How to Cross Train for Competitive Swimming
Swimming World Magazine explains that swimmers can reap major benefits in the pool from strength and cross training on land. With so many options, it is important to evaluate the type of exercise you are doing out of the pool to ensure it will best benefit your stroke rate, pull, and kick.
Yoga is an excellent training addition for competitive swimmers because its movements yield flexible, supple muscles with a full range of motion. Yoga posturing also will work muscles in the upper back and shoulders and compensate for the over-development of the pectorals in the chest from swimming. Yoga emphasizes controlled breathing, an essential part of every swimming stroke. Swimming and yoga are more alike than you might think, and go hand in hand with each other.
UnderWater Audio writes that any type of running is beneficial to swimmers. Whether it be distance, interval, or hill training, running is a great way to train for mental and aerobic stamina.Runners tend to have lean, muscular bodies with a low body-fat percentage. This is ideal for swimming as well, since both sports require efficiency over bulky muscle mass. Running also promotes mental stamina, since it is physically grueling and repetitive, much like swimming. Building mental strength and choosing to keep going after exhaustion will generate discipline in the pool.
This one may seem like a no-brainer but water polo is a great complement to swimming. Aside from the obvious (swimming), it helps the swimmers get a good feel of how their bodies move in the water. It can also help strike a balance between keeping a swimmer in the pool year round, but not making them swim monotonous laps year round.
Swimmers are some of the hardest working athletes, and sometimes they need a break. Instead of sitting on the couch catching up on shows, swimmers are urged to get involved in cross-training. Yoga, running and water polo are all amazing accompaniments to competitive swimming.