Use these strength and mobility moves to balance your swimming program.
A balanced swimming program should include posterior chain exercises as well as flexibility and mobility work to counteract tight hips and chest. The TRX Suspension Trainer serves as a great tool, especially for swimming, because it requires you to constantly stabilize your body in an unstable environment.
“Because efficiency in the freestyle stroke comes from a connected torso rotation and pull, these exercises—which incorporate various movement patterns throughout the entire posterior chain—help teach the body to understand what a fluid rotation should feel like,” says TRX master instructor Kari Woodall, who designed this workout.
Move from exercise to exercise with minimal rest. Cycle through the entire sequence 2–4 times, resting 2–4 minutes between rounds.
Forward Y Lunge
SFA, straps mid-length
MAP, step forward into lunge and drop back knee while making a Y with arms
Why: Stretches hip flexors, abs and chest to counteract tightness from swimming, biking, running Reps: 8 on each leg (alternate)
Single-Arm Power Pull
SF, straps mid-length, Single Handle Mode Beginning in Single Arm Row, lean back and open shoulders and hips 45 degrees (similar to freestyle rotation). Set scapula down and then squeeze shoulder blades together to pull out of rotation and finish with Single Arm Row to return. Rotate in a plank and connected torso so hips and shoulders move and work together for effective power transfer. Why: Powerful unilateral pull incorporating trans- verse plane for freestyle Reps: 8 on each side
SSW, straps mid-length, single handle mode
In an offset stance
with inside leg forward hip-width apart, line up sternum on anchor and engage lats. Step toward anchor to load side of body and MAP without tilt or rotation.
Why: Isometric hold for anti-tilt and anti-rotational strength Reps: 6 on each side
Prone Plank With Wheelbarrow Walk
GFA, straps mid-calf
In a push-up position, remain stable and MAP to resist rotation and “fish-tailing” side to side while walking hands forward and back Why: Shoulder stability and core
Reps: 4 (one rep is walking out and back)
T Fly-Split Raise Combo
SF, straps mid-length or longer for bigger range of motion
With your arms in a “T,” MAP while decelerating back bringing arms together. Initiate pull
with shoulders and back and pull with straight arms back to T. Alternate between T and a diagonal pattern for Split Raise. Why: Pulling strength for shoulders and back Reps: 8
Single-Leg lunge Combo
SF, straps mid- length
Hinge: Standing tall, put pressure down on handles and maintain pressure as you hinge forward and activate core, brace spine and feed mobility in the hips. The knee of your working leg stays soft. Crossing Balance Lunge: Drive knee of floating leg to outside of working leg ankle about 2 inches off ground and try to decelerate on the way down into the lunge. Your pelvis will tilt and slightly rotate. Why: Hip mobility, hamstring and glute strength Reps: 4 on
Key: SF = Stand facing anchor | SFA = Stand facing away from anchor GFA = Ground facing away from anchor SSW = Stand sideways to anchor | MAP = Maintain active plank
Find TRX Suspension Trainers (starting at $200) and more info at Trxtraining.com.