I had an email the other day from a reader named Christopher who had a unique question. He wanted to know what he could do off land to stay swim-ready as he is transitioning into a dry spell where he won’t have access to a pool. And I’ve got some tips for him – and you, of course!
Dry-land exercises are your go-to activity. Lifting weights and building muscle mass is directly correlated to speed in the pool, so it’s a no brainer that you want to amp up these exercises while you are sans water. Remember the goal is not to become a body builder but to work on strengthen your muscles and working on your core. Long live the planks!
By cross train I mean doing cardio exercises that get your heart rate up and simulate the excitement your body feels in the pool. Running and biking are fantastic examples but kickboxing, zumba, and other aerobic activities are great to throw in for variety.
Stretching is easy to overlook, but keep muscles that you use in the pool active and stretched out will make for an easier adjustment period when you get back to swimming. Stretch cords are fantastic and can allow you to stretch and achieve dry-land mobility at the same time. Don’t neglect your shoulders or your legs! And remember dynamic stretches (active movement) are the best.
Those of us who spend time in the pool know that breathing can be one of the hardest components to getting in the swing of swimming. And it is definitely not a skill you want to lose! In order set yourself up for an easier transition when you head back to the pool, work in some breathing exercises. You know I love yoga, and the breath work that accompanies it is fantastic for our lungs. Here are two great exercises that hail from the Kundalini yoga tradition.
Most importantly, don’t forget to get back in the water as soon as you can!