4 Exercises to Train Your Swim Strength Indoors

4 Exercises to Train Your Swim Strength Indoors

Watch the video below for some indoor training fun when you can’t go to the pool but still want to keep your muscles in shape…

4 simple exercises that train some of the muscles you use while swimming:

  • Shoulders (rotator cuff)
  • Deltoids
  • Lats
  • Biceps
  • Abs


#1 Internal Shoulder Rotation

#2 External Shoulder Rotation

#3 Biceps Curl

#4 Low Plank Lat Row


Equipment : resistance band

The Rationale behind each Move


While swimming, our shoulders have to go through many different motions. For freestyle there is mainly an internal shoulder rotation taking place, for which not only the rotator cuffs, but also the pectoralis major (main chest muscle) and lats (middle back muscle) contribute to the forward movement. 

All the forward pulling and internal rotation results in tight internal rotator cuffs. As muscles need to be balanced by their counter parts, the weaker external rotator cuff has to compensate by allowing better flexibility and mobility. Think of the forward shoulder haunch of some swimmers, or in fact most people that tend to spend many hours behind a desk.

The aim of the inward shoulder rotation should therefore not be strength, as for the external rotators, but flexibility. 

Biceps and Deltoids

The biceps curl is an excellent exercise to go against a forward rolling shoulder. While you keep your upper arm glued to your body, this isometric movement recruits your anterior deltoid muscles to stabilize your shoulder joints. The deltoids will support a proper hand entry into the water.

Abs, Obliques, Latissimus Dorsi (Lats), Hip Flexors and Lower Back

When performing the Low Plank Lat Row (or resistance band plank row), you are targeting many muscles in one-go. I must warn you: it is not an easy exercise. It primarily targets the abs, but also the biceps, hip flexors, lats, lower back, obliques and shoulders.

Being able to control your abs and obliques will help you stabilize your body in the water as you float. Strong lats benefit a proper pull. The hip flexors help to maintain a compact and steady kick.

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