Using your Core: My training update for USMS Nationals + Sample Workout

I’m two weeks into my four-week training cycle leading up to USMS Nationals in Mesa, Arizona. My goal was to get in the water 3 times a week in preparation for the meet. So far, I’ve only managed to swim twice each week.  Additionally, I have focused on emphasizing core stabilization in my out-of-water training. Because I am on such a constrained training cycle, I’m targeting areas where I can make the most gains.

The abdominal muscles are very strong and tend to be the first to atrophy. At the same time they can take a substantially larger workload than most other muscles because of their strength. As a result your core often needs the most work but it can also tolerate a heavy workload! Your core strength brings subtle but crucial changes to the way you swim in the water. For instance, my back position in the water is substantially better. As my core gains strength, my lower back flattens helping me sit more efficiently in the water (related to the concept of swimming downhill).

Yesterday’s Workout:

400 free/back warm up

400 easy warm up kick

4×100 body dolphin kick on back with Zoomers @ 1:40

Try to emphasize a full range of motion and power driven from the core. Zoomers are great in forcing you to engage your core while maintaining a higher kick tempo as if you were kicking without fins.

100 easy/loosen

4 x (3 x 50 Breaststroke + 1 x 50 Easy Freestyle)

All 50s @ 60. Descend the 50’s Breaststroke 1-3 with the third at 100% effort. Rounds 3 & 4 swim breaststroke with a dolphin kick using Zoomers.

200 easy warm down