Pool-Based Strength Training for Swimming
Rod Havriluk, Ph.D.
Journal of the International Society of Swimming Coaching, 1(4), 4-8.
Exercises designed to increase strength for swimming are typically performed somewhere other than in the pool. Different locations offer the advantage of a variety of land-based equipment, but also have disadvantages like expense and transportation. Another drawback is lack of specificity – strength training with a motion that replicates swimming – that is difficult to achieve anywhere but in a pool.
There are certain exercises a swimmer can perform in the pool that provide variety and specificity without the logistical issues of moving to another location. Some of these exercises require no equipment, some require inexpensive equipment, and others require sophisticated equipment that outputs essential quantitative data. Maximum benefit from each exercise is achieved by maintaining effective technique.
A number of pool-based strength training exercises offer logistical, budgetary, and specificity advantages. While the effectiveness of these exercises is dependent on technique, a coach can readily observe and correct deviations from appropriate form. Advanced swimmers can optimize the most specific strength training with quantitative feedback about each repetition. The pool offers options for all level swimmers to improve their strength.