Bodyweight Exercises for Swimming

Bodyweight Exercises for Swimming

Welcome back to our blog on maintaining strength and fitness during Lockdown. Whilst open water swimming is now permitted in England in some circumstances, the rest of us in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are still advised to stay at home.

Last week, Jonny Kilpatrick of Physio Effect reminded us that:

“…it’s really important that swimmers and triathletes still exercise their shoulder and upper body with some form of regular resistance training. When they are able to get back into the water, they’ll certainly want to feel fit for it but, more importantly, they’ll want to have kept their tendon integrity and muscular strength for swimming. This will avoid a scenario where what would normally be considered an easy session for them is, in fact, a huge step up in current loading and causes them an overuse injury.”

Below is a set of exercises that can be done at home with no weights or bands. Take a minute or two rest after each set.

Make sure you start with a good warm up, including some walking or cardio, and replicate some of the exercises below with lighter weights or bodyweight in that warm up. There are plenty of videos on You Tube for ideas!

The workout below starts with your larger, compound movements and moves on to smaller muscles to finish. If you are unsure of any techniques, personal trainers are mostly working online at the moment and any good PT should be able to help you get started virtually, and check your form! You should be aiming to fail by the end of the sets.

1. a. Squat – 15 reps
b. Reverse Lunge (stepping back into lunge) – 12 reps each side
3. Sumo Squat with Floor Tap and Reach – wide squat, tap the floor with hands then reach about your head, raising your calfs to stand on your toes – 10 reps
Repeat a, b and c as a set 3 times

2. a. Swimmers – lie face down on floor, hands by your hips. Use your glutes to lift your legs off the floor, raise your chest off and swing your straight arms to be directly in front of you, then return everything to the start – 20 reps
b. Crab Bridge – start in a seated position with hands behind you, and knees bent, feet on floor. Slowly lift your bum of the floor to be in a table top position, then lower – 20 reps
Repeat a and b as a set 3 times

3 a. Push ups – to fail
b. Tricep dips – to fail
Repeat a and b as a set 3 times

4 a. Plank with shoulder taps – 20 reps
b. Oblique Sit ups – 20 reps
c. Plank jacks – 20 reps
d. Side plank with hip dips – 10 reps each side.
Repeat a to d as a set 3 times

5. Circuit to finish, 3 rounds, 50 seconds work, 10 seconds rest
a. Arm Circles
b. Standing air punches (can be done with a light weight)
c. High Knee Run
d. Reverse Plank
e. Burpee

Physiotherapists across the country are still working online, including Jonny, and you can book in for a consultation here: