What To Do When You Can’t Get In The Pool

Courtesy of VASA Trainer, a SwimSwam partner.

Whether it’s swimmer’s ear, a foot in a cast, stitches or a skin infection, most swimmers have been stuck on the side of the pool at some point in their career.  Here are some tips to keep yourself in swim-shape until you can get back in the water.

Hit the Weight Room

Stew Smith, a military fitness trainer, recommends hitting the weight room and focusing on the muscle endurance needed for swimming.  The key muscle groups he targets are back muscles, biceps, shoulders and triceps.  Stew advises moderate weight and high reps (15-20+ reps per set) for the following “swim-specific” muscle exercises:

  • Bent over rows
  • Bicep curls
  • Pull-downs
  • Tricep pushdowns

An important tip from Stew:  “The best way to get better at swimming without a pool is to perform the swimming movements as much as you can….”  Read more tips in Stew’s blog post in the Navy Workouts section of www.military.com.

Get Creative With Ropes, Push-ups and Kettle Bells

Jason Dierking, assistant director of Olympic Sports Performance at the University of Louisville, also focuses on strength training but with some creative twists.  In “Workout Tips for Swimmers to Use Outside of the Pool” on the AvidaBlog, Dierking says, “At Louisville we have our swimmers climb rope and do other rope exercises as well as pushups with various different grips.  We also do a lot of single arm overhead presses with kettle bells.  I love these exercises because they build strength while maintaining posture and freedom of movement.”

Jump on the Vasa

As Stew suggested above, the best strength and endurance conditioning for swimming is that which replicates the swimming motion as much as possible.  The Vasa Trainer and Ergometer  were both designed with that specific goal in mind.

For example, a top swimmer from Kenyon College severely injured his foot while playing catch on the beach on just the second day of the team’s winter training trip.  Doctors told him not to swim or push off with the injured foot for several weeks.  On returning to  Kenyon, his coach set up a training regimen on the Vasa Ergometer.  This allowed him more freedom with the resistance in the training, and he would spend most of his time on the Vasa Erg, with only a bit of swimming.  He ended up surprising everyone with a new school record in the 50 (19.86), and he  became the first freshman to win the 50 free at NCAA’s!

Watch this video for a few of over 200 Exercises to Increase Swim Endurance <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6SnQAQoyYk&amp;utm_source=pr3449&amp;utm_medium=editorial&amp;utm_campaign=swim_swam> using the Vasa Trainer.

VASA block 300x300 About VASA

Since 1988, Vasa has produced premium quality training equipment for sports, fitness and rehabilitation. For decades, Olympic-level swimmers, swim coaches, triathletes, triathlon coaches, and dry land conditioning coaches worldwide have selected the Vasa Trainer and Vasa Ergometer to dramatically improve performance for swimmers, surfers, paddlers, skiers, triathletes and those seeking total-body fitness. 

Follow VASA Trainer on Twitter here.

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About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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