Strength Training – Train Your Body Outside of the Pool!
Summer is almost here! It’s time to get your body into tip-top swimmers’ shape! Although you may already know all of your swimming P’s and Q’s for while you’re in the pool, it’s important to do some land-based exercises to condition your body. You should complete a strength training program before swim season. Having a scheduled program where you slowly intensify your exercises is the safest way to strength train. Here are some simple strength training exercises to help get your swimming performance up to speed.
Squats help build and strengthen your leg muscles, strengthen your core, and improve balance. Because squats target multiple leg muscles (hamstrings, quads, glutes, calves), they give you a stronger kick in the pool. Therefore, they help increase your swimming speed!
For swimmers, strong legs are essential! Lunges help improve leg strength. While squats train both legs at the same time, lunges train each leg individually. Because of this, lunges help increase your coordination and balance.
Having a strong core is key in swimming, so planks are a must! By doing planks, you’re strengthening your entire core, which includes the transverse abdominis, rectus abdominis, and obliques. Planks also help maintain proper core muscle alignment.
Just like planks, push-ups strengthen your core. However, push-ups also strengthen your upper body! Strengthening your upper body helps you better propel forward in the water. Additionally, a strong core helps you remain stabilized as you’re propelling. A strong upper body and a strong core go hand in hand for swimmers, so push-ups are the way to go!
Even though yoga may not be your first thought of what strength training for swimmers entails, it has amazing benefits! Yoga helps your body build flexibility and strength. Sometimes swimming can cause your muscles to get tight. Yoga offers your muscles much-needed relief. Yoga can even help improve your kick! This is because it gives the muscles in your ankles and feet an increased range of motion. Take some yoga classes! Try some yoga poses at home! It’s a relaxing way to boost your performance in the pool.
All you really need is yourself and your determination to strength train, but exercise machines can be helpful! If you have access to a gym or exercise machines, they can greatly help your strength training journey. Here are some of the most beneficial machines to help get your swim performance up to speed:
- Leg Press
- Row Machine
- Leg Extension Machine
- Calf Raise Machine
- Leg Curl Machine
- Back Extension Machine
Summer will be here before you know it! Try a few (or all!) of these strength-building activities before pool season is officially here. Build your strength on land, so you’ll be ready to perform in the pool!