Dryland – Upper Body Resistance Training

Since over 70% of our overall speed is generated from our upper body, it makes sense why our dryland program needs to address and build all of these muscles. First thing we need to do is make a list of all of the upper body muscles we use in swimming.

Back muscles
Lat Muscles
Biceps / Triceps

Now, we need to group and target those muscles on certain days and workouts. If you need help with scheduling or would like to revamp your dryland program check out our previous articles.

We need a list of exercises that target each of the muscles. I will go through my favorite exercises later in this article. I want to touch on how to get the most out of each exercise in the limited time you have. The simple answer: Resistance.

Resistance by definition is something that makes an action harder. Resistance in Dryland is more known than in water resistance. There are a ton of options on how to add resistance in dryland. You can add light weight, resistance bands, or even extra steps in the movement.

The constant question I get is “How do you know when to use weight vs bands vs extra movements? And what exercises?” Well, the answer is all of the above and it depends on what you want the athletes to focus on during the movement. For example, lets take a simple push up. You can add light weight over the back, you can add a resistance band around the shoulders, you can have them hooked up to a Battle of the Beast Ropes, you can also add an extra movement such as while in the ‘down’ position have them do a plank jack. All of these variations keep the athletes engaged, focused on the quality of the movement, adding and recruiting more muscles in the movement and working harder while saving time.

My advice to you is to try everything and make notes and keep changing! The more you keep adding movements and variations, the more you will see effort and results from the athletes.