Alternative Workouts for Swimming

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So you’re in a position of not having access to a pool, but you still want to maintain your swimming conditioning?

Here’s the reality: you need to actually swim to make gains in your swim!

Swim training without water, or without a pool, is quite a challenge.

We need to maintain that “feel for the water”, and every day you’re not swimming, you’re another day away from that.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. There’s a thing among swimming communities we call a “swim dryland workout”.

This could be exactly what you need to maintain your swim fitness while you’re either quarantined inside and can’t actually swim, or choosing to take a break from swimming, but don’t want to entirely lose your fitness levels.

Ideally, you want to do exercises that both: 1) force you to use your core muscles, and 2) use several muscle groups.

This can be done, even without weights.

Here is a list of dry land swim workouts you can use as alternative workouts for swimming training at home.

If you have no equipment, do this:

  1. Push-ups: start slow, and build up. Aim for just doing 5-10 your first day. Build from there. This exercise will work shoulders, pectorals, and triceps.
  2. Squats: feet shoulder width apart, butt goes below your knees. Start with 10 and work your way up to more.
  3. Plank: Start with 30 seconds, work your way up to 2:00
  4. Burpees: Just 10 to start. You’ll be winded or you’re doing them wrong. I demonstrate a couple of them here in this video on staying in swimming shape without a pool.
  5. Hip Flexor Flexibility. This will go a long way for helping your swim.
  6. Yoga. There are so many routines that work really well to improve both strength and flexibility in swimming. I like and recommend the videos from The Race Club.
  7. Resistance Bands. Here are a few resistance bands triathlon swim specific exercises to activate your swimming muscles. Attach the center of the stretch cord to a fence, tree or anything sturdy. As you do these exercises, keep in mind that if there is too much resistance, move closer to the attachment point to increase your range of motion.

Pick up our recommended tubing with handles & doors stop here.

This is also a great time to get creative. I like to alternative- combine exercises where you can measure progress with “fun” exercises.

Don’t get too down, these tips can go a long way to keeping you from losing everything you’ve worked so hard in the water for!

Enjoy your workouts, and to grab our free swim course and get our regular swim training updates…

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