Dryland Training


Dryland training can improve a swimmer's ability to produce propulsive force while swimming, therefore improving performance. The goal is to use strength and conditioning exercises to increase power, mobility, and flexibility. For swimmers, this means the ultimate goal is to become more explosive in the water, increase speed and stroke rate, and improve distance per stroke. It is a supplement to usual swimming load and not a replacement for work in the water.


The training will develop:

  • balance
  • flexibility
  • co-ordination
  • kinaesthetics
  • proprioception
  • strength
  • power
  • speed
  • agility
  • endurance (muscular and cardiovascular)

An important part of an athlete’s training programme is finding workouts that will benefit them during a competition by complementing the training that is part of the sport itself. In other words, cross-training activities that will build and develop key muscle groups, with exercises different from those that are dominant in their sport. This is why many athletes participate in multiple sports, take dance classes, engage in yoga, and so on. Swimming is no different, except that it takes place in the water, while their cross-training tends to fall under the category of dryland or land training.


Dryland work will provide swimmers with a new kind of stimulus. Feeling your muscles ache or stiffen for a few days after a new muscular stimulus is normal and is known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). It can affect people of all fitness levels, ages, abilities etc. and particularly after trying a new activity or pushing yourself a bit harder than usual. The body naturally begins to adapt to this stimulus, thus becoming stronger and more resilient when both in the water and completing future dryland work.


Both ability and suitability for dryland work will be constantly monitored and is at the discretion of the coach to determine if a swimmer is to take part. This assessment will be ongoing and is recommended due to stages in growth and development, dryland work is not undertaken below the age of 12 (swimmer physicality dependant).


If under 12, more general R.M.A.P (raise, mobilise, activate, prime) pre-pool work will be done in line with Swim England guidelines on the poolside.


If the swimmer is not feeling well due to temporary illness such as cold or a fever, they must wait until they feel better in order to take part. If dealing with an ongoing injury, speak with your physiotherapist/GP for advice on participation.