November 4, 2013
Let's face it – even though swimming burns boatloads of calories, carves a fantastic physique, and is of course absolutely necessary for any triathlete or swim competitor, sometimes it’s either:
A) extremely inconvenient to carve out time or get to the gym for a pool workout, especially if you're traveling, working long hours, have kids in tow, or you're just going through a busy time of your life (ahem, does that describe everybody now?)…
B) you’re just not the swimming type, and you can't stand the thought of the sensory deprivation from swimming back and forth in a pool, the scary blackness of open water (including the scary sea monsters your imagination musters up), or learning how to swim.
The good news is that in either of these situations, you can still get a fantastic swim workout without actually swimming. Or getting wet, for that matter. In the video below, and the instructions below the video, I'm giving you a dry land strength training and physique carving swim workout that requires absolutely no pool, swimsuit, speedo, goggles, or swim cap – although you can wear them if that makes you happy.
So next time you're stuck in your hotel room, your living room or your bedroom, just try this high calorie-burning, whole body, no-equipment-required workout.
Warm-up for about 2-5 minutes. I prefer jumping jacks, which require a similar overhead shoulder movement as swimming. Then move on to:
-20 Squat Jumps (kind of like pushing off the wall of the pool). Give yourself bonus points if you keep your arms extended over your head “streamline” style while you’re doing these.
-10 Lunge Jumps per side to get the heart rate up even more.
-10 Dive Bomber pushups (AKA Hindu pushups)
-20 Regular Squats. Once again, bonus points if you keep your arms extended over your head “streamline” style while you’re doing these.
-10 Lunge With Twists per side, which work the same twisting core muscles you use while swimming. No weight required.
-20 Front Plank Taps per side.
-20 Side Plank Rotations per side.
Complete this entire routine one to three times through. If you do all the exercises listed, you'll effectively hit all your swimming physiology and major swimming muscles, including your deltoids, triceps, lats, abdominals, low back, glutes, quads, hip flexors, hamstrings and calves.
And of course, the sky is the limit in terms of biohacking this workout, including wearing a weighted vest, using a restricted air breathing mask, going 10 seconds up-10 seconds down for exercises, or any hack you can muster to make it harder – if that's your thing.
If you try this workout, or you have questions about it, leave your feedback in the comments section below. If you enjoyed this article, you may also like my “Baby It’s Too Cold Outside to Drive to the Pool” swim workout and my article How to Get Shoulders Like Ryan Lochte's.
30 thoughts on “A Dry Land Strength Training and Physique Carving Swim Workout That Requires No Pool.”
Hey i was just wondering, im looking for a workout to do before my swimmming workout, i can see this is designed to do when you can’t swim, but would it be okay to do both?
Hi I was just wondering if I could do this instead of swimming to get ready for the swim team in fall? Thanks!!
If you have access to a pool, I'd definitely recommend swimming to get ready for the swim team :) This is a good alternative if you don't.
i don’t think that’s a good idea. to tryout for swim team you still need to practice your swimming.
Thank you for this video! I play underwater hockey for South Africa and with the world champs coming up in Canada, our training has come to a standstill due to the Cape Town drought. I know this program will help our team keep in shape and get us to where we need to be!
Thanks once again!
well this looks amazing, and great instructions.
Am a swim teacher trying to improve my swimmers performance please help me with someone land drills as well as water drills that I can use
Start here: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2013/11/dry-land… and let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks for the swimming dry land exercies… I’m from the Philippines high land(mountainous area) so I can only practice rarely in the swimming pool, although I can swim i need it to strengthen my body for long miles swimming… I want to join the navy in order to join the navy seal that’s why I’m really hoping big effects to your tips… thank you gonna try and practice Combat Swimming when I’m fit enough for long miles swimming thank you.
What about lifting weights as well?
Not as good as the isokinetic contraction you get from elastic bands, which act more like water resistance.
Hi, I am just a beginner training to have a swimmer’s physique. Apart from the workout you posted, what can i mix it up with? And is there a specifically tailored diet for swimmer’s body?
Yes, I have an entire book chock full of swim, bike and run weight training workouts: http://goo.gl/tQg24
Hey I just saw this and thought it looked very interesting. Our season for swimteam just ended and we don’t swim year around. I still want to be in shape and ready for next year so I was wondering if I could maybe just switch off with this workout and running two miles every other day? Or do you have any more workouts I could do?
This might be a good article for you : https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/article/fitness-articles/workouts-exercise-articles/swimming-hacks-why-youre-swimming-too-much-what-to-do-about-it/
And then maybe some strength based stuff: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2013/04/stren…
Thanks a lot, I swim varsity for my school and I go to sectionals every year. Hopefully this will give me another edge over other and help only prove myself. Thanks again
Thanks for the great pointers. Will be using this on my 13-18 year olds this evening for dryland. They are going to love those dive bombers…lol
Just discovered this post in the midst of a crazy work period and looks great. Don't suppose you have any similar workouts for a run alternative when you don't have a treadmill and for whatever reason are not able to run outdoors.
I do have some… but in video form. I will have to work on that! Basically, something like this:
6 x through
– 24 step ups (12 on each side)
– 20 squat thrusts (burpees)
– 10 flights of stairs
– 20 body weight squats or walking lunges
– 50 jumping jacks
Thanks – will give that ago too.
The reason I am asking is because i am seeing immediate results. I do plan on buying your book and mixing my routine up combined with proper diet. Perhaps I am looking for more motivation via your confirmation or results via photos. can you help me with this?
Sorry scanty99, I'm not sure what you are asking for exactly… would you like to book a time for us to chat about your goals and plans? http://pacificfit.net/items/one-on-one-consultati…
hello ben just started with your website and wondering if i do this workout consistantly will i end up with a body like yours?
No! If you do any workout constantly you will end up bored and possibly insane! Ha ha! You need to mix it up, keep it fresh, eat properly and give your body a break on a regular basis – all of this is spelled out in my new book at http://www.beyondtrainingbook.com
I'd also follow all my dietary recommendations. Start with something like this: http://www.revdiet.com
Classic TV moment :)
Great video Ben. I'll personally skip the goggles and Speedo look in my office though.
Sheldon makes some great points though. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnKoQbFXemE
Is this like when Sheldon Cooper learned to swim from the Internet without ever visiting a pool?
LOL. No clue – I learned how to swim on the edge of a pool with a waterproof book and a lifeguard laughing at me!