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Dryland Swim Training for Triathletes (No Pool)

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

How can you help yourself to be a better triathlete in the open water or pool, without swimming? Dryland Swim Exercises

Women swimming at the pool
Women training

Learn How to Swim Without Water.

Swimming in the absence of water is referred to as "dryland" swimming. It's an efficient training method since it allows athletes to examine their technique in real time and concentrate on developing muscle growth while also improving their cardiovascular fitness.

What Are Dryland Swim Exercises

Dryland swim exercises focus on your arms, core, and chest muscles. The goal is to engage your core and work your muscles so you can achieve good body position and rotation while swimming. These type of exercises works the upper body, but triathletes can also use a bosu ball for added balance.

Once you have learned to engaged your core, you will be primed to see improved pool times.

4 Important Reasons Triathletes Should Do Dryland Swimming Exercises

Dryland exercises are vital to include in your triathlon training plan (sprint - 140.6) program for three reasons:

  • Prevents injury by correcting muscular imbalances and a lack of core strength.

  • Increases Stroke Rate: Allows you to take more powerful strokes in less time.

  • Increases Distance Each Stroke: Using more power per stroke helps you to swim farther with less effort.

  • Improve form: get immediate feedback when working on hand and elbow position

The shoulder muscles receive a lot of strain during peak swim training times and maintaining mobility and flexibility will help to avoid shoulder injuries.

Dryland swim workouts help athletes improve their strength and speed and prevent injury in the pool.

You can even improve your balance and rotation adding dryland swim training to your regiment, which is critical for triathlon open water swimming.

Woman training next to the pool
Dryland Swim Training for Triathletes (No Pool)

Dryland Swim Focus Exercises for Triathletes

Can't get to the pool but want to do some swim training? Or do you simply want to add some dryland training to your triathlon swim training?

Any dryland program for swimmers should aim to improve your form, make you stronger and more explosive in the water while lowering your risk of injury.

Another important part of dryland swim exercises is dynamic stretching. Stretching your muscles before you start your workout helps keep them flexible and rids them of lactic acid.

Before you begin your swim dryland workout, warm up your muscles with a variety of static and dynamic stretches. These include arm circles, arm swings, leg swings, planks, and T rotations.

  • Arm Circles: Small Forward, Small Reverse, Medium Forward, Medium Reverse, Large Forward, Large Reverse.

  • Arm Swings: Target Triceps and open chest.

  • Legs: Butt kicks & swinging legs – target hamstrings.

  • Core: Plank, T-Rotation, alternating arm/leg raises.

One of the most well-known dryland swim exercises is the med ball slam. Similar to freestyle swimming, this exercise builds core strength, prevents corkscrew twisting, and improves speed.

Here are two FREE dryland swim training videos below to help you get started with incorporating dryland swim training into your triathlon or strength training plans immediately. You can do them anywhere, anytime with little to no equipment.

Conclusion: Dryland Swim Training is Great for Triathletes

For intermediate or long-course triathletes - adding swim strength training to your base will help you stay engaged and avoid hitting a plateau or getting bored from doing the same thing all the time.

It will also prevent physical and mental burnout by mixing up your training with unique dryland and weight training activities.

Lastly - no excuses if there is no pool or if it's too cold - you can still get something done - anywhere, anytime and no equipment needed.


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