Dryland Swimming Exercises

Dryland workout you can do at home

The aim of creating this was to put together a basic plan that could assist someone wanting to improve their swimming that didn’t have access to a gym to complete this. These sessions could be lengthened by completing more sets or reps but a guideline is provided on the video.

 The goal for swimmers that do this is to get stronger, more fatigue resistant and explosive through the catch and kick exercises and most importantly decreasing the risk of injury. 

I’d recommend completing this 2-4 times per week and after a few sessions you should quickly see the improvements with the number of reps you can complete or the duration you can do. 

As you apply this back to your swimming really try and think about anchoring your core so you can transfer the power in your stroke through the pull/push bio mechanics in your arm stroke.

By no means is the form in the videos perfect but hopefully it gives you an idea of what you need to complete.

Stretch Cord Workout

Getting some bands can be a great way to develop various parts of your freestyle stroke. 

The video below shows some exercises that you can do.

  1. Catch Focus
  2. Catch leading to pull focus
  3. Push focus
  4. Full Stroke

With this series of exercises you can do this single or double arm.  Remember keep the elbows up nice and high as you go through these exercises and pull and then push with your hands and forearms rather than pulling back from the elbow.

Below is a selection of exercises from Swimming Anatomy book by Ian McLeod. 


Prone T, Y, A (Blackburn)

This is our absolutely favorite exercise that helps to help prevent shoulder injuries!


1 . Lying facedown, slightly arch your upper back and lift your shoulders off the ground.

2 . In a T position with your thumbs pointing to the ceiling, oscillate your hands up and down for 30 seconds.

  1. Switching to the Y position with your palms down, oscillate your hands up and down for 30 seconds.

4 . Finish with your hands down by your sides forming an A. With your palms up, oscillate your hands up and down for 30 seconds.

Want an extra challenge? Add physioball! As in the water, holding the body in a straight line from the feet all the way to the top of the head is important.


Posterior Deltoid 

This targeted exercise helps develop the small part of the deltoid that can easily get injured as you develop a stronger position at entry with a high elbow in order to implement an optimal catch. 

Flutter Kicks


1 . Lie on the floor with your arms at your sides and tighten the abdominal muscles to set your core.

2 . Lift your shoulders 4 inches (10 cm) off the ground and your feet 1 2 inches (30 cm) off the ground, making sure to keep the low back in a neutral position.

  1. Hold this position and flutter kick for 60 seconds or until you are unable to keep the low back stabilized in a neutral position.