Finding variety in the weight room is sometimes difficult. Here is an exercise for one of the most important phases in swimming: the catch. This exercise promotes strength in the Latissimus Dorsi and parts of the Triceps Brachii, the major swimmer muscles. The movement is very similar to the catch in backstroke and freestyle, and the stability ball adds extra core and balance work. This same exercise can be done with both arms for breaststrokers and butterflyers.
How to execute:
- Get in a comfortable supine position on a stability ball where the head and back are resting on the ball.
- By actively staying engaged in the core, keep the hips up high so we have a nice straight line from our knees to the neck.
- Grab a dumbbell (DB), and keep it straight above the chest. Make sure to keep a slight bend in the elbow so the arm is not completely straight.
- Lower the DB in a controlled movement. Remember to not go down too low as many swimmers are able to hyperflex the shoulder in this movement. Other swimmers may not be able to go down far at all because of tightness in the lats and triceps; hence, this would be a good stretch to open up those tight areas.
Swimmer Strength provides high-quality and reliable information about strength & conditioning for swimmers. They educate and motivate the world of swimming that designing dry-land programs are difficult, but if approached strategically can be extremely beneficial for outcomes in the pool. Swimmer Strength gives new ideas and adds variation to your programs that are swimmer appropriate.
Deniz Hekmati is the founder of Swimmer Strength. He helped coach César Cielo to his two World Championship gold medals in Barcelona 2013 and is currently working with youth swimmers to improve functional movements and create body awareness in early ages. After 4-years of college swimming and a degree in Exercise Sciences, he wants to help educate the swimming world in designing safe and effects strength programs.