Many swimmers have learned to love resistance bands, and with good reason. This versatile piece of equipment helps build full-body strength and correct muscle imbalances that can cause injuries.
Whether you’re a new swimmer or an experienced veteran, you can benefit from dryland training with resistance bands.
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The Importance of Dryland Training
- Improve Performance: Building strength out of the water translates to your swimming. Dryland can help improve your core strength, explosive power and general aerobic fitness.
- Prevent Injuries: Overuse injuries are common in swimming. Dryland adds variety to your workouts, engaging your muscles in a different way.
- Stay Engaged: Doing the same type of workouts constantly can cause you to lose progress toward your goals. A dryland plan helps keep you engaged!
- Avoid Burnout: Mix up your training with creative dryland workouts so you don’t get burned out!
- No Pool = No Excuses: If you’re traveling and don’t have access to a pool, your pool is closed, or if you’re stuck at home for a while, there’s no excuse to stop working out!
Why Use Resistance Bands?
Resistance bands are a cost-effective training tool for swimmers, helping to build strength, improve performance and prevent injury at home or on the pool deck. You can find bands in a variety of colors and weights. Some bands have handles, and others come with an attachment that allows you to connect them to a door or other stable surface.
Resistance bands can be used for numerous compound movements that engage large muscle groups used in the water. You can also work on stroke mechanics, using the bands to mimic your stroke on the pool deck.
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Benefits of Swimming Specific Movements
Supplementing your swim training with swimming-specific dryland work using bands benefits multiple facets of your performance:
- Improve Core Stability: Compound movements strengthen your core, improving your body awareness and position both on land and in the pool.
- Improve Flexibility: Bands, along with other strength training modalities, improve your flexibility. The bands’ lighter weight helps you to work through a movement’s full range of motion for maximum benefits.
- Increase Power: Bands are helpful when working on explosive movements, especially for the upper body and core.
- Refine Stroke Technique: Mimic your stroke on land to work on mechanics, such as early vertical forearm in freestyle.
5 Resistance Band Exercises
If you have a set of bands, give these exercises a try!
Simulate your pull to work on proper positioning! Gripping the handles of your band, pull both hands toward you as if you were doing butterfly. Return to the starting position with control and repeat.
Swim Pull Alternating Sprint
Work on your freestyle stroke rate on land to improve your performance in the water. Start in an athletic stance with your knees bent and arms extended overhead. Gripping the handles of your band, pull one arm down toward your hip. Return to the starting position and repeat as quickly as you can, alternating arms.
Band Internal and External Rotations
Avoid common swimming injuries with internal and external rotations! For internal rotations, stand with the band on your left or right side. Grip the band with the hand that is closest to the band attachment point, and pull the band across your body, keeping your elbow bent at 90 degrees.
For external rotations, grip the band with the hand that is furthest from the band attachment point. Pull the band away from your body, keeping your elbow bent 90 degrees. Be sure to work both sides!
Band T, Y, Is
Add extra resistance to this essential shoulder move to build strength! Facing the band attachment point, grip the handles and move your arms to form a T, Y and I position, pressing your thumbs behind you. If the resistance is too much using both hands, drop down to one arm at a time.
Kneeling Pallof Press
Strengthen your deep core muscles to prevent injuries and maximize engagement in the pool. Kneel with your right knee down and the band on your right side. Grab the band with both hands and extend your arms straight out so they are even with your shoulders. Bring your hands in to your chest and slowly press back out, fighting to avoid core rotation. Repeat on the other side!
More Dryland Training Resources:
Check out these videos for more dryland training tips, workouts and exercises.
How To Work Out At Home
10 Core Exercises For Swimmers
30 Strength And Conditioning Exercises For Swimmers Using TRX Suspension Cables
20 Dryland Workouts For Swimmers With a Medicine Ball
Dryland Training in the MySwimPro App
If you need a structured dryland training plan, look no further than the MySwimPro app! You’ll find numerous plans built specifically to help swimmers improve performance in the water, in addition to a library of detailed technique videos for each exercise.
Each dryland training plan follows a carefully structured progression to ensure you move on to more challenging exercises and workouts as you get stronger. However, you are able to edit and adjust each workout as you see fit to modify and personalize the workout to you.
For more dryland training guidance, download the MySwimPro app on iPhone or Android!