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Thread: Breaststroke - Dry land weight training

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    Breaststroke - Dry land weight training

    Does anyone have an effective weight training program for the breastroke?

    Thanks, Greg

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    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: Breaststroke - Dry land weight training

    There have been several threads befre about weight training for swimmers,
    most of that applies to breaststroke.The important things to be sure to include(IMO) are as follows:
    Since the insweep is so important I think it is important to do some pulley work that duplicates this motion.
    Since leg strength is vital,squats and leg extensions are good.
    For leg endurance I like spinning.
    Core strength is needed so I do work on the stability ball,especially crunches and back extensions
    For explosive leg strength I do vertical jumps in deep water(I used to do them on dry land but my joints got old.)
    Breaststroke uses the biceps more than the other strokes so curls are good.
    Since all swimmers run the risk of shoulder problems rotator cuff exercises are vital.
    Since power is important I recommend high weight/low rep work( except for the spinning and the rotator cuff exercises.)
    The main idea is to use the weight to duplicate the swimming motions.The important exception to this is DON'T do leg extensions with you foot turned out(as in the kick) as that puts too much strain on the knees.
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
    Allen

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    Re: Breaststroke - Dry land weight training

    I agree with the excercises proposed by Allen and in addition, to avoid groin injury in the pool, also work on the muscles opposite to quadriceps (front leg) and the ones surrounding the hip and groin in general. I normally end my leg excercise days with the following:
    -High/low rep high/medium workload on hamstrings
    -High rep outside/inside low workload on thigh
    -High/low rep high/medium workload on Gluteus maximus (and hamstrings ...my favourite: straight leg deadlift)

    Having a strong chest is also important I think...good ol fashioned bench press (bar and dumbbell) works for me.

    Good luck!
    /Per

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    Re: Breaststroke - Dry land weight training

    I have been lifting 3 times per week, with most exercises doing 5 sets of 15 reps, with pretty heavy weight. Workouts consist of incline bench press, french curls, curls, leg lifts, adductor (for inside leg), lat pulls (down to chest), leg lifts and reverse flys (simulating the breastroke pull). I have been told that leg extensions are very hard on the knees but I have never had a problem. Lifting has also helped my breastroke but I'm not convince that I am using the most effective program.

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    Very Active Member david.margrave's Avatar
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    Re: Breaststroke - Dry land weight training

    I consider breastroke my third stroke, after free and fly, but before backstroke (my worst). I don't spend a lot of energy worrying about it, but I've had good time drops there, possibly from my weight training program I started in August.

    50m breast SCM

    41.02 9/23/07
    39.22 11/11/07

    Pretty slow times, but headed in the right direction.

    I'm swimming it at a SCM meet this weekend, so we'll see. I'd like to drop another 1.8 seconds.

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    Very Active Member geochuck's Avatar
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    Re: Breaststroke - Dry land weight training

    Have a look here one of Wayne's articles http://www.breaststroke.info/BRSTWE.htm

    Don't burn through muscle mass, shorter-duration, high-intensity interval training is the answer.
    Last edited by geochuck; February 12th, 2008 at 11:13 AM.
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    Re: Breaststroke - Dry land weight training

    Quote Originally Posted by h2o 2008 View Post
    I have been lifting 3 times per week, with most exercises doing 5 sets of 15 reps, with pretty heavy weight. Workouts consist of incline bench press, french curls, curls, leg lifts, adductor (for inside leg), lat pulls (down to chest), leg lifts and reverse flys (simulating the breastroke pull). I have been told that leg extensions are very hard on the knees but I have never had a problem. Lifting has also helped my breastroke but I'm not convince that I am using the most effective program.
    5 sets of 15 is too much.
    and if you can do 15 reps of it, it's not nearly heavy enough for you.

    for the "big 3" work outs, do 3 sets of 8, 6, and 4 reps.

    for the minor lifts, do 2 sets of 10 or 8.

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    Very Active Member aquaFeisty's Avatar
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    Re: Breaststroke - Dry land weight training

    Quote Originally Posted by h2o 2008 View Post
    I have been lifting 3 times per week, with most exercises doing 5 sets of 15 reps, with pretty heavy weight. Workouts consist of incline bench press, french curls, curls, leg lifts, adductor (for inside leg), lat pulls (down to chest), leg lifts and reverse flys (simulating the breastroke pull). I have been told that leg extensions are very hard on the knees but I have never had a problem. Lifting has also helped my breastroke but I'm not convince that I am using the most effective program.
    Leg extensions are not hard on the knees if you have good alignment... most importantly, if your patellas track correctly in the "groove" and you have no patellofemoral pain (pain under/around the kneecap or along the patellar tendon... sometimes called runner's knee). If you DO have this pain, it's best to avoid leg extensions and do isometric exercises to work your quads. Examples would be ball sits on the wall (ball is behind your back against the wall, legs are at a 90degree bend, like you're sitting in a chair) or sitting wall pushes (sit on a bench/stool with your back against the wall, plant your feet on the ground and contract your muscles like you're trying to push yourself backwards through the wall.)

    I think dynamic exercises like leg extensions are better, because you're actually building strength through the entire range of motion, but you also have to do what your body can take...

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    Very Active Member david.margrave's Avatar
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    Re: Breaststroke - Dry land weight training

    Quote Originally Posted by david.margrave View Post
    50m breast SCM

    41.02 9/23/07
    39.22 11/11/07
    38.88 2/17/08

  10. #10

    Re: Breaststroke - Dry land weight training

    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy Asian View Post
    5 sets of 15 is too much.
    and if you can do 15 reps of it, it's not nearly heavy enough for you.

    for the "big 3" work outs, do 3 sets of 8, 6, and 4 reps.

    for the minor lifts, do 2 sets of 10 or 8.

