Strength and conditioning is essential for all current and future swimmers. The foundation of a swimmer’s training should emphasize explosive power and shoulder stability. Accomplishing this foundation is seen through a structured strength and conditioning program and effective dry-land routines. In my 10+ years of experience in educating and training athletes, I have seen two areas that consistently need improvement. These areas are injuries resulting from overuse training and when explosive power does not produce the intended result. The average swimmer spends hours in the water practicing for competitive swim, therefore, preparing the body on dry-land plays a key role in conditioning the body for competing and remaining injury free. Throughout the course of training swimmers, I have encountered many that come to me with shoulder discomfort and asking how to be stronger off the block and wall. My approach for all swimmers is two-fold and encompasses focusing on iso-metrically strengthening the stabilizers of the shoulder and developing a kinetic chain to increase the swimmers explosive power. By strengthening the stabilizers of the shoulder, less discomfort from overuse training should result. As for developing the kinetic chain to increase explosive power, plyo-metrics and reaction time exercises results in a responsive core and stronger muscles of the lower body.
Strength training for swimmers is a proven method for properly preparing the body for practice, preventing injuries, and conditioning the body to perform at the highest level during competition. My commitment as the Director of Fitness for the Dayton Raiders is to help these swimmers train properly, increase their competition results, and remain safe and injury free throughout their journey.