While much of a swimmer’s training regimen happens in a pool, it’s important to think outside of the pool for other training techniques. A competitive swimmer needs to step into the gym where special weight training techniques will help them develop and gain an edge on their competition. A swimmer will be able to improve their speed and stamina while in the water.
What Types of Weight Training is Ideal for a Swimmer?
The ideal way for a swimmer to train is through the same motions they make in the water. This will help the muscles that are utilized during the stroke become stronger. The main components used in swimming are the arms and legs. The arms pull them through the water and the legs kick to propel them forward. Most swimmers have a very developed upper body, including a strong torso, shoulders, and back. There are six different types of swim strokes, each of which requires a great deal of strength.
What Weight Training is Good for the Upper Body?
A cable rotational front pull copies the same motion that one uses in the front crawl stroke. A pulley machine with a grip handle is used in the kneeling position. The hand will come across the body as it is pulled down. A series of repetitions are preformed on each arm. This exercise will also help build the interior rotator cuff muscles. The cable rotational rear pull is performed in the standing position using the lower pulley. Start with the hand at the opposite hip and pull up and out. A series of repetitions are performed on each arm. This exercise will also help build the exterior rotator cuff muscles. Training with a medicine ball is an ideal way to strengthen and develop the pectoral and latissimus muscles that are used in the front crawl strokes. A partner and a medicine ball is needed. This exercise is performed laying on the back with the knees bent. With arms extended behind the head, hold the ball in one hand and throw as hard as possible across the body. Keep the head and back straight when the ball is thrown. Repeat a series of reps on each arm.
What Weight Training is Good for the Legs?
Hip flexion and extension kicks are designed to help improve legs kicks. They will strengthen the glutes and hamstrings. Hip flexions can be performed with a pulley machine with an ankle strap. Lift the leg forward to about 30 degrees. Do a series of reps on each leg. The hip extension kicks are performed in the same manner, except the legs go back. Do a series of reps on each leg.
The author of this article is a contributor to Swimtown Pool Supplies, an online pool and spa company carrying more than 3,000 products.