Swimming is a demanding sport which requires excellent condition. It might be one of the toughest sports in the world to deal with, and for that reason cross-training should be an important part of a swimmer's training plan. Mixing up exercises grants a much-needed mental break from the routine of endless hours spent underwater perfecting breathing and stroke mechanics. Adding other exercises to your training program increases strenght and your overall muscle balance, preventing injury from overuse in the pool.
Without further ado, here is a list of top 7 sports and workout forms you can incorporate in your routine to help maximize your swimming abilities.
This is the #1 activity that benefits swimmers. It's a sport that requires strenght, flexibility, balance and control, helping increase your body awareness, core strenght, ankle and shoulder flexibility. There are many skils gymnastics can teach a swimmer, including rotation through the water and flip turns.
Running is a total-body workout and it can improve swimming dramatically because it develops highly efficient muscles needed for swimming, strengthening leg power above else. Considering swimming is a non-impact activity, running can compensate for the lack of resistance and also strenghten the bones.
Aside from the obvious, it's a great way to release tension, build your mental strenght and escape the feeling of exhaustion. But don't take our word for it; try it!
Yoga is an excellent training addition to your program. A similarity between the two is breathing deeply and regularly. Yoga can help swimmers improve their performance in: mobility, strenght, body awareness, ease of movement, injury prevention and recovery.
It relies especially on lower body strenght, which is the key to a powerful kick in the water. In football you have to continuously adjust and shift your position towards the ball increasing your quick reflexes. These correlate very well with the start of a race and flip turns, which can make or break a race. The best thing about mixing the two different sports is that you give your arms a break putting no strain on your shoulders.
Dancing can help with your ankle flexibility for powerful kicks in the water. Also strenghtens the muscles used exactly in swimming, giving you powerful legs.
Using different exercises like pulling, lifting and weight training, can help a swimmer's shoulder by counteracting the internal rotation used with each stroke. It can keep the shoulders in a good posture, remarkably reducing the risk of shoulder injury.
Cross-training is used in numerous ways by swim teams around the world. The most important thing is to make sure the workout contributes to the skills required in the pool and helps you achieve that new personal record.
It is recommended that you consult your physical trainer for advice on workouts that are right for your physique.
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