    I'm not sure I agree; especially if swimming 100 or 200 BR, don't you want the strength to last the whole way?

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    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: Breaststroke - Dry land weight training

    When I started lifting weights regularly I was doing 2 sets of 12 at the max weight I could do 12 of without hurting myself.The first time to drop was my 200.4 mo before Worlds I started lifting 3x8 at max(greater) weight.My 100 was my best time in 8 yr and my 200 was my best time in 6 yr.Increase strength and you can increase DPS.Increased DPS potentially means more energy left for the last 50 of the 200.Watch Kitajima,he is as short as I am,is incredibly muscular and has amazing DPS.
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
    Allen

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    Very Active Member geochuck's Avatar
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    Re: Breaststroke - Dry land weight training

    Allen I pm'd you re Rebecca Soni amazing stuff here, what I call gutzy http://usctrojans.cstv.com/sports/w-...rebecca00.html In my search for videos Rebecca Soni I found this race, not her http://www.cstv.com/video/?s=videohub&vid=588
    Last edited by geochuck; March 2nd, 2008 at 02:59 PM.
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    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: Breaststroke - Dry land weight training

    That was a fun race to watch.Thanks.The race I really would like to see would be the one where that women became"the only Big 10 woman to break 1 min. for 100M breaststroke".(I'm sure he misspoke and meant yards.)
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
    Allen

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    Very Active Member geochuck's Avatar
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    Re: Breaststroke - Dry land weight training

    Rebecca here in the duel April 2007 I had trouble downloading it earlier. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3-65...elated&search=
    Keep it simple
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    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: Breaststroke - Dry land weight training

    Great video.Soni does have an unusual pull,short but with the pull strength backwards instead of the insweep.
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
    Allen

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    Very Active Member swimmieAvsFan's Avatar
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    Re: Breaststroke - Dry land weight training

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Stark View Post
    That was a fun race to watch.Thanks.The race I really would like to see would be the one where that women became"the only Big 10 woman to break 1 min. for 100M breaststroke".(I'm sure he misspoke and meant yards.)
    GO PENN STATE!!!
    "that women" is PSU's own kristen woodring. she held the national high school record for a few years, breaking kristi kowal's record... they must put something in the water in the corner of PA... (brenden hansen grew up less than 50 miles from them both...)

    Mollie Grover
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    USMS Rules committee

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    Very Active Member robertsrobson's Avatar
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    Re: Breaststroke - Dry land weight training

    Just to chip in my five 2 cents worth..

    I'm not an expert in strength and conditioning but had to learn the essentials in my training as a sport psychologist.

    One thing that I've learned is that masters swimmers have to flex a lot and be prepared to find the most time-efficient forms of exercise as, for the most part, we live busy lives. That means that some of the best advice out there for non-masters is difficult to apply. For examples, we can work out highly detailed training plans with periodization but a bad week at work can blow it out of the water.

    With that in mind, a couple of years back I was introducted to the idea of 'complexes' for weight training and I love them. They are mini-circuits, done usually with a dumbell, and consist of 6 reps of 6 exercises, done 6 times. You get through a lot of work in a relatively short time, and get your heart rate up as well as building strength.

    As strength work goes, it isn't as 'pure' as doing max eight for small numbers of reps, but going by my principle of time efficiency, they are great for overall conditioning. I'm also not sure that we need, as masters to spend too much time working pure strength, and have more to gain from getting the heart rate up etc. That said, I only do 3 hours in the pool... Frankly my biggest issue is that anything over 50m is going to hurt, so I work on managing that!

    The first year I did these (at 36), with my 3 hours in the pool, I did PBs for 50 and 100 breast SCM, 19 years on! (it was my 2nd year back in swimming, and pretty much gave up at 18). My 200 was only a second or so off, which is remarkable as I used to swim 10-12 times a week (mind you, it really hurt!).

    In general, the principle is to work multiple muscle groups and you can make your own up, but here as a few examples. I have some that are full body, some upper body, and even my 'chest set of death'. None are complete workouts - but you do rotate them and this also helps to stop workouts becoming too routine and plateauing.

    Where the movement is alternating, do 12 reps (6 each arm/leg). I was advised to start with approx 3-5kg per dumbell until you know the sets then build.


    Example 1:
    • bent over row
    • jump lunges
    • bicep curl
    • step ups
    • Arm raises with calf raise (lstart with bells at waist and lift above head height in front of body)
    • Monkey squats to toes (which are squats where you curl the bells into your armpits at standing)
    Example 2 (chest set of death, all on bench)
    • Straight arm flies
    • Overhead raises (actually more lats)
    • rotating chest press (emulates the recovery in brs)
    • Outward press
    • Inward press (both of these exercises are like a chest press, but the hands create a figure of 8, coming togetherin the middle, so in the outward you are pushing up in the middle of your chest and recovering on the outside and vice versa)
    • Scissors press (straight arm flies but the arms cross over at the elbows)
    I also work in specific exercises that are generically good for swimming, such as lat pull down or pull ups, tri extensions or dips etc. I do a lot of core work now, both for performance and as I had a bad back injury last year. Once a week I do yoga, which I value and try to run a bit too.
    Last edited by robertsrobson; September 12th, 2011 at 09:55 AM.

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