Fitness

The 9 Best Exercises For Swimmers

Try these outside the pool.

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Swimming uses almost every muscle in the body, says Tempo coach Cole Charlton. But you really need strong lats for a good swim stroke and powerful legs to propel you through the water. Here, trainers share exercises for swimmers to try outside the pool.

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Chest Press

These help balance all the pull motions you do in the water, Charlton says.

- Lie on floor, weight in one hand.

- Extend weighted arm up straight.

- Breathe in, bend elbow.

- Allow weight to come down to chest.

- Push back up to start.

- Do 5 reps, 5x per arm.

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Barbell Squats

Trainer Karina Inkster says this glute exercise will help you push off the pool wall.

- Feet slightly wider than shoulders, barbell on upper back.

- Chest up, back flat.

- Hinge hips, squat until thighs parallel to floor.

- Press into feet, stand.

- Do 15 reps, 3x.

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Pull-Ups

Inkster calls pull-ups one of the best exercises for swimmers.

- Grab pull-up bar with an overhand grip.

- Pull shoulders down and away from ears to activate upper back.

- Engage core.

- Pull elbows down, lift chest to bar.

- Lower slowly.

- Do as many reps as you can.

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Bar Hangs

SwimStrength’s Jake Tyson recommends a simple bar hang to train your shoulders and back.

- Use overhand grip, hang from pull-up bar.

- Breathe through nose. Hang as long as you can.

- Drop down, shake it off, hang for another 3 mins.

- Aim to hang longer the next day.

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Bear Crawls

Tyson says these help with your balance in the pool.

- On hands and knees, balls of feet grip into floor.

- Raise knees.

- Crawl forward with right hand, left foot.

- Keep hips level as you continue to crawl forward, alternating hands and feet.

- Do 3 sets of 10.

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Leg Extensions

Trainer Jesse Feder recommends this quad exercise for a powerful kick.

- Adjust seat on leg extension machine.

- Lean against backrest, no arch.

- Shins on leg pad, push against pad until legs fully straight.

- Contract quads. Slowly lower.

- Do 10-15 reps, 3x.

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Pullover

Kuudose trainer Joey Thurman suggests pullovers to work lats, chest, and triceps.

- Lie on bench or ground.

- Grab dumbbell with diamond grip.

- Hold weight above chest.

- Extend back behind head.

- Pull weight back to chest.

- Do 10-20 reps, 3-5 sets with breaks.

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Bird Dogs

Pilates pro Kyle Georgina Marsh likes this move to work hamstrings. It also imitates the pattern you use when swimming.

- On all fours, extend right leg behind you, left arm forward.

- Hold 3-5 seconds.

- Lower limbs.

- Repeat on other side.

- Alternate 15-20 times.

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T Pulls

Marsh says this exercise works the lats and posterior chain.

- Lie face down on yoga mat.

- Extend arms straight out to sides, palms down.

- Lift head, chest, arms up, hover.

- Hold 3-5 seconds.

- Lower down.

- Repeat 10-15 sets.

- For challenge, add light hand weights.