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by Bo Hickey

October 15, 2018

Try these three core progressions to help you go faster

Your ability to hold a proper (streamlined) body position is critical to swimming fast because it improves your efficiency, giving you more energy late in sets or races.

In this video, we cover three core training progressions you can add to your dryland routine. These exercises will progress from a static position to dynamic effort to enhanced core engagement. Aim to complete three rounds of these exercises twice a week. If it’s a static exercise that requires you to stay still, such as with a plank, hold for a minute with perfect form; if it’s a dynamic exercise that requires movement to complete, such as with a dead bug, aim for 10 repetitions on each arm or leg.

Doing these movements regularly will help you improve your body position in the water.

Core Progression 1

First, we’ll start by discussing how a basic plank compares to your streamlined position in the water. Many swimmers miss out on the value of a plank and how it can improve their streamlined position. Proper form is critical to helping you build the core strength to be efficient in the water. Think about tucking your tailbone throughout the movement.

Core Progression 2

After mastering the plank, it’s time to add limb movement on top of core stability. Swimming requires you to drive propulsion with limb movement while maintaining core control. The dead bug is a great variation to help improve your body position while adding limb movement. With the dead bug, keep your lower back firm to the ground.

Core Progression 3

Finally, we finish with a plank on a stability ball. This exercise causes a deeper core contraction to occur than with a plank on the ground. Start with a static hold and then if you feel like you’re ready for more, start driving your elbows forward away from your torso and then back toward your torso. Your arms should be the only thing moving.


  • Technique and Training


  • Core