Try these simple exercises to improve strength and technique on land.
Stretch cords are a versatile, underrated tool to use for developing strength and technique in the water. Many elite athletes carry their cords with them while traveling to facilitate an entire swim workout if a pool is not readily available, or to use for a race warm-up when not allowed in the water before an event. You can purchase a set of StretchCordz for around $30 online (Swimoutlet.com), or build your own with surgical tubing and some duct tape.
Keep your cords in your swim practice bag to use before you get in the water. Attach your cords to a fixed object on the pool deck, like a starting block or fence post. Perform a few minutes of light muscle activation with the following drills to emphasize good technique.
You can replicate an entire swim practice if you don’t have access to a pool or if you missed a swim after a busy day of work. After 15–20 minutes of these exercises, you’ll leave with a bit of sweat and a lot of fatigue in your major muscles. Do 10–15 reps of each exercise and each arm when applicable.
Photos by Oliver Baker