3 simple exercises for strengthening your arms

Training & Technique
Written by: arena coaches at 13 June '17 0
You are reading: 3 simple exercises for strengthening your arms

We have already seen how to strengthen your lower limbs by performing exercises either in the pool and/or at the poolside. Using the same method, let’s see how we can work on our upper limbs. Your arms are the main driving force in swimming, so it is important to make sure they are strong.

Let’s take a look at a few exercises for increasing your strength.



This exercise mainly focuses on your chest and triceps and begins with a set of press ups. Having completed the set, dive into the pool and perform a quick sprint using any stroke you like.

Here is a reminder of how to perform a press-up:

  • Lie on the floor with your chest facing downwards.
  • Rest your weight on your toes, keeping your feet close together but not touching.
  • Now, with your hands at the sides of your chest, press hard with your arms to raise yourself off the floor.
  • Use your core to keep your back straight, making sure it does not bend or arch.
  • Keep your head and neck in line with your upper body and your face down.
  • If you cannot lift yourself off the floor, you can “lighten” your body by lifting your feet and resting your weight on your knees.

5 sets of 10 push-ups + 25m sprint + 75m easy swimming as active recovery.



This exercise works your back and biceps.

You will need a bar to perform pullups; if there is no bar at your swimming pool, the best alternative is to use a TRX (TRX: improve your swimming performance by training like a Navy Seal!).

Here are some tips for performing pull-ups properly:

  • Stand under the middle of the bar.
  • Grasp the bar with your hands facing forwards/backwards at shoulder height, no wider and no narrower.
  • Pull yourself up until your chest touches the bar
  • Lower yourself slowly until your arms are fully extended ready to repeat the movement. When your arms are extended, make sure you do not “relax” your shoulders. Keeping your shoulders flexed throughout the exercise will allow you to perform it more effectively.
  • 5 sets of 8 pull-ups + 25m sprint + 75m easy swimming as active recovery.


There are various ways of performing this exercise.

The basic idea is to swim with an object that generates water resistance. Various resistance aids are available on the market, such as parachutes or elastic bands. Alternatively, a T-shirt, unzipped bumbag or plastic bag can all be used for the same purpose.

To make sure you only work your arms, you can place a pullbuoy between your legs to stop them from moving.

4 sets of 100m easy swimming + 25m sprint.

All these exercises can also be performed using paddles to increase the load on your arms.


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arena coaches

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