March 28, 2003

United States Masters Swimming Exercises Let You Tone at the Pool for Swimsuit Season

Spring has officially sprung. It's the season of joyous sunny days, but for some, spring also brings the terror of revealing a less-than-sleek physique plumped during the long, lazy winter.

To inspire men and women alike to strut their stuff this year, United States Masters Swimming (USMS) presents a group of exercises to help tone and strengthen bodies at the pool before swimsuit season strikes. The activities were compiled by Michael C. Collins, a triathlete, coach and chair of the USMS Coaches Committee, who coaches in Southern California, where swimsuits swagger year-round. USMS reminds you to check with your physician before beginning this or any new exercise regimen.

  1. Pull-outs build upper-body strength by using chest, shoulder and triceps muscles.
    • Start by placing hands on the deck, shoulder-width apart, in deep water. Pull your body straight up, keeping your elbows high.
    • Beginners can start by placing hands on the gutter instead of the deck while you gain upper-body strength.
    • Pull-outs can also be done in shallow water, progressing to deeper water. In shallow water, you can stand on the bottom of the pool and, if needed, jump up a bit to perform the pull-out. Gradually work up to deeper water.
    • This motion is a similar one to the movement of freestyle and butterfly strokes, where keeping elbows high is critical.

  2. Swimming with paddles tones the shoulders and uppers arms. Paddles help develop the swimmer's physique of broader shoulders, creating a toned