture and stabilization.

Why Kickboards 

You can start with any type of exercise equipment for resistance such as barbells or different size balls, but for a wider surface area and to make the exercise more challenging, the kickboard is the ideal choice.

Most kickboards are composed of waterproof plastic or a type of foam. Some come with an ergonomic strap, which is helpful for anyone suffering with wrist or carpal tunnel problems.

Expert Advice 

Leslie Becki, MS, ATC, CSCS collegiate swimmer and swim coach for SwimEx, says this type of aqua-aerobic exercise is an easy and effective way to tighten the core, “It is excellent for just about anyone – from the frail patient to the pro-athelete. “ Becki says the aquatic enthusiast can also perform the same exercise using a med ball or paddles, for variation.

How To Perform The Exercise 

The standing kickboard press and pull shown in the video helps work the chest, back, core and oblique muscles. Submerge your body in the pool so that the water is shoulder height. Hold the board in a vertical position at chest height. Begin with your elbows bent. Then, extend your arms and push the board away from your body. Bend your arms and return with control. Contract your abdominal muscles to stabilize your upper torso. Perform 10 repetitions, and then do the same movement but hold  the board to the right side (and then left) (bullfighter stance) as you walk into and away from the current. Perform 10 repetitions to the right and 10 to the left. Watch the video above for a detailed explanation.   Another exercise to work the oblique muscles would be to stand sideways to the current while holding the kickboard away from the body with arms extended.


Becki says the exercise can be performed in a regular swimming pool, but a swim-in-place pool can offer even more flexibility and faster results for athletes and patients.  “In this video, you’ll notice that the current flow can be adjusted, offering the opportunity to increase the intensity of the workout. You can face forward against current, or have your back against the current.  Utilize all current angles, in order to maximize stabilization for all core musculature.”

Benefits Of A Swim Spa 

Becki says the kickboard exercise can be performed in a regular swimming pool, but a swim-in-place pool can offer even more flexibility and faster results for athletes and patients.  “In this video, you’ll notice that the current flow in the SwimEx pool can be adjusted, offering the opportunity to increase the intensity of the workout.”

To watch the kickboard exercise video, click here. 

To learn more about the benefits of a swim-in-place pool, click here.

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