Doing a complementary workout outside of the pool could seriously boost speed, strength and endurance when it comes to getting your swim on. Plus, it could help to prevent any niggles or injuries keeping you out of the water.
“Building strength, flexibility, endurance and muscle power is the key to helping a swimmer become fast and efficient, and remain injury-free,” says swim coach Marsha el-Hage
“Gym- based training should be an essential part of any swimmer’s training.”
HOW TO DO IT: Follow the routine, performing the allocated number of sets and reps for each move before moving on to the next one.
KIT YOU’LL NEED: • Barbell • Bench • 2 x dumbbells • Medicine ball • Stability ball
STABILITY BALL SIDE CRUNCH
Areas trained: STOMACH, SIDES MARSHA SAYS: “Strengthening the core muscles helps you maintain form during your swim” Technique:
Facing sideways, position the ball under your hip with legs extended out so your feet are braced against the bottom of a wall.
* Place both your hands behind your head and lift up. Then lower back down slowly.
* Repeat allotted reps on the other side to complete a set.
BEGINNER: 15 reps per side INTERMEDIATE: 2 x 15 reps per side (Rest for 60 secs between sets) ADVANCED: 3 x 15 reps per side (Rest for 60 seconds between sets)
Areas trained: QUADS, BOTTOM, CALVES MARSHA SAYS: “This exercise is designed to boost the power required for the dive start as well as the push-off from the wall”. Technique
Stand, holding a barbell across your shoulders.
* Squat down, bending at your knees and hips.
* Lower down into a squat position.
* Push through your heels to return to a standing position and repeat the movement.
BEGINNER: 3-5 x 5 reps INTERMEDIATE: 4 x 5 reps ADVANCED: 5 x 5 reps. Rest for 60 secs between sets
Areas trained: TRICEPS, SHOULDERS MARSHA SAYS: “Triceps aid in stroke speed, propulsion under the water and the exit part of the stroke.”
* Sitting on a bench, place your hands either side of you and lower yourself down almost to the floor.
* Push up to extend your arms.
* Make sure your back is close to the bench and repeat.
BEGINNER: 3x10reps INTERMEDIATE: 3 x 15 reps ADVANCED: 3 x 20 reps Rest for 60 seconds between sets
Areas trained: LOWER BACK, HIPS MARSHA SAYS: “This engages the muscle groups in the legs that aid the kick, and strengthens the lower back and core to keep the body aligned.” Technique:
Lying on your back, place your hands under your bottom for support.
* Lift your head and shoulders off the ground and look at your feet.
* Lift your legs 30cm off the ground, pointing your toes, and kick your legs in small flutter-like movements.
BEGINNER: 2 x 30 secs INTERMEDIATE: 2 x 60 secs ADVANCED: 2 x 90 secs Rest for 30 secs between sets
Areas trained: SHOULDERS, TRICEPS, BACK MARSHA SAYS: “Stronger upper body muscles will prevent injury and help you keep good technique for longer” Technique:
Hold a dumbbell in each hand.
* Raise your arms out to the side, palms facing down, to around shoulder height. Then lower slowly.
* For the next rep, raise your arms directly in front of you, with your palms facing down. Then lower your arms slowly to the starting position. BEGINNER: 2 x 12-15 reps; INTERMEDIATE: 3 x 12-15 reps ADVANCED: 3 x 21-24 reps.Rest for 60 secs between sets
Areas trained: SIDES, STOMACH, LOWER BACK MARSHA SAYS: “This strengthens the torso and boosts flexibility, which will enable you to rotate strongly through the water, causing less drag.” Technique:
Sit on the ground, holding a medicine ball with your arms extended straight out in front of you.
* Bending your knees, and leaning slightly backwards, create a V-shape between your torso and your knees.
* Keeping your back straight, rotate to your left, then your right. This should be a slow, controlled motion.
BEGINNER: 2 x 30 secs INTERMEDIATE: 3 x 30 secs ADVANCED: 4 x 30 secs. Rest for 30 secs between sets