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Exercises to Keep Your Body Fit For Swimming

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This article was written for Outdoor Swimmer by Dan Bullock. Dan has been coaching since 1990, holding qualifications with the ASA, BTF, ASCA and the World Open Water Swim Association.

With swim venues now closed and people being ordered by the government to stay at home, it’s important to keep your body strong for when you get back to swimming outside in the open water. SwimforTri's Dan Bullock shares his top five dry land exercises that Great Swim swimmers of all abilities will benefit from when they return to swimming after the long break.

Rock Pose
Kneel on a mat and gently lower your buttocks onto your heels. Hold for 30 seconds or longer, if comfortable, but note you may get pins and needles if you remain in this position too long.

Be cautious if you have knee injuries and never force yourself into any position that causes pain.

Pilates Swimmer
Lie face down on a mat with your arms stretched forward. Try to create a sensation of length along your spine. (In the traditional Pilates Swimmer exercise you would use both your arms and your legs but we will just concentrate on the lower part of the body.)

Holding yourself strongly through the core, keep your legs straight and gently raise your feet a few centimetres above the floor. Initiate a controlled flutter kick motion will keeping your legs straight. Start with three rounds of 10 kicks with each leg and try to increase to 20 over time.

Straight Arm Plank
The Straight Arm Plank is both simple and difficult. Prop yourself into the standard push-up position with hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart, fingers pointed forward.

Lock your arms straight. Your neck, back and legs should make a straight line. The hard part now is to hold that position.

Start with 30 seconds and try to increase to a minute. Repeat three times.

Ts, Ys and Is
Loop the stretch chords or bands around a fixed point at about shoulder level. Take one end of the cords in each hand (with an equal length of cord each side) and stand facing the fixing point.

Reach out your arms to the side so that your body makes a “T” or crucifix shape. There should be light tension in the cords. Now move your hands backwards and forwards through a range of about 10cm. Continue for 30 seconds, rest and repeat a total of three times.

Then repeat with your arms raised into a “Y” shape and finally repeat with your arms pointing directly to the sky with your body in an “I” shape.

Draw the Sword
Start by standing straight in a neutral position with your arms held loosely by your side. Now reach your right arm over to your left hip as if you were about to draw an imaginary sword hanging from your belt.

Allow the shoulder to follow and bring it as close to forwards facing your chin as you can, and also allow your hip to follow the rotation movement. Then, in a fluid, smooth movement, pull your imaginary sword from its scabbard and swing it across your body until it’s raised above your head, ready to strike.

Repeat 10 times and then switch arms.

For more outdoor swimming inspiration and advice visit www.outdoorswimmer.com

 

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