Monday, April 14, 2014

The key to great abs

My weekly abs workout is usually summed up with this ... swimming. :-)

Also, my abs are nothing so great. These two pieces of information are perhaps related. Also, I never pass up birthday cake.

But Thursday in Masters Swimming they had us do 2- 100s of butterfly kick with fins (thank goodness).
This is Michael Phelps ... not me.

Announcement. Amy (that's me) doesn't know how to swim the butterfly stroke. It's true. But I'm working on it. I do drills and one of these days before I'm 100 I'll probably be able to swim a 25 butterfly without drowning. But today is not that day.

So about 10 meters in the coach gives me a tip (because I'm undoubtedly doing it wrong and look like if I wasn't holding onto the kick board I might drown) push down (into the water) more with my bellybutton. Okay then.

First there was some floundering while I tried to remember where my bellybutton was. I mean I know where it is but to figure out what that meant with this particular maneuver took some finagling. And once I think I figured that out. Not the rib cage - the bellybutton - and was concentrating on that movement. Two things happened.
Not a terribly helpful diagram of what I should be looking like when I do butterfly. Thankfully there is no digital or film evidence of my flounderings.

1. My butt came up out of the water with this new kick push the belly down and foreward thing. I think that's the plan but I can't be sure.
2. Many more muscles in my abdomen were engaged than perhaps has ever happened at one time before.

I slowly made it through the first 100 and started the second 100 and my newly crazily engaged ab muscles were seriously screaming in agony.


So, while I see about 100 ads a day in various publications for how to get great flat abs I've never seen one suggest go out and do 1000 yards a day butterfly kick. But I bet that would really work. That and occasionally eating smaller amounts of the birthday cake perhaps.


  1. It took me all the way through this post to figure out that butterfly kick is what our swim school calls "dolphin kicks" and yes, it looks like a hat fab workout. Maybe I should do it!

    1. "Hat fab" otherwise known as "hard"

    2. Hat fab = hard. I'm gonna have to remember to work that into conversation at some point. I think dolphin kick is probably the correct term actually. And yes it is hat fab.

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  3. yesterday, my kids were asking about the butterfly and I told them I don't know how to do it well. I just look like someone flailing in the water about to drown. Their answer: "yeah, you do kind of look like that". But I never thought of it as an ab workout ... maybe that will entice it do actually work harder on the kicks!