A quick tip this week to help you develop your core stability when you swim:
Imagine a string of elastic or licorice that is attached at the top to your rib cage and at the bottom to your pelvis. As you swim keep that elastic stretched by lifting your chest up and away from your pelvis as much as possible:
Swimming in a tall stretched position uses your core muscles in the right way as you swim, keeping you aligned and straight in the water. You don't have to be super-strong through the core to do this well, it's more about using your core muscles in the right way than outright strength. Ironically it's often the swimmers who spend a long time on dry land core-conditioning who flex the most through the middle when they swim!
Try and get in the habit of adopting this stretched position when you push-off from the wall at the beginning of every lap. Adopt a strong torpedo, stretch through your core and as you start your stroke maintain the stretch all the way down the pool.
A stable core will have you tracking straighter through the water and also develop your body rotation - both very important for an efficient freestyle stroke. It will also rotate your hips forward slightly, lifting your bum and legs higher in the water - great if you suffer from 'sinky legs syndrome'.
Stretch that elastic the next time you swim, we're confident you'll notice the difference straight away!