Have you ever wondered what you could be doing out of the pool to increase your strength in the water? This Whiteboard Wednesday is a high level overview on the basics of dryland training with two workouts and eight different dryland exercises explained.


What is Dryland Training

Dryland Training (often referred to as Strength and Conditioning) is activity done on land with the intended purpose of increasing strength, flexibility and overall physical mobility. This includes a number of different movements and exercises ranging from beginner to advanced skill level. Some exercises that are commonly performed include: Pushups, sit-ups, squats, etc.

Why it’s Important

Incorporating an element of dryland training into your workout routine is important for three main reasons:

  • Prevent Injury – corrects for muscle imbalances and weak core strength.
  • Increases Stroke Rate – allows you to take more strokes in less time with more power.
  • Improves Distance Per Stroke – more power application per stroke allows you to swim further with less effort.

The goal of any dryland program for swimmers is to become stronger and more explosive in the water while decreasing your risk of injury.

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Dynamic Stretches

Whether you swim every day or once per week, experts agree that a dynamic warm-up prepares your body best for peak output! Below is a brief overview of a dynamic warmup routine that activates your entire body. This type of warmup is best done before a dryland workout or swim workout.

  • Arm Circles: Small Forward, Small Reverse, Medium Forward, Medium Reverse, Large Forward, Large Reverse.
  • Swinging Arms: Target Triceps and open chest.
  • Legs: Butt kicks & swinging legs – target hamstrings.
  • Core: Plank, T-Rotation, alternating arm/leg raises.

Read Also: Why You should Do A Dynamic Warmup Before Every Swim

Dryland Workout (5x Rounds)

  • 10x BURPEES
  • 10x ALTERNATING JUMP LUNGE
  • 10x LEG LIFTS
  • 10x PLANK PROGRESSION

Perform this routine 5x with 30-60s rest between each round. This workout routine is best for swimmers looking to elevate their swim training and activate their entire body before a swim workout. Below is a more advanced circuit with 4 different exercises.

Advanced Dryland Workout (5x Rounds)

  • 10x PUSHUPS: Regular, Wide, Diamond, Weighted, Clapper
  • 10x DONKEY KICKS
  • 10x SIT TO STAND JUMPS
  • 10x PULL UPS: Regular, Neutral, Wide, Curl ups, Clapper

Perform this routine 5x with 30-60s rest between each round. This dryland routine will be very taxing on your body in a short period of time so if you’re just getting started, it’s best to start with less repetitions or complete only 2-3 rounds rather than 5 rounds.

Related: 30 Strength And Conditioning Exercises Using TRX Suspension Cables

Dryland Training Tips

  • Focus on core stability and muscle engagement first.
  • If it hurts, stop!
  • Modify for mobility.
  • Be consistent.

I hope this Whiteboard Wednesday was helpful in understanding the ins and outs of dryland training. Try to apply some of these movements into your workout routine so you can swim faster and smarter than ever. To take your swimming checkout the MySwimPro training plan library!

Swim Training Plans

A training plan is a critical component to the success of reaching your goals in swimming! The MySwimPro mobile app has training plans that range from beginner to elite. Checkout a few highlights below:

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8 thoughts on “Dryland Exercises For Swimmers

    1. Hi Reza, that depends on your personal fitness level. 11 swim workouts per week is a lot, so I would recommend no more than 2-3 days of strength training per week. It is super important to give your body rest and recovery time between workouts, so I would avoid over-doing it more than that. Send us an email at support@myswimpro.com if you have any more questions. Thanks!

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