Want to tone your stomach the fun way? Swimming around will always be more appealing than doing crunches on the floor. So trade your runners for your swimsuit. Swimming is such an awesome form of exercise because it’s a full body workout that doesn’t make you feel like you’re working out. Learn what makes swimming the best exercise [link to article: Swimming for Weight Loss: What Makes Swimming the Best?] for weight loss and which stroke burns the most calories [link to: Which swimming stroke burn most calories]. But you’re here because you want a flat and toned tummy and you’re wondering how to tone your stomach with swimming. So, let’s dive into some exercises you can do that require you to use your core muscles.
How to Tone Your Stomach
1) The Pike
This exercise works both your abs and your arms. From a standing position in water up to your neck, pull your knees up to your chest. Lean back, extending and straightening both legs forward into a pike position. Your body should be in a “V,” with your bottom pointing toward the floor of the pool.
Hold this position, which will help tone your abs. Keep yourself afloat like you would while treading, using your arms. Push your arms backwards in circles or a figure ‘8’. Hold for a few seconds, rest, and repeat 10 times.
2) Kickboard Flutter Kicks
Keep arms outstretched, holding a kickboard in front of you to keep your upper body afloat and start kicking your feet. Scissor kick your feet front-to-back rapidly to help keep you afloat. Point your toes, keep your legs straight and keep your kicks small just below the surface of the water.
As you swim, imagine pulling your navel in toward your spine and away from the bottom of the pool. Repeat this movement for as long as you can do so comfortably and safely.
3) Dolphin Kick
Start with your arms outstretched in front of you, clasping your hands together or holding a kickboard.
Tighten your core muscles and move your body in a wave-like motion to propel yourself forward. First, push your chest downward while keeping your hips up, and then push your hips down while your upper body moves up. This may take some practice. Repeat this movement as you travel the length of the pool or until you feel fatigued and cannot safely continue the exercise.
4) Swim with a Pull Buoy
A pull buoy is a small piece of swimming equipment that helps your body stay afloat. You can find them in sporting goods stores.
Place a pull buoy between your thighs. This will float your hips and legs to the surface of the water. Begin swimming the freestyle, also known as the front crawl stroke. Keep your feet together and do not kick, allowing the buoy to keep your legs floating. This allows you to isolate your upper body during the exercise. Keep your core engaged to prevent your hips and feet from sinking. Travel the length of the pool, or until you feel too tired to continue.
5) Swim with an Ankle Band + Pull Buoy
An ankle band is another piece of swimming equipment used to train swimmers’ strokes and their ability to keep their hips afloat. You can also find an ankle band in most sporting goods stores. For a more challenging exercise, repeat exercise 4 listed above but this time place a strap around your ankles.
A Lifestyle Effort
Simply doing sit-ups or crunches doesn’t do much for belly fat unless you have an intensive cardio regiment and a lifestyle adjustment or change. Swimming is great in conjunction with your other efforts. Weight loss and toning requires a holistic approach to your health. Check out this great article, 20 Effective Tips to Loose Belly Fat. These helpful tips are backed by science, which is helpful in understanding the gravity of the lifestyle decisions we choose to make in our day to day lives. For example, it’s equally important to know why or how eating more fibrous foods, eliminating or cutting down on foods with trans fats, reducing stress etc. play a role in getting rid of that belly fat and toning your stomach.