Dryland Workout Tips: Building A Stable Foundation (Exercises Included)

action-athlete-barbell-weight-lifting dryland workout

Dryland Workout Tips: Building A Stable Foundation

By J.R. Rosania

Demonstrated by Mia Rankin & Amy Bilquist

As we progress through the beginning stages of building a strong foundation, our focus should be on improving strength. This will allow the body to adjust to heavier loads and time under tension as we increase our volume in the pool.

The dryland workout exercises shown here are used at the beginning of our strength phase to begin to develop overall full-body strength.

Each exercise—except pull-ups—should be performed for three sets of six reps. Pull-ups can be done with a large exercise strap around the knee to help decrease the amount of weight being pulled. With or without the band, perform three sets of one-to-three repetitions.

Complete the program two or three times per week. Increase resistance when able.

The following exercises are demonstrated by Mia Rankin (#s 1-2), a freshman at Ohio State, and Amy Bilquist (#s 3-5), a 2019 graduate of Cal.


Place one hand on a bench or table and stabilize the elbow by your side. Hold a lightweight dumbbell with your other hand, and push the dumbbell back as a finishing movement of freestyle.

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While in a seated position and a dumbbell in each hand, hold the dumbbells above and parallel with your shoulders. Perform an overhead press.

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Using a squat hex or straight bar, perform a squat movement. Be sure to keep your lower back flat.

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35 Dryside Training PHOTOS--03B IMG_1991


While holding a med ball or light weight, perform a walking lunge and rotate the ball/weight with each step forward.

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From a hanging position, pull your body up until your chin reaches the bar. Lower and perform three sets of one-to-three repetitions.

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35 Dryside Training PHOTOS--05B IMG_2002

J.R. Rosania, B.S., exercise science, is one of the nation’s top performance enhancement coaches. He is the owner and CEO of Healthplex, LLC, in Phoenix. Check out Rosania’s website at www.jrhealthplex.net.


NOTICE All swimming and dryland training and instruction should be performed under the supervision of a qualified coach or instructor, and in circumstances that ensure the safety of participants.