Other Activities Swimmers Can Take Part In During the Offseason

Swimmers Running

Other Activities Swimmers Can Take Part In During the Offseason

In order to become strong athletes, young swimmers must attend practice as often as possible. That fact is undisputed. Every athlete who has ever tried to improve their swimming knows it to be true. However, as important as pool exercises are, the best athletes find themselves dedicated and working hard outside the pool, including during the offseason.

“Dryland” can be vital to the success of any athlete. In fact, dryland training or participation in another sport could be the difference between a good swimmer and a great swimmer. Athletes should seek to try and improve their swimming, and dedicate themselves to doing offseason exercises.

Running

Ah, running. Just the mere mention of the sport can make many swimmers groan. What they may not realize is that running actually helps athletes stay active and healthy during the offseason.

“Distance, interval, or hill training is a great way to train for mental and aerobic stamina. Runners tend to have lean, muscular bodies with a low body-fat percentage.  This is ideal for swimming as well, since both sports require efficiency over bulky muscle mass,” Underwater Audio points out in an online article.

Running also requires great mental strength in order to get through long workouts. This strength can help swimmers who are taking part in long distance races or even those who must fight through quicker sprints. Running helps to improve endurance in the water.

Unlike other cardio workouts, running keeps a constant cadence. In the water, keeping up a constant rhythm can help with improving breathing patterns and stroke turnovers.

Dryland Core Workouts

Developing core strength can be a massive benefit to athletes who are learning to hone their strokes. A strong core helps strengthen kicking and can also help with muscle strength. There are many dryland workouts that incorporate some level of core work, whether it be through planks or situps.

One such dyrland excerise is doing dryland flutter kicks. “Keep your legs straight and toes pointed and then quickly flutter your legs about two inches up and down without touching the ground. This exercise will not only work your lower abs and legs but will also simulate the kick needed for freestyle and backstroke.” CoachUp Nation explains the benefits of this exercise and a few others in their online article Dryland Workouts for Swimmers.

Planks, if done correctly, can also be a core exercise that can improve swim strokes. Elbow planks, especially, engage all parts of the abdominal muscles at once. Doing planks for longer and longer intervals helps build a stronger core with a greater level of endurance.

Even just doing five minutes a day of core exercises can improve swimming in the long run.

Rowing

Rowing might seem like a strange sport to throw on this list. After all, running helps to build endurance and core workouts can help any athlete build stronger muscles. What many might not realize right away is that rowing is also an endurance sport and one that can be exciting for young swimmers to try.

Learning the motion and rhythm of rowing can, like running, help swimmers to build a cadence and pattern with their strokes. Plus, rowing can help build muscle strength by engaging the quads, hamstrings, glutes, core, shoulders, triceps, back and biceps

Rowing and swimming are also both cardio intensive workouts, so the similarities there could attract young athletes looking for something new to tackle in the offseason. Rowing burns significant calories and is safe on the joints, making it an ideal second sport for swimmers.

Conclusion

Many dryland workouts can be practiced by swimmers in the offseason. They may help improve muscle strength and educance, and can also strengthen various different swim strokes, making it easier for young swimmers to “dive back in” to the season. Practicing dryland is beneficial, so it’s important that swimmers start working it into their schedule.

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

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Rosemary Niebauer
5 months ago

Yes indeed. Super great advice!