Strength & Conditioning for Swimmers

underwater weights

Not too long ago I wrote about Mount Stupid (you can read it here), and how I and so many other coaches apparently. Well this year I climbed partway down from Mount Stupid and decided to ask a real strength and conditioning expert to handle what I’d been so confidently messing up for years.

Wow, what a difference!

Now, I should point out that prior to this year I thought I had the experience, first-hand knowledge and obvious intelligence to handle something as simple as S&C. I had a long swimming career, decades of being an athlete, and years of previous experience with coaching. I knew this stuff inside and out, right?

In other words, I was sitting smugly and happily at the very top of Mount Stupid.

So what has changed now that we have a real program? Just about everything.

  • We got rid of swim cords. We do enough swimming as it is. More of the same movements isn’t going to make us stronger overall, and probably just increases the chance of injury.
  • We started strengthening our backs. Swimmers are notorious for hunched shoulders, and that’s a huge problem if you want to have a strong core and back.
  • We started increasing our effective Range of Motion for important joints.
  • And most importantly, we focussed on major body movements: squats, hip hinges, Romanian deadlifts, presses, etc.

Now keep in mind, that most of our athletes are performing these exercises with just body weight. Only after some monitoring and testing have we added relatively light weights – in the form of sand bells – for swimmers who have demonstrated consistent and acceptable technique. This is clearly going to be a long term process involving years of development and monitoring.

So is it worth it?

Well, we ran a small 7-week S&C camp for …read more

Source: Rick’s Blog