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Improve your Catch Setup on Dryland

Hey guys, with movement control and lockdowns happening around the world due to Covid-19, I'm sure access to pools and fitness centres is near impossible. Instead of feeling negative, let’s stay healthy and fit the responsible way. Why not spend 15-30 mins everyday performing these dryland exercises to refine your swim technique and engage the primary muscle groups for freestyle swimming.

For these exercises, we will be using the Finis Dryland Cord, which is a great tool to control your movements and fire up the right muscles. Here is the instructional video on how to set it up.

There are plenty of ways to use the cord. We choose to focus on the exercises which mimic the freestyle stroke as an alternative to actual swimming in the pool during this lockdown period.

The movements

We show 3 variations – using the same basic catch & pull movement, with 3 different body positions. You can choose which variation to do depending on your access to the equipment used and your strength level. We recommend that you do these exercises in a slow controlled motion (which you don’t get the chance to do when you are swimming) to reinforce the right form.

1. Easy: Stretch cord with deck chair

The easiest, where your body is fully supported by the deck chair. Focus on keeping your elbow at a fixed, high position when you move through from the catch to complete the pull. When you catch at the correct angle (between 100-120 degrees), you engage the lats (latissimus dorsi muscles). The lats is the largest muscle group in the upper body, thus you want to engage it for your pull so that you get the maximum strength for your freestyle stroke.

2. Moderate: Stretch Cord only

For moderate difficulty, you only need the dryland cord. In addition to focusing on your high elbow catch, this variation engages your core and reinforces the right angle as you enter the push phase. Bend your elbow as early as you can, like you’re pushing a gym-ball of water back. This motion is what engages the water and sets you up for the forward propulsion.

3. Hard: Stretch Cord with gym ball

You have been told to engage your core while you are swimming, but somehow you don't know how to feel the engagement! Here, the most difficult variation requires you to balance on a gym ball while doing the movements. To do so, keep your legs straight and feel the engagement in your core. Core muscles are vital to stabilise your spine, thus giving a great head-to-toe control.

Lastly, counter exercise with Stretch Cord

We use the chest press as a cool down as it uses counter movements to the exercises above. Draw the shoulder blades back and squeeze to bring them together. It can actually be used as a main exercise on its own as it strengthens the shoulder blades (also known as the scapular) and gives good support to your rotator cuff, which governs the overall overhead motions of swimming.

The workout set

You want to aim for about 10-20 mins for the main set and 5-10 mins for cool down. The duration of the set and rest time is determined by your own individual level of strength; which means you perform the exercise until you feel tired, rest until the muscle soreness recovers; repeat and cool down.

For a beginner, for example:

  • Easy for 1 min, rest 1 min; repeat 5 times

  • Cool down for 45 sec, rest 45 sec; repeat 3 times

For Alyce for example, she does:

  • Hard for 3 min, rest 1 min; repeat 5 times

  • Cool down for 1 min, rest 1 min; repeat 5 times

Keep ‘swimming’ and stay fit! Post your workout and tag us @myswimcoaching!

By: MySwim Passionate Coaches Shauqie Aziz & Alyze Ooi, helping you to improve your freestyle technique and open water performance.

Get the Finis Dryland Cord now - COD 010-5666957 or Swimshop2u (10% discount code: swimsmooth)


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