No matter what your skill level is in the pool, there is always room to improve your strength – not necessarily your body strength, but your core strength. When you swim, you engage your core with every movement. The combined movement between your core muscles and arm muscles allow you to generate more force towards your strokes.
Moving your arms and legs faster doesn’t make you a better or faster swimmer. The true power comes from your core. If you have a strong core, your speed and accuracy will increase and it’s almost guaranteed you will swim faster.
Strengthening your shoulders is also important outside the water to support shoulder health and maintain full range of motion.
Here are five exercises which should be incorporated into your training schedule a few times a week. Doing 15-20 reps each and hold the planks for at least 30 seconds – work up to a minute if possible.
1. Bicycle Crunches challenge your torso, abs, and legs to work together to rotate and move your body throughout the exercise making it one of the best core blasting exercises you can do.
2. Russian Twists will strengthen your side abs and obliques. You are constantly shifting from side to side during Backstroke and Freestyle swimming. Sit up straight with your legs bent at about 90 degrees. Then twist your body slowly to the left and then slowly to the right. Make sure your head stays aligned with your body.
3. Dumbbell Shoulder Press Form will help strengthen your shoulders. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and sit on a bench with a back support. Raise the dumbbells into place with your palms facing forward. Slowly lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position.
4. Pushups help increase your chest and triceps strength. Tricep strength can make a huge difference in your stroke, especially at the end of your freestyle pull when you extend your arm back past your hips.
5. Planks are a must for every swimmer to build core strength. Try side planks to work all sides of your abs and shoulders.
These are just a small sampling of dry land exercises to help improve your swim. There are a lot of different exercises that you can incorporate into your training that will help you strengthen your core. Want a more detailed plan to incorporate into your training?
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