We have already mentioned the importance of a Pullbuoy (A guide to making the best possible use of your pullbuoy) and how it can help improve both your position in the water and swim stroke.
This article describes a three-week plan mainly aimed at developing arm strength to help you train for your forthcoming open water swimming events.
First and foremost you need to know that there is a very close correlation between upper body strength and swimming performance. Research1 has, indeed, shown that forward propulsion, particularly when swimming the freestyle, is mainly generated by arm movements, particularly using your forearms and hands.
The basic problem noted in water sports like swimming is that power is not applied against a fixed resistance, as in the case with sports on dry land, but against a mass in motion in the form of the water itself.
This means the amount of applied power does not correspond to the overall power an athlete can generate.
Power is, in fact, directly proportional to swimming technique: the better the athlete’s swimming technique, the greater percentage of power that can be applied to the swim stroke (index of propulsive efficiency)2.
Without further ado, let’s try and work on your arm strength to improve your propulsive efficiency.
Here is a three-week plan, ideal for beginners or masters:
1. Build week
2. Speed week
3. Recovery week
There are three sessions for each week. Try to train as regularly as possible and you will see huge improvements.
*Swim as best you can, trying to maintain a steady speed. Record your time at the end of the swim, it will be a useful guideline in a few weeks’ time.
200 (100 double-arm backstroke /100 as you prefer)