Dryland Exercises for Swimmers

At-home dryland workouts for swimmers while the pool is closed.
min read

With the sudden and unexpected changes resulting from COVID-19, it can be challenging to abide to a daily routine. Employees around the world now find themselves working from home. Students’ living rooms have evolved into lecture halls. But what about athletes–specifically swimmers? For the swimmers of the world, ACTIVE has compiled a list of dryland exercises you can share with your team to keep them in tip-top shape while the pool is closed.

No Pool, No Problem 

Despite pool closures, it's possible to have thorough, intense workouts without the usual swimming lanes. Dryland training presents an alternative to everyday pool sessions. You might be asking, “what exactly is dryland training?” It is a form of exercise that removes the need for water, allowing for time to focus on the strengthening and conditioning of specific muscle groups essential to competitive swimming. Checkout a few dryland exercises your swim club can practice from the comfort of their backyard, driveway or garage (with or without weights).


Arms are pivotal in getting you from one side of the pool to the other. In order to retain your current strength and definition, your upper body requires constant maintenance. Follow the moves below for a challenging arm workout.

1. Downward Dog to Push Up 

  • 3 sets, 10 repetitions each
  • Starting in downward dog, slowly walk hands out into a plank position, lower self into a push up, lift back up to a plank, slowly lift hips up back into downward dog

2. Triceps Dip

  • 3 sets, 15 repetitions each
  • Begin by sitting in a chair and slide off with both legs extended and your arms supporting your full body weight. Slowly lower your body, pushing weight into your palms and lift yourself back up

3. Crab Walks

  • 3 sets, 30 seconds each
  • Begin sitting on the floor with your hands behind your back and legs slightly bent in front. With your hands and legs planted firmly, slowly lift your hips upwards and begin to walk


Our cores allow proper posture, stabilization and flexibility. Core strength can also be used to exert force into other areas as needed—like your arms and legs. Unlike other muscle groups, abs are able to be worked multiple days in a row. If you’re looking for ways to keep your lower and upper abs engaged—try incorporating these exercises into your next home workout and feel the burn.

1. Leg Lift

  • 3 sets, 15 repetitions each
  • Starting on your back with your hands by your sides and legs stretched out, begin to suck your core in and lift both legs upwards. Slowly lower both legs downwards while continuing to hold a firm core (your lower abs should be doing all the work)

2. Core Roll Up

  • 3 sets, 15 repetitions each
  • Lie face up with both arms extended behind your head, resting on the ground. Sucking your core in tightly, begin to slowly lift your upper body, reach for your feet, and slowly lower your body back down

3. Butterfly Sit Up

  • 3 sets, 15 repetitions each
  • Begin on your back, soles of both feet pushed together and knees bent outwards. Tightening your core, slowly roll upwards, touch your toes and roll back down


Leg day, best day! You’ve already worked on both arms and core, but let’s not forget about your propellers. Defined leg strength is needed in order to help your body move at a consistent pace in the pool. Work on your leg strength by following this tough leg flow.

1. Fire Hydrant

  • 3 sets, 20 repetitions each
  • Starting on both hands and knees (tabletop), while keeping your back straight, raise one leg to hip height and lower back down

2. Calf Raises

  • 3 sets, 15 repetitions each
  • Place feet hip width apart, lift heels until you are on the balls of your feet, and lower self back down

3. Plié Squats

  • 3 sets, 20 repetitions each
  • Standing with feet hip width apart and feet pointed outwards, keeping your core tight and back straight, lower your body and bend both knees until they are parallel with the ground and slowly begin to straighten both legs 

If you’re looking for more challenging workouts from home, follow the link below for more exercises.

CLICK HERE for more dryland exercises.

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April 21, 2020
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