CORE BODY STRENGTH EXERCISES FOR SWIMMERS

“Strength and Muscle Control in the shoulders, upper-back, abdominal and hip regions is an essential component of effective force application in competitive swimming.”

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A General Guide to Strength Training for Age-Group Swimmers [When to Start and What to Do?] •

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There is a misconception that young children (i.e. below the age of 12) can not benefit from appropriate land based strength programs. This notion has been widely refuted by various research studies, worldwide. Provided the basic components of the program include flexibility, range of motion, general body strength, and movement coordination, there is no lower age limit to training. Simple equipment; such as jump-rope, rubber cords, hand-held weights, medicine ball, and Swiss-Ball (also called “fitness ball”); is commonly added to basic exercise movements. Supervised sessions of 20-30 minutes, that are appropriate to the child’s level of development, provide a valuable addition (note: land-based work is never a complete substitution for water work) to the swimming program. Prior to puberty, exercise sessions should progressively increase in intensity, frequency, and complexity. The development model used for swimmers includes core strength and range of movement exercises in addition to the development of technical swimming skill. The overall objective is an even development of all muscle groups used in swimming. Many young swimmers will achieve these strength goals by participating in other sports programs (in addition to swim training) during the year. Young swimmers, of similar age, will progress in their strength development at different rates. Learning ‘how’ to exercise is a major objective during the pre-maturation years. Insist upon an appropriate warm-up, correct exercise technique, and integration of land-based exercises with the swimming program. Speed of movement in performing the various exercises can be progressively increased once correct technique is maintained. Body weight and simple resistance exercise are usually performed in ‘sets’ (i.e. multiple repetitions) and then multiple sets are progressively added. Land based exercises are used for muscle ‘strength-endurance’ training. This complements the muscle endurance improvements that result from swimming training alone. The aim is to keep the exercise program simple, yet include enough variety to maintain interest and enthusiasm. Land-based exercise must fit within the overall training demands of the swimming program. When young swimmers are ready to handle more complex gym routines, they usually graduate to ‘circuit training’ methods. In general, resistance, rest and repetitions are used to manipulate the relative characteristics of the exercise program. Advanced strength training programs feature more specialised exercises to suit the swimmer’s individual needs. However, all swimmers should be assessed on a regular basis to determine their relative strength deficiencies and specific exercise requirements. Strength training should always be integrated into the swimming program so that overall swimming performance is enhanced. A ‘strong swimmer’ who does not swim faster has not trained effectively in both pool and gym.

Core Body Strength Exercises for Swimmers

work abdominal muscles 3.3 ABDOMINAL CRUNCHES 1. pull knees up ABDOMINAL PIKE 1. starting position 2. add a quarter twist of the trunk 2. pull body up into pike position SIT-UPS 1. keep feet flat on the floor Core Body Strength Exercises for Swimmers . starting position (full stretch) 2. start with head and feet off the floor VARIATION – WITH A TWIST 4.

basic push-up starting position 2. lift right arm & left leg (reverse arm/leg action) KNEELING POSITION 1. lift right arm & left leg (reverse) 3.balanced on elbows 2. keep trunk straight 3. start in kneeling position 2. (with scapula pull inward) Core Body Strength Exercises for Swimmers . press up to toe-elbow balance (hold) PUSH UPS 1. add difficulty by balancing on the toes ELBOW PRESS-UP AND HOLD 1. kneeling -.4 OPPOSITE ARM-LEG LIFTS – PRONE 1.

lower (hold) and push-up Core Body Strength Exercises for Swimmers . start position 2. arms extended forward 2. rotate bodyweight over left shoulder 3. bodyweight over left shoulder (repeat) 1. lower the trunk (hold) 1.5 VARIATIONS ON THE PUSH-UP 1. split hand position (forward & back) 2. bodyweight swings to the right 4.

roll 4. now reverse the roll ! Core Body Strength Exercises for Swimmers . wide hand & foot position 2. lift legs (feet together) 3. twist hips (body straight) 3. start position 2. lower (hold) and push-up STRAIGHT LEG LIFTS 1. hold at 45 degrees STREAMLINED BODY TWIST 1. start at full stretch 2.6 1.

7 SQUATS 1. full stretch 2. lower weight (back straight) 2. start position FORWARD LUNGE 1. land & lower 4. jump (feet out) 3. start (bend knees) 2. feet together Core Body Strength Exercises for Swimmers . lower with one leg forward JUMP-SQUAT-JUMP 1. squat position 5. jump up 6.

opposite side Core Body Strength Exercises for Swimmers . start position 2. same exercise (both legs pulled up) ABDOMINAL CURL & HOLD 1. curl trunk forward 3. start position 2.8 LEG CURL – SINGLE AND DOUBLE 1. start position 2. curl forward & twist 3. pull one knee into trunk 3. hold – lower and repeat VARIATION – WITH A TWIST 1.

