Land Exercises to Help Swimmers Transfer Energy More Efficiently

Photo Courtesy: R-Sport / Mia Rossiya Segodnaya

By Dr. G. John Mullen, Swimming World Contributor

Transferring energy from the lower body, through the core, and into the upper body is essential for elite swimming. Often, swimmers will exhibit energy leaks while swimming, poorly transferring energy and slowing the swimmer.

A while back, I posted the standing landmine exercise. Since then, I’ve found the standing rotational landmine transfers more to swimming, especially the long-axis strokes (freestyle and backstroke). At COR, we find athletes of all ages have difficulties transferring energy through their body. Even elite level swimmers have energy leaks. The standing rotational landmine helps elite and novice swimmers implement their entire body during a powerful rotational movement.


While standing, place a heavy bar (or PVC pipe) on your shoulder, with the other end on the ground. Initiate the movement from the legs and hips, performing a partial squat. During this position, have your body at an angle. Next, drive the bar from the lower body and explosively rotate from the ipsilateral hip (the same side which you are holding the bar). Raise the bar forward, keeping it in line with the shoulder. Slowly return the bar to the shoulder. A common error is over rotating, not keeping the bar in line with the shoulder. Make sure the bar is in line with the shoulder or the bar will fall to one side.