Dryland Considerations for Young Swimmers

Adolescent Strength Training

Cam Birtwell

MSc CSCS Strength and Conditioning Coach Canadian Sport Pacific

March 05, 2010

This information was presented by Cam at AAA’s. These notes are meant to accompany the attached information. Let me know if you have questions or Cam can be reached at cbirtwell@cscpacific.ca

 Cam's Notes click here and here

Additional information to accompany Cam’s presentation notes.

Work on balancing the body before strength training.

  1. Upper Body

Assisted Pull-ups

Assisted pull-ups on a chin up bar employs high tension bands. The bands are wrapped around the chin-up bar as you would an elastic band. The swimmer puts one foot in the band loop and the elastic tension helps to pull the swimmer up. Swimmers should push their chest forward at the bottom of the pull-up. A wide, overhand grip should be used.

The tension band sets are available through ironwoody.com for approximately $80.00 or Google” Jump Stretch”.

“T’s and W’s” with Band

To deal with tightness in the pectorals and latissimus a pair of exercises is recommended.  With a stretch cord or surgical tubing do reverse fly. This provides a light load during a contraction-relaxation exercise.

The swimmer stands straight up with the cord tethered behind her/him. With arms in a “T” position (straight out from shoulders), pull forward to 45 degrees, 8-10 repetitions.  This will help to open the upper body.

The reverse exercise is for strengthening the upper body. Same body position facing the tethered spot, pull backwards to 45 degrees, arms in the “T” position.

The same exercises should be repeated in the “W” position where the swimmer simply drops his/her elbows.


Fly movements on ball

The above exercises can also be on done on a Swiss ball with dumb-bells, first with the swimmer lying on their back and then on their chest.

Thoracic Spine Rolling

This can be done on a foam roller or you can use a piece of PVC pipe covered with a piece of yoga mat. Rollers can be up to 6” in diameter for older swimmers. With arms over their heads, swimmers lie on the ball in three positions in between the top of their shoulder and the bottom of their shoulder blade for 15 seconds in each position.

  1. Lower Body

Hip Bridges - flexors

Swimmers lie on their back with feet on the floor and push hips up. This can also be done on a Swiss ball.

Deep Squats

Arm straight out in front of shoulders; swimmers must have their hips go below their knees.

Penguin Walk

Stand on a stretch cord (surgical tubing) on the forward part of your feet. Hold the left end of the cord in your right hand and the left part of the cord in your left hand so that it is crossed over in front of you.  Go 10 steps forward and back, moving both feet at the same time.

  1. Core/Torso

Back Extension

This should be done on a bench only as the exercise done while lying on the floor is not good for the spine. Swimmers bend forward over the bench and then return to a position where the back is flat.

Rotation – Extension with Band

Start with stretch cord attached low. Pull with both hands from that low position up and over your opposite shoulder, rotating your hips away from the tethered spot.