Courtesy of RITTER Sports Performance, a SwimSwam partner
When it comes to swimming, we have a very skewed view of training. A few weeks ago, I attended the Pro Swim Series in Austin. As I walked around the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center, I couldn’t help but chuckle.
Swimmers and spectators alike watched Nathan Adrian and other elite level swimmers walk on deck with a commanding, strong presence. I heard countless remarks about how powerful and built these athletes looked. People commented on how they must strength train regularly and do more than just swim in the pool.
However, swimmers still loathe dryland and sometimes fail to realize the game-changing potential it brings to a swimmer’s career. This couldn’t be more true when discussing one movement, the pull-up.
I thought with the Michael Phelps Under Armor commercial, things might change.
I thought Cullen Jones and his historic run in 2008 would spark change. Cullen worked up to weighted pull-ups in the 80-90 lb range during that Olympic cycle.
I thought social media shedding light on the Olympic journey of athletes, like Simone Manuel, would provide the snapshot generations of swimmers would need to stop undervaluing dryland training.
Even recently, Siphiwe Baleka discussed his amazing journey to faster at 45 compared to his 21-year-old self. People were still surprised that strength and technique allowed him to significantly decrease his overall training volume and SWIM FASTER!
We still have work to do. It is time to stop fearing dryland. It is time to stop fearing the pull-up.
Are you ready?
As with learning a swimming stroke, the pull-up requires a focused progression. You can get to your first unassisted pull-up. You can achieve a new level of pull-up performance.
Where should you start?
Start with the necessary skills and assess where you fall short.
Pull-Up Skills Assessment:
- Can you hold a perfect plank for a minute?
- Can you complete a single-arm dumbbell row with 1/4 of your bodyweight?
- Can you actively hang on a pull-up bar for over a minute?
- Do yo have the proper shoulder mobility and stability to properly disperse force across the shoulder girdle?
The ability to complete an unassisted pull-up extends well past the movement itself. For example, think about if you a sprinter but can’t hold a solid plank for the duration of your event. What do you think is happening to your body positioning and efficiency as you approach the finish of a race? It’s probably not optimal!
The next thing you need to do is take a top-down approach.
Ready to start?
Unlock our top-down approach to pull-up mastery!
About RITTER Sports Performance:
RITTER Sports Performance helps swimmers go faster and coaches get better, worldwide. Through our online resources on strength training, stroke technique, swim-training, race analysis or nutritional coaching–RITTER is ready to help you take your swimming to the next level. Are you?
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Swim training is courtesy of RITTER Sports Performance, a SwimSwam partner.