When swimming, our upper body works hard as most of our propulsion through the water comes from our arms’ action, and the back muscles play a vital role. Key muscles that are often undertrained are the “lats” or the latissimus dorsi, triceps, and pectorals. The legs’ muscles also contribute to our propulsion through swim kicks such as flutter, dolphin, and whip kick. Key leg muscles that are sometimes undertrained are the iliopsoas, soleus and tibialis anterior, and the sartorius. Strengthening these many muscles out of the pool using resistance will improve your swimming performance and race times.
How we swim matters; proper stroke technique can serve to improve our performance. If you are unsure of your style or how your technique may be slowing you down, take a few lessons. Consider how resistance training will also improve your form, prevent injuries, and increase your endurance in the pool. Resistance training, or strength training, out of the pool is made easy with Phyix Gear Sport loop bands. Use at home, or throw them in your swim bag to work out on the pool deck. These quality bands come in various resistance levels and come with a free video eguide with many safe, effective exercises. Loop bands seem simple, but they provide a high-quality resistance workout, and the number of exercises possible is endless! Using two bands, you can shorten your workout and increase your workout intensity by working the upper body, core, and lower body simultaneously! Further, it is easy to target weaker muscle groups like triceps and rhomboids using bands.
Here are just three of the effective, intense exercises you can do with your bands to strengthen key swim muscles:
- Reverse Grip Single Arm Curl and Row: Take your band in both hands, with one palm facing up and the other palm facing down. Move your hands shoulder-width apart, so the band is tight. Keep one hand down and in line with your shoulder while you curl the other hand up to your shoulder. Keep both elbows still. When your hand reaches your shoulder, this is the top of the curl. Now squeeze your elbow behind you in a rowing motion. Return your elbow and then your hand to the start position. Repeat 12-15 times on each side.
- Latissimus Pull Downs:Take your band in both hands, and grip it with two fists. Bring your arms straight and above your head while keeping your hands in line with your shoulders. Keep one arm still while pulling the other arm down out to the side of you. Your elbow should bend to about ninety degrees. Moving slowly, bring your arm back up over your head. Alternate sides for a total of 12-15 repetitions on each side.
- Loop Band Squats: Loop your band around both legs, and place just above the knees. Get into a power stance: feet shoulder-width apart, chest up, contract your core, and push your hips back. Squat down till your knees are bent to about ninety degrees. Hold for a few seconds, then come back up but only ¼ of the way, then go back down again. Repeat this 12-15 times. If you can maintain form, your squat may go lower than ninety degrees, but be cautious as this is an advanced squat style.
For more great full-body loop band exercises, follow along with your free eguide with your Physix Gear Resistance training gear purchase! By adding resistance training to your workout plan, you will improve your swimming endurance, power, and speed.