Build a strong pull and a strong core for a more efficient stroke
Backstrokers must be able to exert strength with their body stretched out and have good body awareness. Being able to focus on the form of each stroke and where you are in the pool is a challenge that takes time to master. Here’s a dryland workout geared toward helping your body position and strength.
At the start of each dryland session, take a little time to work your body through some low-intensity range-of-motion exercises. Then, the session will gradually increase in intensity from there. To prepare for today's session, focus on your shoulders, hips, ankles, and hamstrings.
Complete two rounds of the following exercises, resting minimally between exercises and rounds. Pace this section to take roughly 8 minutes to complete.
- Controlled arm circles x 8 on each side
- Quadruped opposites x 8 on each side
- Ankle press x 8
- Hamstring lifts x 8 on each side
Strong Body Position
Now that your body is in motion, work on some position holds. In this section, you’re going to complete four different holds. The time listed is the maximum time to hold each exercise. If you feel your form breaking before the maximum time is achieved, stop at that point. The goal is to try to make it a little longer each week.
Complete three rounds of the following exercises. Rest minimally between exercises and take 2:00 of rest between rounds. Pace this section to take about 15 minutes to complete.
- Flexed hang x up to 20 seconds
- Front plank x up to 40 seconds
- Side plank x up to 40 seconds on each side
- Hollow x up to 40 seconds
Strengthen Your Upper Body
Next, target some improvements in your upper body strength. This will help you express more pulling power and help keep aches and pains away as your swimming yardage increases.
Important: Focus on the form you complete the movements with rather than the total weight you lift. Yes, striving to get stronger has plenty of benefits but strength without form can result in delayed progress. Move with quality in mind!
As you complete the i,y,t, reposition your head. Often people go through life with their ears out in front of their shoulders. This happens because of viewing different screens and devices as well as the posture utilized while sitting. Focus on stacking your ears directly over your shoulders to help reset your head position.
For the push-ups in this section, keep in mind that you can modify this exercise to be from your knees. The goal is to keep your torso in a strong position, avoiding a low back arch.
Complete three rounds of the following exercises. Take 30 seconds of rest between exercises and rounds. Pace this section to take about 15 minutes to complete.
Develop Your Kick
Finally, focus on your kick strength. Here are two unilateral exercises, since the flutter kick is a unilateral exercise. As you go through this section, focus on how the exercises feel between your left and right sides. While perfect symmetry is not the goal, the goal is to be close in feel and ability for each side.
Complete three rounds of the following exercises. Rest 30 seconds between rounds and exercises. Pace this section to take about 8 minutes to complete.
Now that the hard part is behind you, gradually bring your heart rate down with a few light stretches to close this session out. Focus on your breathing in this section. Avoid tensing up your breath as you complete the stretches. The goal is to breathe freely and release any tension you’re feeling.
Complete two rounds of the following exercises. Take minimal rest between exercises and rounds. Pace this section to take about 5 minutes to complete.
- Technique and Training