View Full Version : Dryland Workouts for beginner?

July 16th, 2003, 05:11 AM
Hi everyone

I'll be moving to the FGC soon and would like to at some point join the LMSC...

Only problem is I'm seriously out of shape. A new mom and recovering from a broken ankle (indoor soccer) I would like to get somewhat fit before I hit the pool. What are some routines or exercises yall would recommend to help get me ready?

(At some point I would like to compete, so it's just not a leisurely thing)


Matt S
July 16th, 2003, 02:03 PM

I would recommend a 1-hour yoga class once or twice a week, both before you hit the water, and after you get into the swim of things. It does not need to be fancy; the beginners' class at the local YMCA is fine. On the recommendation of Paul Smith (consistently one of the best freestylers and butterflyers in 40-44 age group) and Terry Laughlin (the Total Immersion guy), I started doing yoga about a year and a half ago.

It is MUCH BETTER way to do stretching than going through the same ole/same ole stretching exercises on your own. First, doing it as a class is much more interesting than on your own. Second, you work on it a lot longer over a one hour class than doing a few minutes on your own until you get bored. Third, yoga is discipline that is 100's of years old, and has well developed concepts of what skills to work, how to work them, and how the pieces fit together. Fourth, it also does some strengthening, but at a much lower impact than weight training, with a lower chance of injury. Fifth, emphasizing flexibility will probably produce greater benefits than emphasizing strength training. Dr. Ron Karnaugh competed internationally at the world class level well into his 30's (and held the SCM world records for both 200 IM and 400 IM at that age). He wrote an article for Swim Magazine emphasizing how critical flexibility was to his ability to swim at a world class level. He did not specifically endorse yoga; however, for those of us who are older and not already world-class athletes, and who probably need to be working on flexibility anyway, I cannot think of a better way of getting the flexibility Dr. Karnaugh recommended than a yoga class.

One question for you: why are you hesistating to get back into the pool? What is the test you will use to decide you are ready to swim again? You do realize that this kind of thinking can be a self-defeating cycle. "I don't want to start swimming until I am 'in shape' [lose weight, able to climb a flight of stairs without becoming breathless,...whatever], but I have not found an exercise routine that gets me there yet..." I guarantee you that if you joined a Masters Team tomorrow: (1) no one would have any idea how fast you used to be, or how thin you were 10 or more years ago, so they would have no expectations of how good you "should" be (you are the only one with those expectations), (2) as you rapidly improved from your workout the first time you showed-up, they would all be amazed at you "progress", (3) no matter how slow you think you are, there is always someone already on the team who is slower than you. Masters swimmers are very welcoming of any reasonably polite person who would like to swim with them. My advice to you would be to weave your dreams of swimming with a group a lot sooner than you first anticipated. The cameraderie of the group will keep you interested in coming back.


July 16th, 2003, 04:21 PM

Matt is right -- the best way to get into swimming shape is to swim! As the commercials say, just do it!

July 16th, 2003, 06:56 PM
Anyway, if you are not able to find a team or have strange work hours, then find a good lap swimming program. I'm fortunate, that some of the lap swimmers have half-decent freestyles where I swim. And I like to be challenge. I was keeping up in butterfly against a 50 something doing freestyle. Try to workout in a pool that has a pace clock. I worked out in two different pools and one has a pace clock, so I'm able to do some interval training. Also, if you have to do it on your own, them try to read books or swim magazine, join masters just to get hold of the magazine.

July 16th, 2003, 07:11 PM
Thanks so much for replying guys.

I live in MD right now and was looking at swim teams in this area before i decided to move (not LMSC's though) and they had requirments (able to swim a certain # of laps or whatever). I wasn't really certain if there were 'fine print' requirements to be a part of USMS. I was going to start running, but I really like the Yoga idea...One thing I definitely have to work on is my flexibility.

So essentially just swimming and yoga will help with both my strength and toning...? The place I'm moving to has a pool in the complex but I don't know if it's 'regulation'(?) size or not. but for the time being it's better than nothing.