Winning in the Water

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By Tim Rigby

An excellent way to make sure your swimming stroke stays sharp is by training your back, legs, and shoulders.


This Fast Fitness workout has you performing drop sets to failure on key exercises for these specific body parts. By developing strength (and a lot of endurance) in your back, legs, and shoulders, you should tear through the water like a sailfish. Well, sailfish can swim up to 70 miles an hour, but you know what we mean.


gogglesDid You Know?
Swimming is a great calorie burner. A 180-pound man will burn about 210 calories in just 15 minutes of performing a front crawl at a brisk pace. If you do train in the pool, remember that you’ll be sweating hard even if you don’t feel it — so make sure you stay well-hydrated.


GET STARTED:
Use drop sets on key exercises to help your swimming development. Start with a weight you can perform with until failure on the 10th rep, then lower the weight by 30 per cent and grind until failure again. Then, drop the weight by 30 per cent once more and go until you’ve failed once again.

(illustrations) Mark Collins

lat-pulldown

LAT PULLDOWN
Set into position in the apparatus with your back straight, your legs bent at 90 degrees, and your feet squarely on the floor. Take as wide a grip as you can on the bar using an overhand grip. Pull the bar down in front of you and hold around your collarbone. Hold for a half-second and control the bar on the ascent back to the start.

FAIL ON 10 (+ 2 DROPS)


cable-row

SEATED CABLE ROW
Sit on the bench with your feet securely on the plates and legs bent slightly. Grasp a bullhorn bar using a neutral grip in both hands. Keeping your back straight, and without any help from your legs, pull the bar in toward your core. Hold for a half-second, and then return to the start.

FAIL ON 10 (+ 2 DROPS)


overhead-press

SEATED OVERHEAD PRESS
Sit in a chair with a barbell supported on a rack behind you. Bend your knees 90 degrees, keep your back straight, and maintain a level head. Grasp the bar with an overhand grip, wider than shoulder width. Press the bar up to a locked-out position, hold for a one-count, then lower slowly to the start.

FAIL ON 10 (+2 DROPS)


leg-extension

LEG EXTENSION
Sit securely in the apparatus with your back straight against the pad and feet tucked behind the rollers. In the start, your knees will be bent 90 degrees. Using force from your quads, raise your feet in a forward arcing motion until your legs are extended and straight. Hold for one second, and return to the start.

FAIL ON 10 (+2 DROPS)

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