Get Stronger For Swimming

Swimming Strength Training

If you want to improve your performance in swimming, you should incorporate weight training sessions in your program.

A well-planned weight training program for swimmers will strengthen your muscles while increasing your levels of flexibility, agility, mobility and conditioning.

The 5 Best Exercises For Swimmers

For swimming, you should use exercises that build strength without sacrificing functionality.

These exercises should have a carry-over effect to the efficiency of your stroke, body mechanics and technique.

Swimmers generally focus on their shoulders, back and abdominal muscles or core section.

A customised weight training program for swimmers should include the following exercises:

1. Power Clean

The Power Clean is a multi-joint, compound exercise that builds explosive power and requires the swimmer to coordinate the muscles of the legs, hips, back and shoulders.

The Power Clean works the entire range of motion of the shoulders, upper back and activates the core section to maintain stability.

Target Muscle Groups – Legs, Hips, Back, Shoulders, Abs

Suggested Work Load – 70% of 1-Rep Max x 6 sets x 3 reps; rest 2 minutes between sets

2. Cable Squat Rows

You can improve the range of motion by simply using the bottom setting of the cable and changing the handle into a rope.

Every time you squat up alternate your arm formation from an “I” to a “Y” then a “T”.

Use a weight that allows you to follow through the entire range of motion.

Target Muscle Groups – Legs, Hips, Back, Shoulders, Abs

Suggested Work Load – 4 sets x 40 seconds; rest 90 seconds between sets

3. Rope Slams/Battle Ropes

Most gyms have weighted ropes which are great for improving flexibility and conditioning. When using Rope Slams for swimming, use 2 versions: inside circle and outside circle.

Target Muscle Groups – Shoulders, Upper Back, Abs

Suggested Work Load – 4 sets x 40 seconds; rest 90 seconds between sets

4. Kipping Pull Ups

Kipping Pull Ups are an explosive version of the traditional pull up.

It allows a more complete range of motion, greater shoulder rotation and a stronger contraction at the top. Kipping replicates the trunk motion of swimmers.

Target Muscle Groups – Shoulders, Upper Back, Abs

Suggested Work Load – 4 sets x 10 reps; rest 2 minutes between sets

5. Medicine Ball V- Ups

Medicine Ball V-Ups is a great abdominal exercise for swimmers because it activates the rectus abdominis, the transverse abdominis and the hip flexors which are all important for swimming.

The medicine balls adds resistance and improves shoulder flexibility

Target Muscle Group – Abs, Hips, Shoulders

Suggested Work Load – 4 sets x 10 reps; rest 2 minutes between sets

It’s no coincidence that the best swimmers in the world have the most powerful physiques.

Michael Phelps’ wide muscular back, rounded shoulders and chiseled six-pack was not just a by-product of good genetics but a dedicated work ethic and grueling sessions in the gym.

Put in work in the gym with these 5 exercises and watch your powered-up strokes cut down your best time in swimming.