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Try these dryland swim training exercises to help build strength and improve your performance in the water

Training for the swim portion of your upcoming tri is always important. Although this workout won’t be identical to the benefits you get while actually in the water, such as perfecting your form and practicing your breathing; focusing on these muscles is valuable to enhancing your performance during your tri.   Think of these exercises as a way of targeting the same muscle groups you would activate while swimming to keep making forward progress when you’re unable to hit the pool. These dryland swim exercises focus on working your core muscles, quads, glutes, chest, arms, back, and shoulders much like you would in the water.

Burpees

A burpee essentially works all the muscles you would activate during a pool session, but is especially beneficial to help build your stamina. Full body and functional exercise that works on your muscle endurance as well as aerobic capacity.

  1. Start standing with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Lower yourself into a squatting position and place your hands on the floor in front of you.
  3. Jump your feet back, putting yourself into a pushup position.
  4. Do a pushup.
  5. Jump your feet back into their original position.
  6. Stand yourself upright, jump into the air, and clap your hands over your head.

Repeat this exercise in 3 sets of 15.

Lat Pulldown

For this upper body exercise, you need some weight. However, stay light and stretch your shoulders well to reduce the risk of injury.

To do this type of Lat pulldown:

  1. Sit down at a pulldown machine and place your hands wide apart on the bar, palms facing forward.
  2. Bring the bar down straight down to your clavicle.
  3. Keep your torso still as you pull your arms down.
  4. Draw your shoulders back, pulling the bar down as you exhale.
  5. When the bar touches your clavicle and your shoulder blades are completely contracted, count to 2.
  6. Slowly bring your arms back up to starting position, as you inhale.

Control is key during this exercise. Trying to go fast will not work your muscles efficiently and can injure you. If you keep the weight low, you can do 3 sets of 25 for this exercise. don’t rush the exercise don’t go too fast or too slow

Pull-ups

If you do not have access to a pull-down machine, pull-ups will also work your back, muscle, and arms, providing great swimming dryland workout. You can even use the monkey bars at a local playground for this one.

How to do a proper pull-up:

  1. Move your arms shoulder-width apart and grasp an overhead bar with a firm, overhand grip.
  2. Hang so your arms and legs are straight.
  3. Steady your core.
  4. Keep your back straight and do not swing yourself.
  5. Pull yourself up, so that your head is over the bar, leaving the bar at your chest.
  6. Slowly lower your body back to hanging position.

You should also do this same exercise with your hands gripped close together at different distances, to work different muscles. Shoot for about 5 sets of as many proper pull-ups as your strength will allow during each set.

Reaching Lunges

This exercise works your quads and glutes. It will help you with changing direction and help you prevent injuries.

To do a reaching lunge:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Step far forward with your right leg and shift your weight so that your heel hits the floor.
  3. Descend until your right shin is vertical and your right thigh is parallel to the floor.
  4. Lightly tap your left knee to the floor.
  5. Put your weight back onto your right heel to bring yourself back upright.
  6. Repeat with your left leg.

When doing these exercises, keep yourself balanced and make sure your knee is bent at a 90º angle does not stick out further than your toe. On each side, also do 3 sets of 15 for this exercise.

T Rotational Pushups

This spin on the traditional pushup offers you a more intense workout. It provides a better core workout, while still hitting the upper body and hip extensors.

To do a T rotational pushup:

  1. Begin with a rigid torso, in a standing pushup position with your arms and feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Descend, bringing yourself chest to the floor.
  3. Start ascending until your arms are straight.
  4. Shift over into a side plank position keeping your arms straight.
  5. Rotate back to push up positions.
  6. Repeat on the other side

Do 10 reps total, alternating each side, for 3 sets.

Incorporate these dryland swim workouts into your Kerrville Tri training plan so you can be a stronger, more confident swimmer when you hit the water at your next tri.

Showing off those muscles, and getting pumped up for the swim!

Think you can skip training for the swim for your next tri? Not so fast!

You’re an ok swimmer so you don’t feel like you should allot a bunch of time training for the swim. Fast forward to the morning of your tri, add in race day elements – open water, other athletes, and no lanes to keep you in check – it’s no wonder why even seasoned triathletes may face panic during the swim. Know the importance of swim training with 5 reasons why you shouldn’t ignore swim training for your upcoming triathlon.5 Reasons You Shouldn't Ignore Your Swim Training

1. Helps Prevent Injury

Getting your body accustomed to handle the first leg of the tri is crucial. Swimming is a low-intensity, low-impact workout that will improve your overall flexibility, heart and lung capacity. Developing this during your training will prevent any unexpected incidents on race day. Train for the distance you are going to swim in your upcoming tri. Start slow and work your way up to this distance during your workouts. You can always slow down and take it easy on the bike and run legs, but during the intensity and commotion of the swim, your options are limited. For safety reasons, you cannot complete the race if you are unable to complete the swim portion. Therefore, you should practice floating on your back and practice a safety stroke as a backup plan if you start to feel tired or get frantic during the swim.

2. Avoid Swimming Further Than You Have To

5 Reasons You Shouldnt Ignore Your Swim Training

For those who have done most of your training in a pool, you are used to having a guide to keep you swimming in a straight line. If you don’t practice sighting during your training, you’ll most likely end up zig-zagging between the buoys, thus adding to the distance you have to swim on race morning. Don’t count on following the person in front of you. Sight regularly throughout the swim course to make sure you stay on the correct side of the buoys. Practicing sighting is key to avoid swimming off course during your tri.

3. Good Cardiovascular Activity

Swimming is a great aerobic exercise that will improve your cardiovascular fitness and overall health. It’s easy on your joints and is a perfect low-impact cardio exercise that can help reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. Choose a training plan that focuses on improving your swim technique to reserve your energy for the remaining legs of the race.  Also, establishing a good technique before the race will make you more efficient in the water on race day.

4. Strengthen Your Legs

Leg strength can make or break a race, so don’t make the mistake of neglecting leg work in the pool. If you haven’t spent much time in the water during your training, your legs may feel weak after completing the swim portion. To avoid feeling weak throughout the bike and run portion, use various swimming workouts to strengthen your legs during your training. The resistance from the water will strengthen your legs more than running or cycling alone. Incorporate kick sets into your swim training plan to ensure you have trained for your distance properly.  Pro tip: As you near the exit swim, start kicking your legs a little stronger to get the blood circulating into your legs again to prepare for the run into transition.

5. Calm Pre-Race Nerves

5 Reasons You Shouldn't Ignore Your Swim Training

Despite all your training, things can go awry when you factor in hundreds of other athletes into the mix. Nerves on race morning can get pretty overwhelming. Especially if this is your first triathlon. Even with a time trial start, swimming with so many people of all different skill levels can unnerve a highly skilled swimmer. You need to build your confidence in the water before the race. Most training takes place in a pool, but try joining a local tri club or a Masters Swimming Program to get the experience of swimming in open water with other athletes. Pro tip: Get out and do a mock swim so there are no surprises for your open-water swim.

It is common for athletes to dread the first discipline of a tri. Preparing for this during your training will eliminate any uncertainties you have before you dive into the swim start.  Whether you’re a novice swimmer or trying to go from a good swimmer to a great swimmer, training is key to a good performance on race day. So don’t hurt yourself by ignoring swim training for your upcoming tri! Grab your gear and head to the water.