Swimming Exercises: Kettlebells, Breaststroke Drills, and Full Body Dryland Exercises
Swimming Tips by Dan Daly
DALY Tip 1: Alternating Kettlebell Swing
Power up your stroke with hip driven training and technique. Power comes from the hips, driven through rotation to the shoulders, connect the two for a propulsive stroke that spares the arms, and connects the entire body. Power training like this alternating single arm swing, develop explosive power in the hips, that drives the arms, just like your freestyle stroke.
Focus on having a straight back as you perform the swing, and really drive the power from the hip movement.
Scaling: If you don't own a kettlebell or a dumbell you can use a gallon of water to complete the swings.
DALY Tip 2: Dryland Core Exercises
Improve your reach and rotation with core exercise that progress through static, dynamic, and integrated patterns. Train first to resist movement, then control it, then produce it.
DALY Tip 3: Breaststroke/ Soft Tissue Drills
Swimmers, your training is only as good as your recovery. Put some credits bank in the bank with these soft tissue drills, between workouts.
Self myofascial release is an easy practice to do at home using foam rollers, and trigger point balls. Focus on the prime movers, or large muscles around your shoulders, hips, and ankles.
Tissue work is a great way to improve blood flow and range of motion around a joint, improving recovery between workouts, and stroke position during workouts.
DALY Tip 4: Lower body, Push, Pull dryland exercises
Lower body, push, pull, are the components of a balanced dryland strength training routine. Include your favorite version of these 3 patterns in your dryland routine, for improved strength, power, and performance in the water. What’s your favorite combination?
DALY Tip 5: Full body dryland workout
Here’s a full body dryland workout you can do with 1 kettlebell, anywhere!
Full body training, 2-3 days per week is best for most athletes, for time, efficiency, and comprehension.
Kettlebells are versatile training tools, packing a lot of fitness into a small footprint, perfect for improving mobility, strength, and power.
Ladies could shoot for a starting bell size of 12-16kg, and men 20-24kg.
Single Arm Kettlebell Swing: 4 sets of 8 repetitions each arm
1 Arm Bent Over Row: 4 sets of 12 repetitions each arm
1 Arm Overhead Press: 4 sets of 8 repetitions each arm
DALY Tip 6: Strength and power exercises:
It’s important for endurance athletes to program strength and power work into their training to develop fast twitch muscle fibers, and get faster!
Here’s a kettlebell swing, clean and clean and press progression you can cycle through to develop explosive speed from your hips to overhead.
Kettlebell swing : Suggestion : 4 sets of 6 repetitions
Clean: Suggestion : 4 sets of 6 repetitions
Clean and Press Progression: Suggestion : 4 sets of 6 repetitions
DALY Tip 7: The kettlebell armbar checks all the boxes for movement prep for swimmers.
✅ Core Stability
✅ Shoulder Stability
✅ Shoulder Mobility
What’s your secret weapon for healthy stable shoulders?
DALY Tip 8: The components of a complete strength plan
For most it is a full body plan that includes some sort of lower body movement, a push, and a pull.
There are many appropriate choices. Choose the one that’s best for you, your available equipment, and ability. Swim strong!