I’m a big fan of dryland programs for swimmers of all ages. Swimming is a great sport but not all athletes get the benefits from it. If kids don’t have the skills to press on the water or the core strength to stay aligned then they will be severely limited in how fast they can
Perhaps most importantly dryland exercises will help swimmer be better all around athletes.
Masters swimmers and triathletes can benefit from a dryland program as well. Besides improving the performance in the water dryland training can reduce the risk of injury.
One mistake I’ve seen in a lot of dryland or weight lifting books for swimmers is they follow a traditional body builder format. This typically includes:
1. Isolated muscle work.
2. Dominated by 3 x 10 sets.
3. Majority of exercises are machine based.
4. At least an hour to compete a typical workout.
There is nothing wrong with this type of workout; unless you’re trying to improve performance in the pool. Dryland workouts for swimmers of any age should be short and concise. Most swimmers don’t have a lot of time to waste doing exercises that won’t help.
Here are five tips for dryland swimmers:
Focus on core, flexibility and the back. These three areas will improve performance and help prevent injuries, especially shoulder injuries.
Spend no more than 15 minutes with dryland exercises. If you’re a world class or elite swimmer you’re probably spending more time than this. But then, you’re probably not reading this article. Keep your workouts short and sweet.
Some swimmers may benefit from sport specific work. This may include exercises to: 1) develop a better streamline,2) a better vertical jump for pushing off walls and starts, 3) using bands to improve stroke mechanics.
Dryland swimming tip #4
Shoulder injuries can be treated and improved. However, it takes a lot of work and knowledge. Find a chiropractor or physiotherapist who specializes in soft tissue work. Don’t do overhead pressing, bench press or similar exercises.
Dryland swimming tip #5