9 TRICEPS DIPS 1. foot position elevated 4. lower bodyweight 3. lower (hold) and push up 5. feet are now higher than hands 6. elevate foot placement 2. lower (hold) and push up Core Body Strength Exercises for Swimmers . start position VARIATION – ELEVATED FOOT POSITION 1. lower (hold) and push up 2.

standing position FULL-TWIST STANDING MEDICINE BALL PASS 1.10 SEATED HALF-TWIST MEDICINE BALL PASS 1. kneeling position 2. seated – (back to back) twist & pass the ball VARIATION – KNEELING 3. twist to the right Core Body Strength Exercises for Swimmers . twist to opposite side to receive (continue) VARIATION – STANDING 4. twist to the left 2.

start position 2. twist hips to the left STRAIGHT LEG LIFT – WITH MEDICINE BALL 1.11 FORWARD HIP FLEX – WITH MEDICINE BALL 1. med-ball between feet 2. bend forward HIP ROLL – HOLDING MEDICINE BALL BETWEENE FEET 1. start with med-ball between the feet 2. twist hip to the right 3. lift 3. hold (do not go to 90 degrees) Core Body Strength Exercises for Swimmers .

start position 2.12 TRUNK TWIST WITH MEDICINE BALL 1. twist right 3. twist trunk right 3. swing down 3. finish between legs SEATED TWIST WITH MEDICINE BALL 1. start position 2. start position 2. twist left Core Body Strength Exercises for Swimmers . twist trunk left FORWARD SWING WITH MEDICINE BALL 1.

finish sit-up (repeat) VARIATION – SIT-UP WITH MEDICINE BALL THROW 1. start with med-ball between feet (off the floor) 2. pull knees up to chest (repeat) Core Body Strength Exercises for Swimmers . hold & receive med-ball from partner SITTING PIKE WITH MEDICINE BALL 1. start with med-ball overhead 2.13 SIT-UP WITH MEDICINE BALL 1. curl forward (hold med-ball out) 3. start position 2. sit-up and throw med-ball to partner 3.

toss med-ball back to partner VARIAITON – FROM SHOULDER BALANCE ON THE SWISS BALL 1. rebound as catch is made 4. start from bench-press position 2.14 PLYOMETRIC REBOUND TOSS OF MEDICINE BALL – FROM BENCH PRESS POSITION 1. rest shoulders on Swiss-Ball 2. catch and rebound Core Body Strength Exercises for Swimmers . drop med-ball over chest 3.

step-up (holding med-ball) 3.15 SQUAT – WITH MEDICINE BALL 1. start position 2. hold ball forward STEP-UP WITH MEDICINE BALL 1. squat (holding med-ball) VARIATION – OVERHEAD AND FORWARD ARM POSITION 3. start position 2. complete step Core Body Strength Exercises for Swimmers . hold ball overhead 4.

lift to the side 2. full chest expansion Core Body Strength Exercises for Swimmers . lift to shoulder height 3.16 SHOULDER LIFTS WITH DUMBELLS 1. alternate arms up (right) DUMBELL CHEST EXPANSION – SHOULDERS BALANCED ON SWISS BALL 1. extend (elbows bent slightly) 3. alternate arms up (left) 4. start position 2.

single arm press up OPPOSITE LEG UP 4. double-arm press up VARIATIONS – ONE ARM 3. throw ball up (then catch) Core Body Strength Exercises for Swimmers . shoulders balanced 2. shoulders balanced 2. added difficulty TRICEPS EXTENSION – BALANCED ON BALL 1.17 DUMBELL SHOULDER PRESS – SEATED ON BALL 1. balanced one foot up SAME-SIDE LEG UP 5. lift weight by straightening elbows BENCH PRESS MED BALL THROW – BALANCED ON BALL 1. balanced on Swiss-Ball 2.

shoulders balanced (arms straight) 2. pull overhead and throw 3.18 DUMBELL PULLOVER – SHOULDERS BALANCED ON SWISS BALL 1. follow through 4. hold med-ball behind head 2. partner catches & returns ball Core Body Strength Exercises for Swimmers . pull weight overhead PULLOVER THROW OF MEDICINE BALL 1.

stretch to the right Core Body Strength Exercises for Swimmers . pull overhead and throw 3.19 VARIATION – SHOULDERS BALANCED ON SWISS BALL 1. stretch to the left 3. start position 2. partner catches & returns ball STANDING SIDE STRETCH WITH MEDICINE BALL 1. start position 2.

Core Body Strength Exercises for Swimmers . edit. In addition.20 Credits This training guide has been produced for educational purposes only. Core strength exercises are demonstrated by Peter Hannent and Troy Gardiner of the Arena Sports Centre (Western Australia). Any commercial use is strictly prohibited without the express written consent of the author. The assistance of coach John Atkinson (Arena Swim Club) is acknowledged and greatly appreciated. and text are provided by Dr Ralph Richards. Production. the author would like to thank the KINGS Aquatic Education Centre (Victoria) for their support in the production of this manual.

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