Benefits: This exercise focuses on several areas that are beneficial to the swimmer. As a strengthening exercise it targets the pectoralis major and triceps. It activates all of the upper-body and core muscle groups for stabilization throughout the exercise. Posterior deltoid strength, arm strength, and trunk and pelvic stability are all essential for all strokes. It is a great way to overload the muscles without loading up Olympic weights. You have the option of performing each exercise individually, but I recommend combining both together.
Execution of Balance Pushup: Standing behind the ball, place hands on the ball at shoulder width. Shuffle your feet back until your chest is over the ball and you are supported on your toes. Bend at the elbows to lower your chest to the ball, slowly lowering to 90 degrees at the elbows. Maintain a strongly contracted core. Do not let hips relax and sag. Keep head, shoulders and hips in alignment. Return to beginning position. Repeat 8 – 10 times. Advanced Version: In the pushup position, lift one foot off the floor and work to balance as you lower and push up.
Execution of Reverse Balance Pushup: Standing behind the ball, crouch down and place your abdominals on top of the ball. Roll forward until your hands reach the floor in front of the ball. Walk your hands out until only your feet remain on top of the ball. Contract the core and hold a strong link – your body should be in a straight and firm line from feet to head. As you bend at the elbows to lower your chest to the floor, maintain your balance on the ball. Keep your torso facing square to the floor. Advanced Version: In the pushup position, lift one foot off the ball and work to balance as you lower and push up. Keep hips and shoulders in alignment.