Top Core Exercises for Snorkelers & Divers

Although buoyancy is the friend of divers and snorkelers while in the water, many injuries occur on land due to a lack of core strength, especially for divers who pack, carry and jump with a tank. Heavy loads on weak cores lead to poor posture, which eventually results in continuous strain on the soft tissue and spinal ligaments thus leading to injuries. A strong core results in faster production and coordination of the limbs, since all propulsive forces originate from a stable trunk. Here are some

Flutter Kicks
Purpose: Strengthens spinal extensors, glutes, hamstrings and stabilizes shoulder blades.
Lie on the stomach, with hands by the side, facing the floor. Lift the chest and arms off the ground, keep eye gaze on the mat. Lift the legs and continue to kick the legs up and down, similar to swimming in a pool. Complete 2 sets of 30 seconds. For more challenge complete on top of a BOSU.FlutterKicks

Plank with Leg Lift
Purpose: Strengthens core and upper body with a focus on hip extension (initiating movement from the hip to promote glute and pelvic strength)
Align the body into a plank position on the forearms or wrists. Draw the navel upward and engage the core and imagine the shoulder blades move toward the side of the ribcage. Bring feet together and lift the right leg off the ground and continue its repetitions. Complete 2 sets 6-10 reps on each leg. For more challenge, complete on top of a BOSU.PlankLegLift

Stability Ball Back Extension Swimmers
Purpose: Strengthen the core and spinal extensors while integrating rotational movement of the rib cage.
Place the ball under hips and top of the quads. For more stability, place feet on the wall. Lift and extend the back, while arcing your left arm and rotating your rib cage. Track the arms with the eyes. Arc back to center and repeat on the opposite side. Complete 2 sets of 8 reps on each side.SBBackExtensionSwimmer

Stability Ball Pike
Purpose: Strengthen the upper body and core simultaneously.
Come into a plank position on the ball with hands under shoulders and the ball under the knees. Exhale; lift the hips up to where an inverted “V” forms with the body. Return to center and complete 2 sets 15 reps.SB Pike

Pilates Double Leg Stretch
Purpose: Strengthen the core in a stabilized position while the limbs toward and away from the body.
Lie on the back with knees at 90 degrees and hands on the outside of the knees. Lift the shoulder blades off the ground and inhale. Exhale, push the arms and legs away from the body while keeping the head and neck lifted. Return back to the start and complete 2 sets 10-15 reps. For more challenge, complete on top of a BOSU.doublelegstretch2

BOSU Cross Crunches
Purpose: Challenge the core on an unstable surface and activate rotation with oblique movements.
Lie on your back on top of the BOSU with feet on the floor. Place fingers next to ears and exhale cross crunch your right elbow and simultaneously lift the left hip and bring the elbow and knee toward each other. Slowly, return to center and switch sides. Continue and repeat 2 sets, 8 reps on each leg.No BOSU? No problem, complete the same exercise on the floor.BOSUCrosscrunch1

BOSU Side Plank
Purpose: Stabilize the core, obliques and shoulder blade muscles.
Sit on your side and place your forearm on the BOSU. Lift the hips and keep the bottom arm at 90 degrees and shoulder away from the ears. Keep the “lifting” position in the arms and raise the top arm over the chest. Complete 2 sets of 20 second holds one each side.bosusideplank

Images Courtesy Elizabeth Kovar

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