a.X.i.s has put together our core training routine and brings in a new challenge for elite swimmers. Armadillos are core exercises that tie in your lower abs to your hip flexers that drive your kick. Most swimmers that have a great core try these for the first time and can’t do them. This is because they don’t tie core training into their lower body. Joel Elber is the swimmers in the images below helping me show you this exercise. check out his blog also on WordPress.

The goal in the exercise is to do it SLOW and CONTROLLED with a PERFECT body line. Image 1 Joel  flattens his line by rolling his hips up slightly to allow his belly button to be pushed to the ground and get rid of the arch in his lower back. When that is complete, in image 2 Joel’s partner places his hands on Joel’s knees and resists very lightly as he bring his knees to his chest slowly without losing that flat back. The more advanced should pull knees all the way to the chest. Image 3 shows how far your knees should go.

After his knees are all the way up, he slides his hands next to the ground all the way to a streamline like in image 4. Image 5 is where  the challenge begins!! Joel’s partner then pulls on his knees to rock him up. From image 4 to 5 your goal is to move only when your partner pulls you. DON’T let your knees move without your upper body moving also.  This motion is controlled by the partner pulling. It should take at least 8 seconds to pull you all the way up.

Below are images 6 through 10.  Image 6 is the completion of the roll up and your partner will let go. Image 7  shows a flat back straight from the fingers to the hips like you were on image 4. The legs will also straighten slowly to 6 inches from the ground.

Image 8 shows Joel rotate his body left holding his line. Image 9 is showing Joel rotating now right. and Image 10 shows the completion of the exercise slowly moving back down to your start position.

Beginners:This is an advanced exercise. If you can’t do this in a streamline start with a crunch instead at image 4 bringing your elbows to your knees while holding your head. have your partner pull you slowly to the top and when you get there then do a streamline for your rotations. When you can do 6 of these in a row you should move to a streamline.

Advanced:When you can do at least 6 streamlined armadillos in a row, to make it even harder have your partner pull on only one knee when pulling you up. Try not to let your body twist.


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