13 “dry-land” exercises for swimmers

Training & Technique
Written by: arena coaches at 24 April '19 0
You are reading: 13 “dry-land” exercises for swimmers

We have already mentioned the importance of dryland workouts for preventing injuries, warming up for a training session and then cooling down afterwards. Today we will be looking at some useful exercises.

The shoulder is the most intricate joint in the entire body, so you must stretch and warm up properly by performing a series of rotations to really extend your shoulders. The smoother they are performed, the more effective the exercises will be.

1. Forward shoulder rotation with one arm only

2. Backward shoulder rotation with one arm only

3. Forward rotation using both arms

4. Backward rotation using both arms

5. Lateral arm raises

6. Alternating arm raises moving on arm forwards and one arm backwards

7. Lateral arm raises finishing with the movement with straight arms


If you can, perform these exercises in front of a mirror to check you are doing them properly, particularly if you are not being followed by a coach.

Now let’s move on to exercises involving the rest of the body:

8. Lean forwards with your chest making sure your legs apart and slightly bent, then slowly straighten your legs and bring them together

9. Straight-leg hamstring stretch with one leg resting on a starting block or box

10. As above with your foot flexed

9. and 10.


11. “Roll” your back forwards and then “unroll” again until you are back in an upright position.

12. Standing with your legs apart, bend your upper body sideways first in one direction and then the other

13. Twist your upper body first in one direction and then the other, making sure you are standing with your legs apart.


Breathing is also extremely important, particularly when performing “static” exercises. Breathing out as you stretch and extend as far as possible helps you relax more and makes these exercises as effective as possible. Feeling slight pain – but nothing excruciating! – is normal.

Keep proper posture at all times when performing these exercises.

Now you have warmed up, you can enter the water…. Enjoy your training!


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arena coaches

Swim coaches, trainers and experts will give you all kinds of tips for performing at your best in both training and races.