The current pandemic and stay at home orders given to all Ontarian's can be described a variety of ways from strange, stressful, and emotionally exhausting. During this uncertain time, the importance of exercise cannot be stressed anymore but how can we maintain this when we are told to remain in the confines of our houses?
It’s normal for us to think that we would be burning off some of this pandemic stress and pent-up negative emotions by heading to the gym, going to a HIIT class, or jumping in the pool. Though these times have us feeling more lethargic and with lower self-esteem and motivation to exercise our bodies. Fear not SEAL Swimming has come up with the top 10 ways you can stay fit and healthy this pandemic season.
So, this may seem the most obvious of workouts, but sometimes the most obvious are the best, jogging or running delivers some of the best and most potent aerobic workout to burn calories, enhance endurance, improve circulation throughout the body and of course breathing.
Running on soft surfaces also has the ability to build leg muscles and increase joint stability, which will increase the strength in your legs, for those powerful kicking motions. There is one possible caveat and that is that if you are noticing any joint or ligament pain, we recommend you choose a lower impact exercises such as brisk walking.
A lesser-known fact of swimming is that when a swimmer is completing a lap and turning around, they push off the wall and thus are completing a full squat. This is why daily repetition of 50 squats a day can help with improving on the explosiveness element of swimming which will help rack up faster times and strike a new personal best.
A bonus tip that we would like to suggest is that everyone who is more experienced in squat training adds extra resistance or even adds some weighted dumbbells to make it that much harder. If you are able to take these two approaches and them to your daily exercise routine, you will be able to see the results clearly, when the swimming pool is open.
3) Hip Bridges
Now for some varied and isolated workout positions, the use of hip bridges is not only an incredible workout for your lower abdominal muscles and hip flexors, but it also can assist in increasing your swimming speeding by building your hamstrings with and push off strength. A step by step tutorial is shown by @get.fit.ali to see the proper technique.
For those not on social media, we instruct you all to lie on your back with your arms at your sides, keep the soles of your feet and your shoulders on the floor, lift your glutes until your spine is straight, hold, then slowly descend.
The next workout will also target and activate your core quite significantly through the use of your abdominal muscles at once! For those of you who aren’t familiar with this movement it begins with keeping your feet pressed into the ground, raise yourself onto your elbows. It is crucial that you don’t stick your butt in the air or arch your back inwards. You want your body to form a straight line from your ankles to shoulders. Suck your belly button in towards your spine to fully engage your core. Now this will activate your core and provide you with more balance and stability in every stroke.
The Superman movement is not only the name of what of our favour characters it is also an intense exercise that follows the motion of Superman. The Superman pose is useful for improving posture and building back muscles and glutes. Lie down on your stomach and stretch your arms straight out above your head. Flex your glutes and tighten your stomach, then lift your right arm and left leg. Hold, lower your limbs in a controlled fashion, then do the other arms and leg.
6) Jumping rope
Another incredible cardio workout skipping or jumping rope. It’s a classic workout that can be done by all ages and fitness levels. This is one of the more fun cardio workouts which improves heart health and circulation, builds stamina, and works your calf muscles and core, as well as your reflexes, which in the long term will help you swim for longer and faster.
7) Medicine Ball
Not exactly an exercise but the use of a medicine ball in all of your future workouts is a great way to build a strong core that swimmers need. Medicine balls can be thrown and caught, making for explosive movements that strengthen the muscles.
Do these exercises on your own, or feel free to grab a partner but don't forget about your v-ups, sit-ups with or without toss, Russian Twists, and the Overhead Slam!
8) Lateral pillar bridge
This exercise opens up your hips and improves your power and rotation in the water. Lie on one side, keeping your body in a straight line, with your feet stacked and your elbow under your shoulder. Thrust your hip up off the floor to make a straight line from shoulder to ankle. Hold it for a few seconds.
These are some of the most effective exercises you can do during this stay-at-home order in Ontario. However, for those of you that are looking for more varied and condensed workouts there are a number of options that will allow you to keep up with your fitness goals.
Subscription based apps like Nike Training Club, Gymshark, and Peloton are now offering free at-home workout videos, live classes, and training programs, as well as tips from trainers and experts. Remember exercise doesn’t just keep your muscles fit and your cardiovascular system healthy, it even boosts your immune system as well.