Strength Training for Swimmer – Garage Strength

Strength Training for Swimmer

Strength Training For Swimmers

You have to understand all the different principles that go into becoming an elite swimmer. To be an elite-level sprinter, you need to know what it takes coming off the blocks. You have to be explosive and able to respond to a task-driven command to come off the blocks in a short timeframe.

As a swimmer, you also have to maintain good posture in the pool to set up high-quality stroke power output. High-quality stroke power output will help you have fewer strokes per lap which will help you swim faster.

Also understand that when swimming, there is no stretch-shortening cycle when you perform a flip turn. There is minimal energy storage because of water displacement. You need to remember that doing stretch-shortening cycle work, like rapid plyometrics, may not transfer well to flip turns. This isn’t to tell you to eliminate rapid plyometrics, just understand as an exercise they contribute more to the blocks than coming off the wall.

So what are the key concepts behind holding good posture, having high-quality power output in your stroke from your lats, and how can you hold good technique throughout the race?

To begin, you want to focus on leg power development. As a swimmer, you can do slow eccentric squats, pause back squats, walking lunges, power cleans, hang power cleans, and power snatches. If you do exercises that develop your leg power as a swimmer, you will come off the blocks as if you will hit your head off the flags. You can find all the evidence for the benefits of developing leg power in Caleb Dressel.

Your leg power development will also help with your kicking power. Leg power development will make your hips stronger and will also give you better drive off the wall. 

Leg power will improve your start, flip turn, and your kicking stroke. All of which will help you as a swimmer people farther forward.

The next concept is understanding dynamic trunk control and the role it plays in holding good posture in the pool. When you hold a solid posture in the pool, you will find it is easier to cycle your upper body. 

Dynamic trunk control is having good core stability and back stability which leads to better positioning in the water. With more core strength, your dynamic trunk control improves. Holding better positions in the water through dynamic trunk control allows you to raise your hips in the water during your strokes. In turn, you will have less leakage from your hips and glutes allowing the power to transfer better into your upper body swimming through the pull.

Exercises like hanging leg raises and walrus crawls are great exercises for swimmers and developing dynamic trunk control.

Another key concept you need to target as a swimmer is your upper body strength. Having more muscle mass allows for more neurological endings which lead to better innervation of your muscular structure. Developing better upper body strength in the lats helps your swimming.

You want to do exercises like rope climbs, sled pulls, dead hang pull-ups, and muscle ups to develop your upper body strength. 

There is even room for you to develop the pec muscles. Creating a more stable shoulder girdle will catalyze better performance from the shoulder to have greater power output with your swimming stroke. 

Exercises like pause dumbbell benches, seal rows, Duffin rows, miracle gros, one arm rows, and dumbbell external rotation all work. The exercises will improve your overall upper body strength and lead to better power output in the pool.

Finally, as a swimmer, you need to improve your strength endurance. Upper body strength endurance is imperative as a swimmer. Being able to hold a high percentage of your maximum power output over longer and longer times, you will be able to win more races. 

Holding a higher percentage of power output later on in the race is a must.   

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Yo, It's Dane

Welcome to the Garage Strength Blog, where it is my goal to provide you with the experience and knowledge I've gained in the strength and conditioning world over many years of learning from both successes and failures. I train elite-level athletes in a multitude of sports from the high school to professional levels, already producing 5 Olympics and 30+ National Champions. If you want to be the next champion I train, check out my strength programs below!

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