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If you are anything like the majority of our population, you do not necessarily love doing housework. It is just a necessary evil that has to be done.
What I am talking about are the mundane tasks that we need to do on a regular basis such as vacuuming, wiping floors, washing dishes, dusting etc. etc.
Unfortunately, we do have to take part in our household chores otherwise it wouldn't be very fair to the other occupants of our home, would it?
What if I were to tell you though that you can improve your swimming, and even your overall health, whilst doing the household chores?
Would you change your attitude towards them or would you at least not find them so damn boring?
In most of my posts, I keep repeating that a strong core body is a necessity for good swimming technique.
Now, I am not talking about having a six-pack. That is just a silly goal and usually requires some dietary and muscle supplements to achieve or superior genetics :). (Nothing I really condone myself, but everyone is the master of their own body, so I won't lecture about that here.)
Furthermore, the mysterious term core body workout is not only about your ab muscles, but it is also much more than that. In laymen’s terms, a core workout includes muscles that span between your sternum and your hips, so they include the abs, hip flexors, obliques, diaphragm and many more.
There are many exercises in the gym which are performed to strengthen the core body and one of the exercise types utilizes a foot balance board.
A person stands on one or two legs on the balance board and performs certain exercise routines such as throwing a medicine ball, pulling on stretch cords or using dumbbells.
This extra balance difficulty adds the needed strengthening of the core to the particular exercise.
In other words, having a strong core could be loosely compared to having a nice straight body and good balance when you stand on one foot.
The core body plays an important role in keeping your swimmer body nicely aligned while you swim and thus decreases the drag your body has in the water.
Whether you swim on your back, side or front, the small and large muscles in your core keep you straight. So, the stronger the core, the better swimmer you will be.
This is also one of the reasons it is quite difficult to learn to swim for some people as they do not know how to engage the right core body muscles to keep them horizontally and vertically aligned.
This is especially true when a person is learning how to float on their back and cannot get their hips to the surface.
Also, due to weak core muscles, many people swim in a snake-like pattern with their hips going side to side.
Let's get back, however, to the house cleaning chores and how to make them more interesting and at the same time improve your swimming ability.
Similar to the gym, during our boring house cleaning chores, you could utilize the same balance board concept.
Obviously, you are not going to stand on a balance board while you are cleaning as you probably need to move around the house to do that.
However, you could vacuum while you stand and jump around on one foot. You could have an exercise routine which includes left foot, left-hand vacuuming in one room, left foot, right hand in another room etc etc.
The same goes for washing dishes.
Here you could actually use a balance board, but standing on one foot works very well as well.
The instability in your body you generate by taking one foot off the ground forces you to work a lot of different muscles that you wouldn't normally engage in everyday life.
These muscles are crucial to the stability of your joints and to the strength of your core.
As with any exercise you perform, having good posture while strengthening your core is a must, so next time you are cleaning the floor, vacuuming, doing dishes or performing some other mundane task at home, just think "core body workout" to spice up your housework.
Perhaps it won't be as boring as before since you now have a more noble goal of health instead of just getting the dirt out :).
And to top it off, your better or worse half will thank you for doing your part.