Top 6 Exercises For Strength And Muscle

One of the most important things every swimmer should do when they workout is build strength and muscle. The main reason for this is because when you get older, your strength and muscle tissues decrease.

It is very important to keep your strength levels and muscle tissues in tact because many swimmers injure themselves, due to slips and trips during their everyday lives, or even during practice.

But if you keep your core strong, muscle tissues and overall strength levels high, all of that can be prevented with just six exercises.

These six exercises will help keep you strength levels high and help prevent injuries:

  1. Barbell Squat: Push through your heels, keep your head up, chest out, and push your butt back as you lower yourself down. Then drive through the heels and squeeze your butt on the way up.
  2. Deadlift: Weight through your heels, chest out, shoulders back, and focus on your glutes as you hinge through your hips, pushing your butt back. On the way up, squeeze your butt, keeping your head up, and pull your shoulders back as you lift the weight.
  3. Barbell Bench Press: Slowly lower the bar down to mid chest with a controlled motion, keeping your chest out and shoulders back. Then push the bar back up without locking your elbows and repeat.
  4. Push Up: Ensure your hands are positioned below your shoulders with your thumb in line with the mid chest, core is tight, butt lightly squeezed, and head up to ensure good posture. Slowly lower your body down with control, touching your chest to the ground, then push yourself back up without locking the elbows and repeat.
  5. Pull Up: Ensure that you flex your lats in order to keep your shoulders down throughout the full range of motion. Pull yourself all the way up as much as you can then lower yourself down with control, ensuring that you do not fully relax your shoulders or lock your elbows, then repeat.
  6. Barbell Hip Extension: Utilize a barbell pad to protect your pelvis. Place the bench on your scapula and relax your arms. Push through your heels as you lean back and drive your pelvis upward, squeezing your glutes. Hold for 1 second at the top of the movement and lower yourself down without touching the floor and repeat.



With any workout, keep in mind to always stretch before and after, to help prevent any more injuries from occurring.

Note: When deciding what weight will help benefit you the most, it is up to you and how your body feels, and determine what will weight will work and how much of the workout you can actually complete. Not every workout will benefit each swimmer in the same way. Doing less of a workout may be more beneficial for some people while doing more will benefit others as well. Make sure to listen to you body and do what feels right. 


  1. Morelli, Michael, Jr. “Top 6 Exercises with Chris.” Morellifit, 7 Dec. 2015. Web. 11 Dec. 2015.

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7 years ago

Check out 7 Very Important Tips On How To Build Muscle!

7 years ago

What? No barbell rows?

Reply to  NickB
7 years ago

Yep. Should’ve dropped the pushups, since already doing the BB bench press, and substituted the rows for muscle balance and shoulder protection/scapular stability.

Reply to  swimdoc
7 years ago

I think the push-ups are also for core, like a dynamic plank. Do rows help the back differently than a pull-up? …hoping this might be they key to fixing some back of the shoulder/ scapula irritation. I do lots of pull-ups but no rows…

Reply to  Alex
7 years ago

I imagine that pull ups will get the teres major involved (through adduction) more than rows. Pulls ups require a balance of anterior and posterior muscles (back and front muscles such as pectoralis major/minor) while the bent over row is mainly (in the lats and rhomboids) posterior concentric and eccentric contractions as gravity brings the weight down. There is more scapular stability in the rows because it mainly involves retraction while pull ups will involve retraction and upward/downward rotation of the scapula during adduction and abduction. I think that was right at least…

7 years ago

*heels 🙂

About Emilee White

Emilee White

My name is Emilee White and I grew up in Canyon Lake, California. I began swimming at the age of 13 in age group, but with my background of dance, swimming came naturally to me and I excelled in the sport. I swam all four years on my high school …

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