By Aquatic Personal Trainer Sydney Wolfe
Swimming offers pretty much everything you could want from a workout. It incorporates both cardio and resistance training without putting excessive strain on your joints. But just because you’re an aficionado in the pool doesn’t mean you’re particularly strong on land. The reverse is also true: those who solely exercise on solid ground will likely struggle when working out in the water.
No matter which camp you’re in, the importance of cross-training cannot be understated; well-rounded athletes are born from exercise routines with lots of variety. Up your cross-training game with this half aquatic, half dry land total body resistance workout to help you become a faster swimmer and gain strength and endurance in and out of the pool.
Repeat routine for 1-3 sets
Advanced: Add 10 reps/seconds to each exercise with each new set (i.e. perform each exercise for 20 reps or 20 seconds in your second set, then 30 reps or 30 seconds in your third set).
Bear Shoulder Taps
(A) Get down on all fours, keeping your knees elevated off the ground and bent at 90-degree angles. Your arms should be straight but not locked and your palms should be directly beneath your shoulders. (B) Keeping a flat back and a tight core, lift one hand up to tap the opposite shoulder, then lower your hand back down to its starting position and repeat on the other side.
(A) Facing the wall of the pool, place your hands on the edge, forming 90-degree angles at the elbows. (B) Press through your palms and straighten your arms to lift your upper body out of the water, then lower back to starting position. Try not to kick your feet to assist with the press-up – your strength should come from your triceps.
(A) Lay on your back with your feet flat on the ground. The further you stretch your legs out, the more challenging the exercise will be. (B) Using your core and hinging at the hips, raise your upper body until you are sitting in an upright position, then lower back down to your starting position. The placement of your hands is up to you, but try not to rock your arms to help boost you into the upright position – use your core muscles instead.
While in the water, place your hands on the edge of the pool. Allow your body to float horizontally and kick as rapidly as you can, gripping the wall to hold yourself steady.
Try adding an explosive jump squat each time you re-enter the pool for a lap.
(A) Get down on all fours with your legs outstretched, forming a straight line from your head to your heels. Your hands, elbows, and shoulders should form one straight, vertical line. (B) Begin by bending through the elbows, lower yourself to the ground, then push through your palms to return to starting position. Throughout the movement, keep your back straight and look down toward the ground to avoid neck strain.
Vertical Dolphin Kicks
While in the water, put your feet together and straighten your legs so that your body is upright. Hinging at the hips and knees, swing your legs forward and back like a dolphin tail, using your core and leg muscles to propel your body upwards and keep your head above the water. Keep your hands elevated above the water and try to keep your chest and head as still as possible as you kick.