Have you ever wondered what you could be doing out of the pool to increase your strength in the water? The short answer: Dryland training! Check out this high level overview of dryland training basics, with two workouts and eight different dryland exercises explained.

What is Dryland Training?

Dryland training (often referred to as Strength and Conditioning) is activity done on land with the intended purpose of increasing strength, flexibility and overall physical mobility. This includes a number of different movements and exercises ranging from beginner to advanced skill level. Some exercises that are commonly performed include: Pushups, sit-ups, squats, etc.

Related: MySwimPro – The #1 Dryland App for Swimmers

Related: 5 Ways to Cross-Train for Swimming

Why it’s Important

Incorporating dryland training into your workout routine is important for three main reasons:

  • Prevent Injury: Corrects for muscle imbalances and weak core strength.
  • Increases Stroke Rate: Allows you to take more strokes in less time with more power.
  • Improves Distance Per Stroke: More power application per stroke allows you to swim further with less effort.

The goal of any dryland program for swimmers is to become stronger and more explosive in the water while decreasing your risk of injury.

Dynamic Stretches

Whether you swim every day or once per week, experts agree that a dynamic warm-up prepares your body best for peak output! Below is a brief overview of a dynamic warmup routine that activates your entire body. This type of warmup is best done before a dryland workout or swim workout.

Related: 5 Stretches for Swimmers

Read Also: Why You should Do A Dynamic Warmup Before Every Swim

  • Arm Circles: Small Forward, Small Reverse, Medium Forward, Medium Reverse, Large Forward, Large Reverse.
  • Arm Swings: Target Triceps and open chest.
  • Legs: Butt kicks & swinging legs – target hamstrings.
  • Core: Plank, T-Rotation, alternating arm/leg raises.

Dryland Workout (5x Rounds)

  • 10x BURPEES
  • 10x LEG LIFTS

Perform this routine 5x with 30-60s rest between each round. This workout routine is best for swimmers looking to elevate their swim training and activate their entire body before a swim workout. Below is a more advanced circuit with 4 different exercises.

Advanced Dryland Workout (5 Rounds)

  • 10x PUSHUPS: Regular, Wide, Diamond, Weighted, Clapper
  • 10x PULL UPS: Regular, Neutral, Wide, Curl ups, Clapper

Perform this routine 5x with 30-60s rest between each round. This dryland routine will be very taxing on your body in a short period of time so if you’re just getting started, it’s best to start with fewer repetitions or complete only 2-3 rounds rather than 5 rounds.

Related: 30 Strength And Conditioning Exercises Using TRX Suspension Cables

Dryland Training Tips

  • Focus on core stability and muscle engagement first.
  • If it hurts, stop!
  • Modify for mobility.
  • Be consistent.

I hope this Whiteboard Wednesday was helpful in understanding the ins and outs of dryland training. Try to apply some of these movements into your workout routine so you can swim faster and smarter than ever. To take your swimming checkout the MySwimPro training plan library!

More Dryland Training Resources

15 Low Impact Dryland Exercises for Swimmers

Read the blog here.

10 Swiss Ball Dryland Exercises for Swimmers

Read the blog here.

5 Resistance Band Dryland Exercises for Swimmers

Read the blog here.

10 Best Core Exercises for Swimmers

Read the full blog here.

How to Work Out at Home

Read the full blog here.

30 Strength & Conditioning Exercises for Swimmers with TRX Suspension Cables

Read the blog here.

Swim & Dryland Training Plans

A training plan is a critical component to the success of reaching your goals in swimming! The MySwimPro mobile app has training plans that range from beginner to elite. Checkout a few highlights below:

Dryland Plans:

Check out full-length, guided dryland workouts on our YouTube channel and IGTV!

Swim Training Plans:

For more tips like this, follow MySwimPro on YouTube!

Ready to get started? Download MySwimPro on your iPhone or Android and start your free trial of our MySwimPro Coach subscription to unlock unlimited Swim Workouts, Dryland Training Plans, Detailed Analytics and more! Use code SWIM35 for $35 off your first year of training with MySwimPro >



  1. How often or frequency should you do dryland training in addition to current swim training, which is 11 sessions a week?

  2. Pingback: Dryland Exercises For Swimmers (Strength Training) | Whiteboard Wednesday – My Blog

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    • Hi Heather,

      Most dryland exercises will help build strength for backstroke! In particular, focus on strengthening your legs with squats and lunges, and your core with various abdominal exercises!

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