Dryland Tip: Plyo Starts

By G. John Mullen of SwimmingScience.net and CenterofOptimalRestoration.com, Swimming World correspondent

SANTA CLARA, California, November 17. DR. G. John Mullen is back with his latest Dryland Tip entitled the Plyo Start. This exercise involved a plyometric start progression that helps swimmers build strength throughout their starts.

Purpose: Many swimmers have difficulties pulling with both arms and pushing through both legs on the start. The plyometric start progression helps swimmers learn how to pull with their arms, push through both legs and experiment to find the ideal start trajectory.

Directions: The *arm pull* is the first exercise helping swimmers pull with their arms. Start in a split stance and have the swimmer grab either a Kettelbell or heavy weight. In the split stance, the swimmer will pull with both arms attempting to accelerate forward by pulling with both arms independently.

Next, the *split squat start* is an exercise to help the swimmer learn to drive through both legs to propel themselves forward. The athlete will put their back foot on a bench, attempting to orient their back shin in the best position (horizontal). This is performed one at a time or after repeated split squats.

*Split squat start with arm pull* combines both arm and leg propulsion to maximize force production, mimicking a start.

The goal of all these exercises is to maximize the amount of force produced either through your legs, arms or both. Learn how to produce force outside the pool, then translate it to the block today!

Dr. G. John Mullen is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. At USC, he was a clinical research assistant at USC performing research on adolescent diabetes, lung adaptations to swimming, and swimming biomechanics. G. John has been featured in Swimming World Magazine, Swimmer Magazine, and the International Society of Swim Coaches Journal. He is currently the strength and conditioning coach at Santa Clara Swim Club, owner of the Center of Optimal Restoration and creator of Swimming Science.

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