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Dryland Workouts for Swimmers

Gini Grimsley
Apr. 13, 2023 / VASA Admin
Dryland Workouts for Swimmers

As the weather gets warmer, many people opt for cooler workouts that can be done inside and out, like swimming. Swimming has several benefits including decreased impact on joints, increased cardiovascular workload, and builds strength and endurance. However, many people hop in the water without preparing their bodies for the new exercise.

To get ready for swim season, several areas of the body need some additional training to make the most of your training.

The core is a huge component of moving the body through water. In addition to staying straight and stiff, the trunk also needs to be able to rotate side-to-side to allow the arms to reach forward in freestyle and backstroke and to extend in the butterfly stroke.

  • Core Exercises: Alternating med ball tosses and plank hip drops. Try 3 sets of 30 seconds each.



Shoulder stability is needed for each type of stroke: freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly. If the arm can’t get into an overhead position, the efficiency of each stroke decreases. Creating strength and stability around the shoulder joint, which is one of the least stable joints in the body based on its structure, is important to keep your shoulders feeling good and allow you to get more laps in during your workouts.

  • Shoulder Exercises: TRX I-Y pulls, dumbbell powell raise, single arm kettlebell snatch, and single arm lat pulldown. Do 3 sets of each exercised for 10-15 reps.



Hip flexor strength is the key to a strong kick. Most people think they have overly tight hip flexors, when in many cases they just need a little more strength. Walking more helps the hip flexors open, but to train for swimming, you’ll need to train with more external load to keep up with the demands of swimming.

  • Hip Flexor Exercises: TRX knee tucks, lying banded knee tucks, and plank flutter kicks. Complete 3 sets of each exercise for 30 seconds.



Glute strength helps offset the demands put on hip flexors. The glutes also help create a stronger kick off the wall during turns and help drive power through the core with each stroke. A little work to build up the backside of the body goes a long way to improving your swimming.

  • Glute exercises: Dumbbell kickstand RDL, single leg hip thrust, glute-focus 45-degree back extension. Complete 3 sets of 10-15 reps of each exercise.

Whether you’re swimming to switch up your cardio workouts, want to avoid the impact of land-based endurance training, or are training for an event, make sure you build strength in these muscle groups so your body is prepared and ready to go for summer swimming!