Importance of Strength Training
The goal of any competitive swimmer is to become the fastest you can possibility be. It is also no secret that strength training for swimmers is crucial aspect to helping you achieve that goal and be ahead of your competitors. Here are three reasons why swimmers should consider hitting the weight room:
Improve Swimming Performance
While swimming is done in the pool, a well-designed strength program will help you fill the potential gaps in your performance. Strength training helps with laying a foundation in strength and power that gets you pushing through the water faster.
Improve Body Awareness
Strength training requires focus, coordination, balance and stability. This is likely to translate to an increase in your swimming performance. It will also help you be more in-tune with your body and move more effectively and efficiently.
Strength training can target underdeveloped muscles. It will help relieve the demand on those muscles that are over worked and stressed in the water. Having stronger muscles can also put less stress on the joints, tendons, and ligament areas, thereby reducing the rate of injury.
Which Muscles to Work On
The best strength training for swimmers involves strengthening your core, pectoral muscles, quadricep muscles and the latissimus dorsi. These are the main propulsive muscles used during swimming.
When it comes to competitive swimming workouts, we want to ensure to target these muscles when deciding on a program to stick to.
Building a strong core is essential to any swimmer. Without a strong core, you will be unable to hold yourself on top of the water, creating unwanted drag. The best swimming workouts will prioritize strengthening your core, which will help transfer strength and power from the gym floor into the pool. A strong core, you will will enable a better transfer of energy from the core to the pull, and kick, components of your stroke.
This is just another term for your chest muscles, more commonly known as your “pecs”. The muscle plays an important part in both freestyle stroke and the breaststroke. It not only helps to stabilize your strokes, but also contributes a large amount of strength to your propulsion.
This muscle group is commonly referred to as “lats” and are your middle back muscles. They play a large role in your ability to pull, which is essential to swimmers. You will use these muscles from point of entry into the water all the way until your hand is just past your chest, at which point your pull becomes dominated by your triceps.
Quadriceps are commonly known as your “quads” and are the group of muscles in the front upper part of your legs. Their main purpose is to jump and kick. Though kicking only plays a small role in freestyle, in other strokes such as the backstroke and butterfly kicking plays an important role. Hence, quads help you improve on the kick component.
Importance of Recovery
Recovery after weight training should be given an equal amount of importance; that is if you want to improve and become a better swimmer. The faster and more efficiently you recover, the stronger your body will be. During recovery, your body repairs the “damage” you’ve done during your strength workout or swim training. The recovery period is when you finally reap the benefits of all your training.
For swimmers, active recovery is especially important and is a way of keeping your blood moving to transport nutrients into muscles and waste products out of muscles. SPRYNGs active compression solution is a great investment to take your recovery routine to the next level. If you have ever wondered how to recover sore muscles, SPRYNG does the job. The device helps to reduce lactic acid build up and increases oxygenation to your tissues. This means the recovery period needed by your body between your training sessions is shorter. To find out more about the science behind SPRYNG click here.