Swimming Workouts: The 40 Ultimate Practices for Swimmers

Michael Butler
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Swimming Workouts: 40 Epic Practices and Sets for Swimmers

Swimming is one of the best exercises out there. And while it’s a great activity to execute at the pool, it’s also convenient to do it outside, whether the pool is at home or at the hotel.

The 40 exercises and swimming sets that follow will help you build endurance and strength, with a specific focus on your core.

If you’re a swimmer, these workouts will help you improve your lung capacity and expand your stroke repertoire. If you’re not a swimmer yet, these workouts will help you learn how to swim.

You should do each exercise for 30 seconds. An even split of 15 seconds on each side is ideal to maintain symmetry. Every few days, add 15 seconds to the length of the exercise, up to an hour.

You should do each swimming set twice a week. The sets here are not designed to cover every part of the body because you don’t need to do that. The bones, joints, and tissues that make up the chest, shoulders, and the upper back are worked out during the main strokes of your freestyle, breaststroke, and butterfly.

The core should be covered through exercises that force you to engage all its muscles. The legs should be recuperated from the strain of kicking water during practice, by doing stretching or foam rolling.

Test Sets for Swimmers

Test sets are used by swimmers to measure how the body has improved. Basically your fitness level is gauged by how fast you are capable of going end-to-end on a specific course. To measure your speed, you generally compare your time on a specific course to your previous time on that same course.

Swimming is best done in sets because the body has to get used to the rhythm and speed of its movements.

This is particularly beneficial to swimmers but can be used in any sport. The idea of doing a set is to get the body to work at the same speed so you can complete your task more effectively.

Swim Practices and Sets for Sprinters

Swimmers who specialize in sprinting need a completely different set of swim practices and sets from swimmers who specialize in distance swimming. In this category, we’ll take a look at the best practices for sprinters.

Sprinting is essentially a burst of speed in a straight line followed by a rest period while a competitor catches up, then repeats the process. Sprinting in a pool takes advantage of the walls to push off of. Sprinters use short diaphragmatic (belly) breaths and a square kick style to power their momentum.

It’s a demanding athletic activity, requiring a wide range of physical abilities. In order to be successful, athletes need to train a wide variety of muscle groups used in the sport. They must build strength, endurance, and flexibility in the upper body, core, legs, and lower body.

The following is a comprehensive selection of swim workouts for sprinters that you can use to gain strength, speed, and endurance in the water. Also, if you’re looking for more comprehensive workouts that will improve your racing, drills, and build endurance, and also help with your turns and starts, check our post here.

Swim Practices for Distance Swimmers

These are the swim practices for all you distance swimmers who may be just starting out or getting back into the pool after several years off. These workouts apply to all types of stroke: freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly.

Review the listed number of practices that you should do in a single session of training.

Hopefully, most of these workouts are already part of your regular routine or at least within the realm of possibility.

For others, use this practice as inspiration to create more workouts that will help you improve your endurance, speed, and stamina as you work toward your goal.

The idea is to be able to swim the maximum number of laps in a single practice, and the time you do that is your goal time.

For each practice, record your time for each stroke.

We use the 20/50 rule. This is a rule where you swim 20 laps in a stroke, then transition and swim 50 laps in another stroke.

Repeat the 20/50 pattern for all four strokes.

You can modify it to 15/30 or 25/50 if that’s more comfortable for you.

Optional: When you feel ready, you can add more laps to the first set or the second set.

Make sure you record your time each time you increase the number of laps.

Swim Sets & Workouts to Improve Your Kick

Watching a swimmer is about as graceful as seeing a fish out of water. Their awkward body position and unique strokes are funny at first, but the ick factor quickly fades as we start to appreciate the incredible power and endurance of these athletes.

Many swimmers struggle with the perfect kick, which makes sense. After all, if you’ve been a swimmer for some time, you’ve probably noticed that improving your kicking technique takes a lot of practice. That’s why you don’t see many 200 meter freestyle swimmers without strong kicks. That’s not to say that there’s a direct correlation between longer races and longer kicks. But because swimming is a whole body sport, swimmers who have less power in their legs are at a disadvantage to those doing the crawl.

But kicking is important for more than just speed. A strong leg drive is essential to build up the endurance necessary to swim 1,500 meters. It’s also important for those who swim other strokes like breaststroke, backstroke, and butterfly. Kick drills also improve balance. And if you can keep the board balanced strongly on one leg, imagine how you can increase your horizon while training.