Maintaining Swim Fitness – When You Can’t Go To The Pool

As the UK COVID-19 lockdown extends for a further 3 weeks how are you maintaining your swim fitness and technique?

To help maintain shoulder fitness and strength you can be doing push-ups, pull-ups and seated dips and you can use a stretch cord to perform the following exercises:

Lateral Arm Raisers – secure cord under feet, hold hands in front of belly-button, palms together, then raise both elbows to shoulder height, moving hands upwards and outwards

Lateral Arm Raise - Start Lateral Arm Raise - End

Internal Shoulder Rotation – secure cord to a solid object at elbow height – keep elbow tucked into side, forearm horizontal and move hand against cord tension from outside bodyline across the centre of the body

Start position for internal shoulder rotation End position of internal shoulder rotation

External Shoulder Rotation – secure cord to a solid object at elbow height, keeping elbow tucked into side and forearm horizontal move hand against cord tension from centre of body to outside bodyline

Start position for external shoulder rotation End position of external shoulder rotation

To help you maintain your swim technique you can use the stretch cord to practice the underwater phase of the freestyle stroke. Secure the middle of the stretch cord to something solid at about waist height, hold one end of the cord in one hand the other end in the other hand, bend forward at the waist and extend arms forwards then take a step backwards to introduce tension. You can then pull hands back and push past hips as in the freestyle stroke. Focus on keeping your palm facing backwards and elbow high (don’t let the elbow drop) – and keeping the hand moving back in a smooth straight line. You can do this pulling with alternate hands or do several pulls at a time with one arm.

.Stretch Cord Catch Stretch Cord Push Back Dropped Elbow

Good luck with the above and we hope these exercises help keep you swim motivated.

Keeping Fit During COVID-19 Restrictions

Keeping fit is important during these uncertain times and it can be difficult to achieve due to the need to follow the restrictions placed upon us all in order to keep safe and healthy.

If you are ill with COVID-19 or another virus then you shouldn’t be training, you need to allow your body and the immune system to fight off the virus and this doesn’t happen as effectively if they are dealing with the stresses of training. As you recover from the virus gently ease back into training and listen to your body, any signs of illness then halt your training for little while longer.

We can make use of the opportunity to exercise outdoors once a day and it will help if you set yourself a clear objective for each and every session you do. This way you will have a clear focus and will then get the most benefit from the session. Set yourself some interim goals, say weekly, that will push you but make sure they are achievable – this will help to keep you motivated. You can use the daily sessions to help you build towards achieving your interim goals.

If, for whatever reason, you can’t utilise the one outdoor opportunity you have for training, then look at opportunities for indoor training. Indoor bikes and treadmills can be used and if you can link them to some of the online systems out there (like ZWIFT) then these can really help keep you motivated, you can even meet up with friends in the “virtual worlds” and train and race with them. Again, for each session, have a clear objective of what it is you want to achieve.

You can also work on strength and stability. You can build a little set that works on building your core and body strength using just your bodyweight, you don’t need any special equipment. This will be a real benefit when you get back to normal training.

And don’t forget stretching – doing a yoga or pilates session will really help maintain and improve flexibility and can also be used to improve mental wellbeing.

There are lots of resources on the internet that you can use to help you keep fit and maintain your general wellbeing during this time of restricted outdoor movement. Make use of the opportunities you have to stay fit and don’t be afraid to try something new.

Remember – always follow the latest rules, advice and guidance from HM Government, Public Health England and the NHS.