Is Your Dryland Program Truly Swim-Specific?

Courtesy:, a SwimmersBest brand.

Every swimmer and coach should constantly reevaluate their in-water and dryland programs on a regular basis. Is your program staying ahead of the swimmers’ needs? Are you using the relevant methods? Are you using the available time efficiently? Every swim dryland program should build the athlete’s power while simultaneously their Swim-Specific technique and muscle chains. But the swim industry is filled with dryland programs that are mostly burpees, push-ups, sit-ups, and such movements without any swim specificity. And worse yet, a large percentage of the swim industry has little-to-no dryland program at all.

Specifically, what should you be focusing on in your dryland program? Here is a list of just the swim specific components you should be building out of the water EACH WEEK.

  • High Catch (EVF)
  • Arm Power (Pull Power)
  • Finish Stroke Power
  • Outsweep (start of the BR and FLY strokes)
  • BR Kick
  • Flutter Kick
  • Dolphin Kick
  • ‘Recovery Kick’ (for flutter kick and underwaters)
  • Wall Power
  • Track Start Power
  • BK Start Power
  • Core
  • Shoulder Driven FR

Each of these categories are movements that you do NOT get from normal exercises such as running, biking, burpees, and push-ups. Workouts made for non-swim athletes are fine to help build individual muscles and/or the cardio system, but they do NOT address the specific swim muscle chain in the proper order that swimmers use in the water. By using swim-specific exercises, you not only create the proper muscle chains but you also target smaller, neglected muscles within that chain. More importantly you will improve on the swimmers’ technique by addressing those muscle chains and muscle groups that can easily limit their ‘perfect technique’.

Are you hitting each one of the swim-specific categories above? The best way to organize yourself and make sure you are hitting all of these swim specific categories is to set a weekly or a monthly schedule. A few steps to get (re)started:

    1. Allocate the appropriate dryland time per week based on the age and training level
    2. Prioritize training categories into a monthly schedule so you can be sure to cover all swim-specific needs that are relevant to the swimmer’s time, skill, and age
    3. Schedule a portion of your Dryland time to building each desired category

But if this sounds like a LOT of work and a little over your current knowledge level, then here is a completely free resource that will help you build an excellent swim-specific dryland program that is tailored to the needs of your swimmers. This free file will help you organize the amount of time you should spend based on the needs of the group, what categories to prioritize, how to schedule those categories through the month and show you hundreds of individual exercises you need for each swim-specific category.

Here is a quick review of the amount of time that you should allocate to each swim group level:

# Hours of Training Time to Allocate for Dryland
4 hours per week (or less): no dryland unless able to add time above the 4 hours
4.5 – 6 hours per week: 15-30 mins / wk for dryland (cut from your current in-water)
6.5 – 9 hours per week: 1-2 hours / wk dedicated to dryland (in 30-45min sessions)
10+ hours per week: 2-4 hours / wk dedicated to dryland (slowly building from 30-45 mins / sessions)

How to schedule out your monthly plan so you hit the categories that are most important will depend on the amount of time and training level of each group. Here is screenshot from the free resource that helps you prioritize the most important categories at each level:

But it isn’t just touching on each of the categories that makes your program swim specific. It is also the exercises and movements that you do to build those categories. You need more than just a few movements to target each category in order to help them evolve from the basic movements they need to perfect at first through to more advanced, and eventually, weighted movements to power each swim muscle chain.

To get you started with a list of movements, here is a quick preview of what to expect..

The massive free resource gives you a description, Dos/Donts, videos, photos and details of each movement. Everything is color coded based on the skill level and difficulty to help you evolve over time. Movements are bundled with different color codes for most movements so you can have similar movements in the same group with some individuals working on harder versions while others are using the more basic versions.

In the past quality dryland for swimmers has involved tons of time to learn, lots of money to get certified or buy books and still leaves you bewildered. This free resource gets you started with a ‘dryland for dummies’ set for your first months while you learn and understand safely to help you swimmers advance down the road. Whether you feel your program is perfect, you have no program, or just want to explore ways to improve your current program, you have nothing to lose by checking out the industry’s largest free resource of dryland help ever assembled:  ONETrainSavage dryland resource.

For more information on dryland swim specific training, read this article (Busy Triathletes: How To Swim Without Water).


ABOUT ONESWIM.COM, A SWIMMERSBEST BRAND is leading the way for the future of swim training equipment.  The company offers a broad range of solutions for improving stroke technique, kick technique, and breathing technique.   They provide swimmers, coaches, and teams with the tools they need to balance technique training with conditioning training.  By combining the best drills with the best tools, the SwimmersBest products give swimmers instant tactile feedback so they can adjust their technique efficiently. The old way of having coaches constantly remind swimmers of their individual problems has proven to offer very little improvement in technique.  All SwimmersBest products are designed to constantly ‘talk to the swimmers’ so they can feel the problems and make corrections. This unique approach means the swimmers are given negative feedback for incorrect stroke technique, which compels the swimmers to quickly correct the problem on their own. With a constant flow of new innovative product designs, SwimmersBest is a company that will continue to deliver solutions you need.





SWIMMERSBEST INSTAGRAM / SwimmersBest is a SwimSwam partner.

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