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Cross-training for Swimming

Updated: Feb 18

How Rowing, Pull-Ups, and Gymming Can Supercharge Your Swimming

Mastered all the stroke techniques but still unable to hit new personal bests? While endless laps are excellent, incorporating specific cross-training exercises can be your secret weapon to propelling your swimming to the next level. But what activities offer the most significant benefits? Let's explore how rowing, pull-ups, and targeted gym workouts can boost your swimming performance!

Rowing: Your Secret Weapon for Endurance and Power

Rowing mimics the pulling motion of swimming, engaging similar muscle groups and improving cardiovascular endurance. Moreover, it strengthens your core and legs, contributing to overall stability and power in the water. Whether you hit the gym for rowing machines or find a local rowing club, incorporating this activity can significantly boost your swimming performance.

Pull-Ups: Your Upper Body Powerhouse

Pull-ups target the upper body muscles responsible for pulling through the water, including your lats, back, and shoulders. This translates to stronger strokes, improved catch, and ultimately, faster swimming speeds. Don't worry if you can't do a full pull-up yet; assisted pull-ups, negatives, and band-assisted variations are excellent starting points!

Gymming: Tailored Workout

Remember, a one-size-fits-all approach rarely works. Tailoring your gym workouts to your specific swimming goals is key. Are you chasing speed? Focus on exercises that build explosiveness like box jumps. Aiming for strength? Single-leg deadlifts will solidify your core. Injury prevention your priority? Medicine ball throws can enhance rotational power, reducing injury risk.


  1. Start slow and listen to your body: Don't jump into intense workouts, especially if you're new to these activities. Take rest days and prioritise recovery.

  2. Warm up and cool down: Prepare your body for exercise and prevent soreness with proper routines.

  3. Track your progress: Monitor your improvement and adjust your workouts as needed.

By incorporating these cross-training activities into your routine, you'll break through plateaus, and ultimately, unleash your inner swimming champion.

Connect with our expert partners and coaches for swimming programs - reach out today and start your journey!

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