This strength and conditioning workout will improve your swimming skills

Master this workout and watch your swimming skills benefit, says Amanda Khouv.   

FROM powering up through the core to getting that decent range of motion in your strokes, putting the time in at the gym could seriously improve your performance in the pool.

Swimming might be a low-impact, surefire way to get your cardiovascular fitness through the roof, but your whole body needs to be in tip-top shape to make the most of its benefits.

If you want to get your strokes stronger or prepare your body ahead of learning to swim, we’ve got just the workout for you. 

Fitness First has appointed one of its personal trainers, Alex Chaple to put together this strength and conditioning workout to improve your swim exclusively for us.

HOW TO DO IT

Beginner: 3 sets

Intermediate: 4 sets

Advanced: 5 sets

KIT YOU’LL NEED: Barbell, resistance band, 2x dumbbells. pull-up bar

DEADLIFT

This strength and conditioning workout will improve your swimming skills

Areas trained: HAMSTRINGS, GLUTES, LOWER BACK

Technique

* Stand with your shins almost touching the barbell, your feet hip-width apart and spine tall and straight.

* From the hips, bend to grab the bar with your hands shoulder-width apart.

* Lifting with your hips, push the floor down through your feet and pick the bar up until you are standing up.

REPS: 6

Alex says: ‘Your hip muscles and lower back are the source of your power! Bent-knee deadlifts will help generate large amounts of force to help your dive from the side, your turns at each end of the pool and your force in the butterfly stroke’.

PRESS-UP

This strength and conditioning workout will improve your swimming skills

Areas trained: SHOULDERS, TRICEPS, CORE

Technique

* Standing tall with a split stance and holding dumbbells at your shoulders, brace your abdomen and drive the dumbbells towards the ceiling until your elbows are completely straight.

* With control, lower the dumbbells again and repeat.

Alex says: ‘The shoulders have a huge role to play in all swim strokes. Furthermore, the more

you develop your strength pressing overhead, the greater progression you will experience in your chin-up strength’.

SAFETY TIP: Be careful not to let your lower back arch excessively.

STRAIGHT-LEG RAISE

This strength and conditioning workout will improve your swimming skills

Areas trained: HIPS, STOMACH

Technique:

* Hang from a chin-up bar.

* With either straight legs (harder version) or bent knees (easier version), quickly lift your knees toward your chest and then slowly lower your legs back to the starting position.

REPS: 10

Alex says: ‘Your hip flexors and abdominal wall are used in this way while swimming. Becoming stronger at this movement will not only balance your deadlift training, but will also aid in developing the abdominal strength required to improve your performance in the pool’.

EXTERNAL ROTATION

This strength and conditioning workout will improve your swimming skills

Area trained: SHOULDERS

Technique

* Tie a resistance band to a secure structure at your side at waist height. Stand perpendicular to the structure and grab the resistance band with your opposite hand.

* With elbow fixed at your side, place forearm across abdomen and rotate arm around the fixed elbow until the band stretches and your shoulder is rotated as far as it can go comfortably.

* Return to the start and repeat.

REPS: 10 EACH SIDE

SAFETY TIP: Keep your body still and upper arm close to your body throughout


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