This land exercise routine will help front crawl swimmers increase the strength and mobility of their shoulders, boost core strength, improve rotation and help prevent injury. Vivienne Rickman is your guide.
Ensure to warm up (try cat stretches) before this training session, and cool down (try child’s pose) afterwards.
This is a great move for challenging the stability of the muscles that surround the trunk of our body as well as the hip and shoulders.
There are two parts to the woodchop exercise – the lift and the chop, with each working on different muscles and sides of the body, great for strengthening our constant rotation in the water.
2. Bent-over Row
This works the muscles of the back primary, the trapezius, rhomboids and lats, which are all key movers in swimming.
These muscles help strengthen and stabilise our shoulders giving us power and also protect us from the repetitive overhead movements involved in front crawl.
You’ll need a dumbbell or kettlebell for this move.
3. Dead Bug
This is a great core exercise for improving body position in the water. It strengthens and stabilises the muscles in our core, spine and back as well as helping with coordination and balance.
It can also help with any of us suffering from minor lower back ache (always get yourself checked out by a doctor first!).
4. Glute Bridges
The muscles we use for front crawl are very anterior dominant, meaning they use mostly the front muscles of our bodies.
The muscles on our back body, known as our posterior chain (that’s our glutes, hamstrings and lower back) can end up underdeveloped, especially if we have sedentary jobs sitting at desks all day.
This exercise is great for getting the posterior chain fired up!
5. Alternating Superman
This is a great core strengthening exercise that involves minimal movement but improves strength in both the lower back and abs.
You’ll need a mat for this move.
6. Thoracic Spine Extension
This stretch helps mobilise our shoulders, increasing their range of motion. You’ll also feel your lats and triceps getting a good stretch, too.
A bench at the gym is ideal for this move, but you could also use a coffee table or chair that’s the right height.
7. Butterfly Stretch
We end this routine with Butterfly Stretch – a yoga move that improves the range and flexibility of both the hips and inner thigh adductor muscles.
It is important to use slow movements – avoid bouncing or pushing yourself too far.