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The Belly Lab & swimming :

the right combination for a flat Belly

Swimming for a flat belly. THE BELLY LAB and swimming is the winning combination for having a great body and sculpting your belly, so today I’m taking you with me to throw you in the deep end!

swimming for flat belly

Do you want to take up a new sport and turn yourself into a real mermaid? Then I recommend SWIMMING. This sport is gentle, inexpensive and comprehensive, which can bring you many benefits. Swimming is the ideal complement for practicing TBL to easily shape your body, and your BELLY in particular. So how do you combine THE BELLY LAB and your aquatic training in the sea, swimming pool or a lake? Here are some of my tips, from the moment you choose your swimsuit until you leave the water. 

Before you jump into the water

Here is a little checklist to get this activity off to a good start:

– A swimsuit, of course! It’s time to indulge yourself and choose a nice one-piece that perfectly supports the chest, in which you will feel comfortable in your movements, and whose straps will not constantly fall off. 

– Swimming cap: you should know that swimming pools are demanding these more and more. It’s good to wear it for practical reasons to avoid getting your hair on your face when swimming, but it’s also hygienic.

– Goggles: you shouldn’t swim with your head out of the water because it’s very bad for your neck and prevents you from improving your breathing. 

Choose your goggles according to the shape of your face. if it’s small, do not hesitate to turn to the children’s department. Place the glasses on your face: they should stay stuck for a while. This is the guarantee of a perfect seal. You can also opt for the mini masks that don’t leave as many marks around the eyes. Finally, don’t forget to choose tinted glasses for outdoor swimming. Do not hesitate to go for a high-end model because this accessory is absolutely essential!

– Nose clip: yes, especially if you really aquaphobic.

– Plastic shoes: for walking in the locker room and protecting your feet.

– Hooded bathrobe, instead of a towel: you will have the feeling of being in a spa, it boosts your morale, and you will be completely bundled up to avoid the drafts of some swimming pools.

– Drink water. Carry at least a 1 litre bottle of mineral water with you. Contrary to popular belief, swimming makes you sweat and also makes you thirsty!

– Choice of beach or lake: make sure swimming is allowed and wait for a low tide, check on the movement of the currents, and finally, choose a quiet place that’s large enough to swim laps peacefully.

– Choice of swimming pool: Check out the link to the French Swimming Federation website below.

swimming for flat belly

Benefits of swimming and complementarity with THE BELLY LAB

First and foremost : if you start swimming and are unsure of yourself, don’t like putting your head underwater, and are maybe even aquaphobic >>> Stop and take lessons! <<<

Just like for the hypopressive exercises, you have to first acquire the basics [LINK TBL FOUNDATION] and develop a good technique so as not to hurt yourself and get all the benefits of the activity, which are: 

– Breathing: swimming is a very good complement to THE BELLY LAB because it allows us to work on our breathing and endurance, while helping improve lung capacity. I have already told you about the stomach vacuum technique used by free divers, and you can access this video on my TBL Mutual Aid and Support group, a THE BELLY LAB private group reserved for program members. 

– Gentle activity: I keep saying that the practice of sports that involve jumping is not recommended for our perineum. Swimming is one of the best sports in the world because it causes no shock and minimizes pain, you can let yourself be carried by the water and you spare your bones at the same time. Swimming is ideal for people with joint, tendon or muscle pain.

– Swimming is also a great way to start practicing sports, at any age and weight level. The horizontal position avoids adding extra weight on the joints and internal organs.

It improves the cardiovascular system and can help avoid various diseases in the long term.

Fresh water accelerates the production of serotonin, the hormone of happiness, and it tones the limbs and organs.

Water pressure: provides a micromassage and helps to drain all parts of the body.

Water has known stress relieving properties because it circulates vital energies, which will uplift you during practice and calm you afterwards, and helps build self-confidence. To hold your breath while immersed in water with the threat of going under is not easy for everyone. To those who do it, I say bravo! 

Swimming relieves heavy legs : I will tell you more about it in my next article. If you have blood circulation issues, you should know that swimming is an excellent solution to promote venous return.

– This activity has a positive effect on morale, so you can better prepare for your summer – if you haven’t gone away yet – or even extend it.

– Swimming allows you to isolate yourself internally: it’s impossible to chat with your girlfriend while you swim, so take the opportunity to concentrate on your gestures and on the present moment, to relax and take advantage of this “weightless” effect to recover your stomach, free from stress, in communion with your inner self.

Swimming is therefore an excellent stress reliever, because it releases endorphins during practice but also afterwards, and I am sure you will sleep like a rock that night.

– Energy expenditure is important: say goodbye to nasty toxins without even realizing it. 

– Refines the silhouette: swimming shapes the waist and hips, builds muscle on your back and provides relief, works on the stomach and strengthens the transverse. Isn’t that exactly what THE BELLY LAB offers you?

To practice TBL while swimming you should tighten the perineum very hard when you exhale. It takes a little concentration, but you’ll see that it will start happening automatically in the long term. 

– It will lengthen your body permanently, as in the TBL practice where I ask you to stretch yourself. Keep in mind the thread that “comes out” of your head and pulls you upwards: it’s the same for swimming, you take your head out of the water to catch your breath and lengthen the movement as you go back into the water.

– Finally, we develop our body coordination by working the upper and lower body together, or separately.

Swimming techniques for different needs. Set your goals!

You may want to work your arms, legs or back, the choice is yours. In any case, swimming is the right solution for sculpting every part of the body, as well as the body as a whole.

Perform the following swimming techniques depending on your needs and the areas you are targeting:

– Breaststroke: because of its piston-like movement imposed by pushing with your legs, it’s very good for intestinal transit. However, it should be avoided by people with neck problems.

– Crawl: you can alternate breaths every 2, 3 and 4 arm strokes. It’s very good for improving your breathing.

– Backstroke: it’s ideal to strengthen the transverse and it’s THE swimming technique recommended by physical therapists for people who suffer from back pain.

– Butterfly, for advanced students: very physically demanding, which allows the rib cage to expand even more.

Don’t forget to diversify your exercises depending on the areas you want to build:

– To strengthen the arms: use a pull-buoy (8-shaped float placed between the legs), pads (for hands or forearms) or webbed gloves.

– Conversely, practice with a board to concentrate on your legs. Also, try to alternate swimming speeds: endurance and interval training.

– If you are bored while swimming in the pool use a waterproof music player to stimulate yourself with music, preferably with a dynamic rhythm.

– Practice swimming as a family from an early age by bringing your newborn baby to infant swimming classes. During the session, mom can do her perineal exercises thanks to THE BELLY LAB.

swimming for flat belly

After practice

– In the shower: use a mild, pH neutral soap to rebalance your skin. [LINK TO SKIN ROUTINE ARTICLE]

– Rehydrate your body and your skin: you should drink after practice and also hydrate your entire body with cream. Take the opportunity to massage your stomach and congratulate it on a job well done.

– Stretching: to be done after the swimming pool and regularly during the day. Stretch your muscles and hold the position for a few seconds while tightening the perineum. 

Note that swimming is a very inexpensive activity, which you can practice in a municipal swimming pool or in a private club. 

Finally, more and more swimming pools are now treated with ozone, so it won’t feel like you’re working out inside a bottle of bleach anymore!  😊

Joëlle's word

There you have, my Bellies! I love the water: the sea, the pool, the baths… Water is life!

I hope you will jump in the water with my little tips and let yourself be sculpted by this life-giving element just as THE BELLY LAB sculpts your stomach and your psyche.