The right exercises can also make you a faster swimmer because they train you to become more economical with your stroke. Spending time on mobility exercises will help maintain the health of your shoulders.
For time-strapped triathletes, strength training doesn't have to be lengthy to be effective. Keep the exercise selection small and master 2 to 3 lifts. The goal is to add 2 to 5 pounds more weight each week until you or your coach feels you have adequate strength during racing season. The following exercises will make you a better swimmer.
Barbell Shoulder Press1 of 8
Walk up to a weighted rack, grab the barbell, and take a few steps back. Pull your shoulders back, squeeze your butt, and pull in your abs. Remember as you press the bar up to move your head around the bar. Press up in a vertical line and lock out your elbows. Return to the starting position. You can use dumbbells if you don't have access to a barbell or if you prefer dumbbells. Complete 3 to 5 sets of 5 reps.
Chest Press2 of 8
Lie on a bench and pull your shoulders blades back and down. This will put your shoulders in an optimal position. Your feet should be slightly turned out and flat on the ground. Your glutes and torso need to remain tight. Lift the bar off the rac, while keeping your shoulder blades back and down. Lower the barbell to your chest and press straight up. Try to keep your forearms vertical and keep your eyes on the ceiling. Lock out your elbows and repeat the exercise. Don't allow your elbows to flare outwards. Keep your shoulders stable, keep your feet on the floor, and keep your butt on the bench. Complete 3 to 5 sets of 5 reps.
TRX Single-Arm Back Rows3 of 8
Put the TRX into the single-handle mode and face the anchor point. Get yourself into a deep angle while keeping your body rigid and core tight. Start with your feet narrow and pull your chest forward while squeezing your back. Return to the starting position and repeat. To make this exercise harder, grab a dumbbell and hold it by your side with your free hand. Complete 3 to 5 sets of 5 to 8 reps.
Chin-Ups4 of 8
Grab the bar with your palms facing you, a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Pull yourself up so your chin is above the bar. Slowly return to starting position, using a full range of motion. Complete 2 to 4 sets of 5 to 8 reps.
Farmer's Walk5 of 8
Pick weights that feel heavy but manageable. Use the same set-up as the deadlift. Take quick, short steps, keeping your back straight and your head up as you walk for 50 to 100 feet. Complete 2 to 3 sets of 50 to 100 meters.
Dips6 of 8
Pull yourself up on two parallel bars. Make sure your head is neutral, core tight and both arms extended. Lower your body to a position where your elbows are bent. Push your body back to the starting position by using your arms. Complete 3 to 5 sets of 4 to 8 reps.
Internal Rotators Mobility Exercise7 of 8
Lie on your back and put a tennis ball or lacrosse ball on the lateral part of your scapula, and internally rotate your arm. Look for areas in the scapula that hurt and spend time working that tightness out. Roll for one minute on each side.