You’re bound to get your fill of time in the water during your stay at summer camp. But as fun as swimming is, it’s also physically taxing—especially if you’re trying to develop your skills as a swimmer. Throughout April, I’ve been posting fitness tips and advice on Mondays to help you prepare your body for the rigors of summer camp. Today is the last Monday in April. I’ve held off posting about dry land exercises for swimmers until now because swimming is the most popular camp activity and I wanted to grab as much attention as I could!
I have a number of easy and free exercises to improve your swimming capabilities:
There’s no better exercise than Squats to help build the calf, thigh, and core muscles—exactly the muscles used in that kicking motion to propel yourself forward under water. Squats are easy; just stand with your feet at shoulder-width apart and, with your back straight and head up, bend at the knees until your thighs are nearly parallel to the ground. Then push yourself back up.
Work your upper body strength with Shoulder Touches. Get into the position for push-ups, but instead of lowering and raising your body, shift your weight so you can hold yourself up with one arm and touch the shoulder of the supporting arm with your other hand. Ten of these should have you feeling pretty wiped.
Another great exercise for building upper body strength is to hold the position of an Elbow Plank. The Plank position is the same as the position to do a push-up only you support yourself with your elbows and forearms instead of your hands. It may not sound like much, but simply holding this position is exercise enough!
You build up muscles in your legs and core with Leg Raises. Easy to perform, simply lie on your back and lift your legs to a 90 angle with the rest of your body. Then lower your legs within inches of the floor before going back up.
Similar to Leg Raises, Windshield Wipers help strengthen the same areas, but work different angles. Windshield Wipers are Leg Raises that move from side to side and never really touch the ground.
The last exercise I have to share is the Diver Push-up. I can tell you how to do this one, but it’ll be a lot easier to just show you with this video. As you can see, it’s like a traditional push-up with a backwards element in which you pump your four outstretched limbs upward while lying on your belly.
To help give you a clearer idea of what these exercises look like, I’ve included this video link of a dry land workout routine that incorporates the majority of these exercises. The video is targeted at swimmers of an intermediate level, so keep in mind that his towel suggestion is certainly optional. Make a splash at summer camp and enjoy your time in the water.