We suggest incorporating a number of swim-focused exercises into your routine to build strength in the core and the muscles heavily involved in swimming.
1 Russian twists
Body rotation is fundamental to open water swimming, helping to create a more efficient stroke, with increased glide per stroke and less energy expenditure
Sitting down with both legs raised in the air, twist your hips while holding a medicine ball or weights. Extend as much as you can to really feel the benefits. Try 8 sets of 18 repetitions, or work with time – 6 x 20 seconds, for example.
Simple but effective, as well as building strength in the core, planking can help maintain a good body position in the water.
Get into the push-up position, bending your elbows and resting your weight on your forearms.
Now ensure that your body is in a straight line, all the way from your shoulders to your ankles.
Engage your core and glutes to ensure your back does not arch and hold this position for as long as you can, before resting and going again.
Remember that breathing with your head up while swimming will put pressure on your lumbar zone and doing the plank on a regular basis will help you with this.
Try 6 sets of 8 seconds and gradually build towards more.
Top tips for getting into position:
– squeeze your glutes
– pull your ribs down towards your pelvis
– flex your biceps
– slightly round your back
A simple but effective exercise to maintain general fitness, work the resistance of the triceps and pectorals heavily involved in swimming, also incorporating the core muscles.
Building strong pectoral muscles, results in a good catch in the water, helping to maintain optimal distance per stroke.
Working the triceps helps you to finish each stroke with power and acceleration, as well as facilitating a long stroke.
The 10×10 push-up challenge is hard, but it’s amazing to achieve 100 push-ups a couple of times per week.
In the gym, weighted push-ups on the bench press is another option. We strongly recommend performing 6 sets x 10 repetitions, increasing additional weight slowly.
Kicking is a very important aspect to work on while preparing for open water swimming events.
Swimmers need strong legs not only for fitness, but also because it helps to maintain a good body position.
This allows you to accelerate when the race gets going.
More importantly in open water, it allows you to sight and take a breath by lifting your head up.
Rope skipping is not only a great tool for general fitness as well as a superb gym warm-up routine, it is excellent to do prior to a swim race.
The legs will get stronger from bursts of 60 to 90 seconds a time, so try those, jumping on the balls of your feet, avoiding swinging your arms too much and never jumping too high. Try to find a rhythm.