Does strength training make you more muscle bound and cause you to lose flexibility?
No, not if you do it the right way. If you limit yourself to training like a bodybuilder you may very well loss flexibility. Exercises that include dynamic flexibility and multiple ranges of motion will prevent this. Train the right way and you will only benefit from strength training.
What is functional training and why is it so important for swimmers to do?
The concept of functional training dictates that the body acts in movement patterns, not isolated muscle actions. Therefore our functional dryland training approach focuses on movement actions related to swimming, not isolated body-building exercises. In other words, we want to make movements stronger not an individual muscle.
Why is core training so important to swimming?
Core strength and stability allow for greater transfer of strength and power as well as playing a key role in maintaining proper balance and alignment in the water. Rotational core movements (long axis and short axis rotation) will help develop better stroke efficiency and power making it an essential part of a dryland training program.
How many times a week should I strength train?
3 times a week is optimal
Should traditional strength training be a part of my program?
Yes, it definitely has its benefits. Make sure you integrate functional and traditional training at the same time and be sure to use proper progression.
I want to add strength but do not want to put on more muscle. Is this possible?
Yes! When doing your traditional lifts perform them with heavy loads and low reps (4 - 6).