7 exercises you can do at home to strengthen your body for swimming!
Whilst the country remains in lockdown and even the most enthusiastic swimmers remain without a pool to train in, there are still many exercises you can do at home to strengthen your body for when you are able to return to the pool again. Strengthening your core, upper-body, legs, mobility and core will prove hugely beneficial in the pool or in open water.
Here are seven exercises we recommend for swimmers looking to strengthen whilst at home.
Skipping is a great exercise for strengthening legs and to improve body positioning for the pool. Try to avoid using your arms too much and isolate most of the movement to your legs.Try also to keep a good rhythm. This is great to use as a warm-up exercise at home. Try going for 60 seconds, 8-10 times.
Mountain climbers help build leg explosion, which is vital for strong pool performance. Not only is it good for resistance leg work but it also improves your swim positioning too. You need to engage your arms, legs and core similarly to when you are in the pool. Try a combination of 60 seconds skipping followed by 30 mountain climber, 5-8 sets.
The pectoral and triceps muscles are integral for strength in the pool and open water. The pectoral strength allows you to have a good catch in the water as well as achieve a good length per stroke. The tricep muscles are key in helping you finish each stroke with acceleration and power. Try working these muscle groups a couple of times during the week if not more. Push-ups are a simple yet effective exercise for resistance training for the triceps, pectoral and core muscles. Try 10 sets of 10 reps.
Another simple yet effective exercise, engaging your core and helping to maintain a good body position in the pool. Once in the plank position make sure your body remains straight, engaging your core for as long as you can. For beginners try 6 sets of 10 seconds, gradually building to more as you strengthen your core.
This exercise is great for swimming, with good body rotation helping to create a more efficient stroke and faster speeds. Sit down with both legs raised, twist your hips while holding a medicine ball, or make-shift weights. Extend your body as much as possible to feel the benefits more. Try 6 sets of 20 seconds.
For those looking to increase their speed, try out some squat jumps. These can be done using only your body weight, but you can also add some small weights to progress. This will help you explode from the starting blocks and the walls after a tumble turn. These will work your quads, calf, and glutes. Try 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps.
As you swim, you use the left and right parts of your body in unison, particularly during the front crawl and backstroke - your right arm is being used in conjunction with your left leg. Knee superman’s help with co-ordinating your right and left to move at the same time, while highlighting weaker sides that could use some additional strengthening. This exercise works your arms, legs, abs and glutes.
Starting on all fours, left your left leg and right hand up. Hold the position for a few seconds, then repeat on the other side. Try 3-4 sets of 10 reps on each side.