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Digital Subscriptions > Outdoor Swimmer > July 2018 > STRAIGHT TO THE CORE


Combat age-related muscle loss with these strength training exercises from Body Intensive Trainer Ali Phesse


It’s just the arms and legs that propel you through the water, right? Well to a certain extent, but in fact the arm acts as an anchor that allows your body to pass it and move forward, and the legs are more about correcting body position, preventing drag and driving rotation. What many swimmers don’t realise is that it’s the core that is the body’s powerhouse: it directly affects your ability, strength and stability.

The stronger your core the stronger your streamline position and your ability to hold it for longer. A strong core also allows you to rotate more powerfully; if it’s not strong you will not get the power transfer to drive those arms and legs.

It’s not just building a strong core that is the reason to do strength training. Generally, age-related muscle loss begins once you hit 40 and the process accelerates after about the age of 50. Not only do you start to see postural change, your coordination is also affected by changes in muscle strength, your gait changes, your metabolic rate slows down and you lose stability and balance; weak muscles also make you feel tired and response times can be affected.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

FIT FOR LIFE One of the great things about outdoor swimming is that it can be done by people of all ages. Whether it is wild swimming with your kids or entering races in the super vet category, swimming can be part of your life whatever your age. Our July issue has a Fit for Life theme. As we swim through the ages we look at how we can encourage more young people to swim in the open water, how we should adapt our training as we get older, how one school transformed its swimming lessons and how we can use strength training to combat age-related muscle loss. Plus, we meet swimmers of all ages to discuss their relationship with swimming outdoors.