Hi, I couldn’t find the proper forum to post this so I hope it’s ok if I start this here.
I’d like to know if anyone could help me develop a strength program to swim faster. I’m 21 y/o, I started swimming when I was around 8 y/o and stopped at 16 because of college. I know all the basics of all swim styles and my forms still good, but I’d like to know how can I train at the gym to complement my swimming and get better times.
I’ve been reading around and found that I should focus on training back, chest, shoulders, arms, abdominals, hips and thighs in that order, with full body workouts.
What do you guys think? Exercises? Frequency? More weight or more reps? Etc.
Thanks in advance.
Lats, shoulders, lats, low back and abs. And did I mention lats? Improving your lat strength will help your times in everything if your technique is right. It really should be the priority in terms of both frequency and intensity. It can prove difficult to do a crazy amount of volume and keep your shoulders 100% though.
With shoulders, you need to do sufficient mobility and prehab work. Freestyle and butterfly use a lot of front delt, and even if you balanced out the total volume with backstroke, the modern “sidestroke” technique doesn’t stress the rear and side enough to overcome the shoulder imbalances.
Low back and ab work require less work to keep healthy, and then strengthening should be the next priority to help your kicking. Once all these bases are covered, full body workouts should take care of everything else.
I’d be combining high and low rep work for the lats with relatively high frequency, higher rep and prehab work for the shoulders, and everything else I’d leave up to you.
Thanks man, any more tips from anyone else before I start to design anything?
It would be a good idea to implement a 12-week cycle, starting with single-joint exercises to offset any muscle imbalances developed from training for the sport. Contrary to some peoples approach in swimming you should always work power before you work capacity; that is, start with a speed base. Many American coaches work backwards - they learn perfect technique with slow speeds. Then when they swim in a race, they can’t swim at high speeds because they did not train at high speeds. Men swim faster than women because they’re stronger. As far as hydrodynamics is concerned, the female body is better. Not surprisingly, the European women who took drugs to become stronger did quite well - they had the best of both worlds going for them. If an athlete has lots of muscle, focus on relative strength. Also, the shorter the distance of a race, the more intramuscular training is needed. Limit your workout sessions to four hours per week - twice upper and twice lower. During the cmpetitive season: once a week. In terms of what to focus on the pectorals and latissimus dorsi are prime movers in swimming. A great exercise you can use is performed on gymnastics rings; it can be described as a single movement, progressing from a pull-up to the finish of a dip, which mimics the muscle action used in swimming. Pullovers (Nautalis machine is ideal for this) are good because they match the strength curve for the muscles involved. As for lower body, a leg dominant swimmer will have good starts and turns but leg strength should not be overdone. The abdominals are of critical importance to a swimmer, but they are often neglected. This is because the abdominals are the link between the force transferred by the lower body to the upper body.
First, try to fix your posture, that is the basis for any weight room ritual.
For Swimmers, in the pool they’re only concentric movements if you think about it. So try to balance that out when you’re out of it - work more of your posterior chain more.
So before you start you need to do your prehab drills - core strengthening - no sit up and all that crap.
Work on your mobility, flexibility as they’re your foundation.
Plyos too are needed because you’re gonna need to do a “vertical jump” off the wall when you do each lap.
Going on it’ll be full body training, with lower body being unilateral training.
2nd, depending on your event -
short distance sprint swimmers would train towards more power development and strength end of the spectrum.
More towards ballistic lifting and heavy and low reps, focusing on getting stronger and faster… your lower body strength is going to be one that propel you, so don’t focus on the upper body only.
long distance endurance swimmers would train towards strength endurance spectrum.
Focusing on your conditioning while trying to be stronger. You still lift heavy but you main emphasis would be towards conditioning.
Although speed is important but you don’t need as much as sprint swimmers.
Thanks all for their responses I’ll keep them in mind
Tons of olympic lifts and squats. Helps getting off the wall. I helped train a top Div I swim team in the weight room and that was a lot of their training. this can be done at low reps. I would do upper body stuff, such a lats and all upper body movements at higher reps.