View Full Version : Strength / Land work for swimmers

September 5th, 2003, 06:44 AM
Does anyone know any good websites/articles on strength and land training for swimming?

If not, any exercises that you find particularly successful for swimming!

Thanks :D

September 5th, 2003, 10:41 AM
Every dry land article basically says the same thing:

Point One: Work with weights where you can perform the movements atleast 20 times consecutively (In other words, HIGH REPS not HIGH WEIGHT).

Point Two: Make certain that you are performing the excercise with the correct range of motion.

Personaly I do not think that Learning from a magazine will teach you proper form. The only way to know for certain that you are doing the excercises correctly is if you have a porfessional watch you. There is probably a trainer from your area who would be happy to come to your house, say for 3 one hour sessions, and get you on the right track.

September 5th, 2003, 11:22 AM
Am looking for a land training circuit rather than weights. This is firstly because my coach has told me to cut out weight training because I suffered from overtraining syndrome last year, and weight training is very damaging on the nervous system and he wants me to build my strength back gradually (havent weight trained for 8months or so). Secondly because I help take circuit training for the younger swimmers at the club and we are looking for new EFFECTIVE exercises, that directly help swimming.

Basically those you use your own body weight/medicine balls/swiss balls/stretch cords/skipping ropes etc etc

Am actually a qualified weight lifting instructor :D but am very interested in what other people are using to build up strength outside the pool for in the pool :cool:

September 5th, 2003, 04:19 PM
Tara, please explain (1) how your weight training is related to "overtraining syndrome" and (2) "weight training is damaging to the nervous system."

I've read that weight training can raise blood pressure, but haven't come across the risks to the nervous system.


September 5th, 2003, 04:57 PM
On a basic level, you can suffer from different types of overtraining, mainly they are split into local and peripheral. Local is as the name suggests, restricted to muscles or muscle groups and doesn't effect other bodily systems. Peripheral involves more than the muscles, including the neuromuscular system, and cardiovascular system, and sufferers complain of feelings similar to people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome.

All of my training is related to my overtraining syndrome, that is land work, pool work and weight training. I have begun to build up my training gradually starting with pool work now, and beginning to introduce land work (hence my question). In the past, it is weight training which has led to me breaking down the muscle tissue quickest and also fatiguing the nervous system. We have found that my body takes longer to recover from weight training than any other type of training (I don't know if other people have found this, but I personally "suffer" more from fatigue after this sort of training). Therefore we are postponing adding this into my programme until I can cope with the workload in the pool and a simple strength session.

When I say weight training is damaging to the neuromuscular system I mean in the way that all sports training is "damaging" to the body, i.e. you break down tissue to have it built back stronger. Therefore its not necessarily a "risk" as such. Weight training is particularly taxing so therefore to prevent a relapse it seems sensible to hold back in this area.

I know that a number of coaches use reaction time drills to test their swimmers recovery from hard sessions, including US coach Sam Freas. This is down to the link between overtraining and the neuromuscular system.

There are a lot of articles on the internet on overtraining syndrome. Unfortunately, there is no set recovery rate or testing procedure so it is difficult to know whether you are over it or not. I know the past 6 months have been the most frustrating of my swimming career, especially as all the work I did (which probably caused the fatigue!) has not produced the great performances that it suggested at the time!

Here are some good articles :



:DHope this answers your questions and apologies if my last post was confusing!!!

September 5th, 2003, 11:21 PM

Thanks for your thoughtful and informative reply.

September 8th, 2003, 09:50 AM
Have you tried Bodyblade? The sports medicine clinic here recommends it for "core" strengthening.

Gareth Eckley
September 8th, 2003, 10:59 AM
There is a very good video " Core body strength for swimmers " by " Scott Volkers " from Australia. I am not sure where it is available, try the ASA swim site under Awards & Merchandise. They have a number of books and videos there.

I use the balance ball and stretch bands mainly, as well as strength training and stretching. Some of the strength work & stretching is from the A.I.S system and some regular static stretching. There are also some stretches from a video by Marty Hull, from www.Zoomers.net that I use. I am aware of PNF stretching but have not done any yet.

The only work with weights that i do is specific to the muscles of the scapular area, between the shoulder blades, mainly to balance out muscle development.

I prefer to develop "specific strength" developed by swimming only, some with a drag suit and occasionally with TYR Catyalyst paddles.

A lot of my Core strength work I get from using fly kicking on sides and back using zoomers. I have just started kicking with a twist from back to side and from side to back in 1 movement which helps my obliques.

I am not looking to develop big muscles, just long, flexible swimmers muscles. I also do some Pilates, but I am just starting to learn that. I also have a medicine ball but have not started using it yet.

Anyway just what I do, I think that you are far more qualified in strength work than myself.

September 8th, 2003, 11:06 AM
Thanks for your answer gull80, I have tried the bodyblade, at the time though I had a shoulder injury and I found any position with it hurt! Maybe when my shoulders are a bit stronger I will try it again! I have been doing daily exercises to strengthen my rotator cuff muscles, which caused my injury.

Thanks for your answer Gareth, its just good to have other peoples ideas, even though I have some qualifications! And if one thing strikes a cord and improves my swimming then asking the question has been worth it! :cool:

September 8th, 2003, 11:11 AM
I was told to strengthen the rotator cuff first before using Bodyblade.