You don’t need a gym to get a great dryland workout! We’re sharing our tips for doing dryland at home, including three dryland training plans in the MySwimPro app!

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What is Dryland Training?

In dryland training, swimmers engage their muscles outside of the pool. Dryland can include weight training, yoga, bodyweight training and more, and is beneficial for swimmers of all skill levels.

Why Swimmers Need To Do Dryland


Related: 5 Ways to Cross-Train for Swimming

Regular dryland training has numerous benefits for swimmers:

  • Improve Performance: Building strength out of the water translates to your swimming. Dryland can help improve your core strength, explosive power and general aerobic fitness.
  • Prevent Injuries: Overuse injuries are common in swimming. Dryland adds variety to your workouts, engaging your muscles in a different way.
  • Stay Engaged: Doing the same type of workouts constantly can cause you to lose progress toward your goals. A dryland plan helps keep you engaged!
  • Avoid Burnout: Mix up your training with creative dryland workouts so you don’t get burned out!
  • No Pool = No Excuses: If you’re traveling and don’t have access to a pool, your pool is closed, or if you’re stuck at home for a while, there’s no excuse to stop working out!

Related: 5 Reasons Bodyweight Training Improves Your Swimming Performance

6 Steps to Successful At-Home Dryland Training

1. Create A Workout Space

First, find a safe space to do your workouts. Your workout space can be indoors or outdoors, and should consist of a flat surface that is roughly 2 meters x 2 meters. You should be able to stand up tall. Minimize distractions in this space — this is where you go to put in work!

2. Set a Routine

Consistency is key with dryland! Schedule your dryland workouts into your day, just like you would if you were going swimming.

3. Put on Your Workout Outfit

It’s important to have the right clothes for your dryland workouts! Find a set of comfortable clothes that work for you, whether that’s yoga pants, a tank top, shorts, sweat pants, running shoes, or going barefoot!

Be sure to change out of your clothes and into your workout clothes before starting your workout. This small act helps prepare your mind for the workout, just like putting on your swimsuit does for a swim!

4. Focus on Swimming Specific Movements and Strength

You don’t need to mimic the 4 competitive strokes on land to gain strength. Swimming specific movements focus on stability, flexibility and strength, working the muscle groups that are engaged when you swim:

  • Stability: Working on balance, core strength and overall stability helps improve your body position and shoulder strength in the water.
  • Flexibility: Increasing flexibility will boost your reach and distance per stroke. 
  • Strength: The stronger you are, the longer you’ll be able to maintain proper technique, and the faster you will swim! Continuous strength gains lead to increases in propulsion, power and muscle engagement in the pool.

It’s important to note that doing bodyweight dryland exercises at home will not cause you to put on a lot of muscle or “bulk up.”

5. Find an Accountability Community


Whether you’re working out at home or at a gym, it’s important to stay connected and find others to hold you accountable to your goals. Give your accountability buddies regular progress updates and share challenges, victories and support each other!

Join the MySwimPro Global Community on Facebook to connect with thousands of swimmers from around the world!

6. Find a Plan

Following a plan will help you reach your goals faster than doing unorganized workouts. Structured plans include planned progressions in movements. If you’re a beginner, it’s not beneficial to dive into an advanced dryland program. Learn the basics and scale your training up as you improve to reduce your chances of injury.

Max Performance dryland plan

Related: How Swimmers Can Work Out Without a Pool

To jump start your dryland training, check out the dryland training programs in the MySwimPro app! All workouts in these plans require minimal or no equipment and can be done in the comfort of your home. Incorporate one of these programs into your current swim training routine, or complete a dryland plan on its own. Either way, you’re taking a big step toward your goals!

Try our ELITE COACH subscription free for 30 days!

Beginner: Getting Started Dryland Plan

Side Plank

This plan is an introduction to dryland training for swimmers. You’ll work on stability, flexibility and strength. 

  • 4 Workouts
  • 2x/week
  • 20 minutes per workout
  • No equipment

Exercise Example: Standing I, T, Y, W

Start by standing tall, then raise your arms forming the letters with your body. I, T, Y, and finally W where your hands are at the same height as your face and you focus on bringing your shoulder blades back to each other. 

Beginner: Low Impact

Dead bug dryland

This plan is ideal for swimmers who need dryland workouts that are easy on the knees and low back.

  • 18 workouts
  • 3x/week
  • 25-30 minute workouts
  • No equipment

Exercise Example: Hip Bridges

Start lying on your back with your feet planted on the ground. Make sure your lower back is completely flat to the ground. Squeeze your butt and lift up into a bridge position. Hold for 1-2 seconds, making sure your back doesn’t arch at the top.

Related: 15 Low Impact Dryland Exercises for Swimmers

Intermediate: Get Stronger, Swim Faster

Side Lunge

This total body training program incorporates push ups, squats and more classic bodyweight movements. Progress to more advanced movements throughout the plan, including plyometrics to build power! 

  • 18 workouts
  • 3x/week
  • 30 minute workouts
  • No equipment

Exercise Example: Alternating Superman

Lie on your stomach with your arms out in front of you. Looking straight down at the floor and keeping your core engaged, lift your left arm and right leg off the ground. Hold for 1 or 2 seconds and release. Repeat with the right arm and left leg. 

Swimmer Strength

Face Pulls dryland

This plan helps you develop total body functional strength and prevent injury with swimming-specific dryland workouts! Incorporate basic equipment to take your workouts to the next level. 

  • 32 workouts
  • 4x/week
  • 30-45 minute workouts
  • Equipment needed: Swiss ball, resistance bands, medicine ball (optional: jump rope, yoga mat)

Exercise Example: Single Arm Row

Kneel with your right knee down and your left knee bent 90 degrees. Grip your handle with your right hand. Bend your elbow and pull toward you, keeping a 90 degree bend in your elbow. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Related: 5 Resistance Band Dryland Exercises for Swimmers

Advanced: Max Performance

Spiderman Pushup

This program is high intensity, and is designed for people with a background in strength training. Focus on building explosive strength, taking basic bodyweight movements to the next level.

  • 4 Weeks
  • 4x/week
  • 30-40 minute workouts
  • No equipment

Exercise Example: Sprawl

Starting in a plank position, Jump your feet outside your hands. Bring your hands up, finding a low squat position. Place your hands back on the ground and hop your feet back to the starting position. 

Related: 10 Best Core Dryland Exercises for Swimmers

Swimmer’s Core

Mountain Climbers

This plan helps you build a rock-solid core to improve your body position, rotation and control in the water.

  • 16 workouts
  • 4x/week
  • 30-45 minute workouts
  • Equipment needed: Swiss ball, resistance bands, medicine ball (optional: yoga mat)

Exercise Example: Swiss Ball Knee Tuck

Begin in a plank position with your lower legs on the ball. Tuck your knees into your chest, rolling the ball toward you. Extend back to the starting position and repeat.

Related: 10 Swiss Ball Dryland Exercises for Swimmers

Feel free to follow these plans to safely progress while building swimming-specific strength. For more dryland workouts and training tips, check out our YouTube channel!

Download the MySwimPro app for iOS or Android to explore our dryland training plans, and try ELITE COACH for 30 days of free access! Share your dryland workouts on social media using #MySwimProStrength to connect with others and hold yourself accountable.

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1 Comment

  1. Thank You , These are Awesome Exercises especially @ this Pandemic Time when All Community & Private Apartment Pools are Closed 🤭🥺

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