Yuliya Efimova basically went for a swim in her kitchen.
(Also read: Your Comprehensive Guide to Stay-Home Workouts)
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Efimova seems to have been working on her core stability and joint mobility in these workouts, says Claire Gray, ACSM, CPT, creator of The Mamatrainer app. During the countertop portion, “she’s practising different swimming strokes in a position that we call a reverse hyperextension that demands all of the stabilizing muscles in her trunk be firing for an extended period of time,” explains Gray. The isometric muscle contraction involved in Efimova’s workout can help build endurance strength through the abdominal and postural muscles as well as the glutes, notes Gray. With her unconventional floor exercises, Efimova was likely trying to promote joint mobility and laxity, adds Gray.
Before you try to ~go for a swim~ on your own kitchen counter, know that the moves in Efimova’s workout require a certain skill level. The countertop exercises are best left to advanced swimmers, says Gray. “I wouldn’t recommend the floor moves for anyone as the stress she is putting on her knee, ankle, and hip joints is likely to cause damage to anyone who doesn’t have naturally lax joints or flexibility,” she adds.
But even if you’re not on that level, you can still work on the skills that are important in swimming when you’re out of the pool. “Elite swimmers always have land exercises as part of their training repertoire,” explains Gray. “Using gravity and weights is crucial to helping build muscular strength that is required to propel your body through water.” She recommends incorporating squats, flutter kicks lying on your back, and any form of prolonged cardio.
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