Proper Planning for Dryland Training
Strength training is a necessary component to a swimmers training regimen. Without a strength training program a coach leaves his swimmers at more of a risk for muscle imbalances, weaknesses, and inefficiencies, which can lead to injuries and at best will result in swimmers not reaching their potential. It is necessary to include training outside of the water but it takes careful planning to make sure that the content of work is quality and good use is made of this time spent.
An efficient team training format combined with the proper planning and exercise selection allows a coach to address the many different needs of a strength program in a very time efficient format. An organized dryland program will allow coaches to manipulate different variables such as volume, load, speed and other methods of increasing or decreasing intensity. Doing so will allow proper periodization which is crucial to peak performance!
One of our main goals is injury prevention. We realize that in swimming many overuse injuries exist. By using a total body approach to our strength program we address many of the issues that result in our injuries, namely joint instability and muscle imbalances. We also want to emphasize that teaching the proper technique of an exercise is necessary before putting them in a timed circuit that is moving at a fast pace. Running your athletes through a high tempo circuit where everyone has poor technique is pointless. Exercises should be performed slowly at first to make sure they are performed correctly. We teach them one at a time until proper form is attained. Never perform an exercise in a range of motion that shows lack of control, this is so important to ensure the athlete stays injury free. Once control is shown with good technique then it is time to apply it in a circuit format.
The long term goal of these circuits is for an athletes power, ability to tolerate lactic acid, core strength, total body strength, and joint stability all to increase. As we mentioned earlier, if the athlete is hurt then none of these goals will be achieved! Train Hard but more importantly Train Smart!