Band Pulls are some of our favorite exercises for swimmers. This variation is very specific to the short axis strokes, especially butterfly. Integrating movements together is a great way to get power transfer to the pool.
Working the posterior chain is very important in swimming. Having strong paraspinal muscles is very important to all of the short axis strokes and also plays a solid role in getting off the blocks explosively. Here is the Streamline Hyperextension, one of our favorite exercises for developing strength in this area.
Pre Olympic Dryland Training Session
Here is one of Arlene Semeco's last workouts before she leaves for London. This workout focuses on upper body power with some core exercises integrated into the routine. She will be competing in the 50 and 100 Free.
T - STABILIZATION ROLL/PUSH-UP
This exercise is great for developing core strength and shoulder stability at the sametime. Make sure the hips and shoulders rotate at the same exact time to develop the core stiffness that we want. This core stiffness will allow us to generate more power and keep and strong connection between the upper and lower body. This is beneficial in many ways but especially when rotating in freestyle and backstroke.
Perform 2 - 3 sets of 5 - 10 per side. To add intensity include a push - up between each roll.
Periodization of Your Dryland Program
Most coaches put plenty of time and effort into planning out each season but limit this only to the training done in the pool. Coaches and swimmers need to plan there dryland training for the season as well in to make sure the dryland training and the pool training is aligned with each other. Remember that the body adapts to change and if it sees the same intensity, the same reps and the same exercises for every week and throughout the season then adaptation will stop taking place. If adaptation stops taking place then our strength and power levels stop improving and the work being put in is not being maximized.
Many questions have come my way in the past month and the most common one is how do I plan my dryland program out for the entire season. First examine how many weeks are in the entire season. We can use high school season (
The first 4 weeks is the Functional Adaptation Phase. What that means is that this phase is focused on getting the swimmers acclimated to the exercises we will be using for the season and at that same time increasing there functional strength. These exercises eventually end up being done in a timed circuit (30 seconds on:15 seconds off). The design of each circuit may vary and I could write a whole article just on that (which I will soon) but for the most part we stick with our LAPS Circuits. We make sure we have an exercise for Lower Body, Alignment and Core, Push and Pull, and Shoulder Stability. We demonstrate a variety of these exercises in our LAPS Dryland Training DVD.
The next 4 weeks (weeks 5 – 8) is the Power Phase. During this phase we incorporate the same functional exercises we used during the first phase but increase the intensity and lower the volume. In addition to this we add more explosive exercises to develop power in the legs, upper body, and the core. The goal here is to generate as much power as possible during these exercises.
Weeks 9 – 11 is the Power Endurance Phase. This is the phase that gets us to the place where we want to be at the end of the season with all of the other phases setting the foundation. Remember, you are only as strong as your foundation so the other phases are just as important if not more. During this phase we take the same power exercises, increase the volume and reduce the rest periods. This teaches us how to generate a lot of power and maintain it for an extended period of time with high levels of lactic acid.
The last 3 weeks may vary depending on the athlete. Typically at this point we back off to something similar to a power phase but with a lot of rest. This is great for maintenance of strength and power. It keeps the muscles moving explosively while at the same time does not put to much of a demand on the muscles.
The bottom line is that you have to have a game plan and it has to make sense. It takes a little bit more time but in the end it’s worth it. Good luck and swim fast!