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Swimming the freestyle stroke tones your abs and glutes.
Many people think an ab workout means doing endless sets of crunches. While the land-based exercise can be an effective method for strengthening your stomach muscles, it's not the only way. Take to the water and work out your abs in the pool to tone and strengthen while having fun and staying cool. Swimming laps, treading water and doing a variety of exercises in the pool can give your abs -- and whole body -- a great workout.
Swim laps of freestyle, butterfly or backstroke. All of these strokes work the core muscles, which include your abs. Swimmers engage their core to keep their body straight during each pull of the arms. Breaststroke is the only stroke that does not give you an abdominal workout, although it can tone the chest muscles.
Tread water, keeping your head above the pool's surface. Stand in the shallow end, then bend at the hips and lift your legs up straight to form a V-shape with your body. Scull with your arms for 30 seconds. A K-position tread is effective, too. Move to the deep end where you can't touch the bottom of the pool. Point your toes and lift one leg so it's parallel to the pool floor. Move your hands in circles to stay afloat for 30 seconds.
Do dolphin kicks in the shallow end or the lap lane. Hold on to the side of the pool or a kick board if you're going to do a moving kick drill. Extend your legs out straight behind you, keeping your knees and ankles together. Tighten your stomach muscles and lift your hips. Bend your knees and kick down to elevate your hips. The result is your lower body undulating in a wave motion. Keep your upper body still when you kick.
Practice squats in the pool using a kick board as your base. Stand on the board in the shallow end of the pool. Keep your back straight and bend your knees until your toes are directly over your knees and your thighs are parallel to the pool floor. Hold for up to 30 seconds. Give yourself plenty of space for this exercise. As you tire, your footing can become less secure and the kick board might pop out of the water.
Grab a beach ball and hug it to your chest. Perform a series of otter rolls. Begin on your stomach with your legs together and straightened. Using your stomach muscles, shoulders and legs, start rolling to the left and make a full revolution until you are back on your stomach in one single motion. Roll for 30 seconds if you are able without getting dizzy.
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