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Build Strength for Swimming

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Refine your stroke—it's the number one thing you can do to improve your swimming. The more efficient your technique, the less energy it requires to travel more distance in the water. Another way to think about it: If your stroke is inefficient, it takes you more energy to travel the same speed with more strokes. Of course you also need total-body strength and stability to maintain proper technique. Here are a few strategies for the gym to boost your performance in the water.

Work on rotational power

If you use proper technique, your torso should rotate as you slice through the water. Improve rotational power with moves like rotational medicine ball throws.

Protect your shoulders

Shoulder injuries are common for swimmers because of the overhead motion. To protect your shoulders, train the muscles that support your shoulder blades—your "scapular stabilizers"—with Ys and Ts, for example.

Strengthen your back and legs

You pull yourself through the water with your back muscles and provide propulsion with your kick. Focus on both areas, including plenty of work for your glutes (butt muscles). Training your glutes will help cut down on soreness in the hamstrings and lower back since these two areas often overcompensate when the glutes are weak.

About The Author

Craig Friedman – Craig Friedman is the vice president of the performance innovation team at EXOS. He designs and implements performance training systems for professional athletes in all sports as well as elite youth and college athletes.

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Tags: Swimming, Triathlon, Sports Performance, Outdoor Recreation, Strength