by Quintana Roo Triathlon March 23, 2020


This blog was written and provided by QR Athlete, Rachel Olson. Photo credit: Matthew Hert.

Sometimes you have no access to a pool because you’re on a family vacation or on a work trip…and then there’s the current situation we’re all dealing with that we will be talking about for years, the novel Coronavirus. This pandemic has put nearly all of us out of the pool due to closures of gyms and public places. And not just for a couple days while on vacation, 30 days or more.

So, how do we maintain that swim fitness we just worked so hard for in the off-season?! Many of us don’t have access to swim open water right now, but if you do-even just one day a week in the water can greatly help in maintaining your “feel” for the water, which is so easy to lose. (And invest in a QR HYDROSix wetsuit for those cold lakes!). And if you have a pool in your backyard, you can turn it into your own endless by tying up a band to your waist/ankle, then anchoring it to a point on land, and swim away in the middle of the pool!

But for those of us in situations where we cannot go to an open water swim spot for any reason or do not have a backyard pool, dry-land strength work is the way to go! And it doesn’t mean you have to spend an hour doing a strength session, a quick 10-15 minute swim activation set is perfect. I recommend investing in a pair of StretchCordz (they can be found on multiple websites!) to incorporate swim fitness, and can be used for a variety of exercises!

If you’re looking for a simple “swim” routine, follow my favorite at least 3 times a week:

  • 20x one arm “catch” (each arm) + 30 seconds recovery: this focuses on just the first part of the swim stroke-the front part of the stroke.
  • 20x tricep extension (each arm) + 30 seconds recovery: this focuses on the power out of the back of the swim stroke-finishing strong through the back of your pull
  • 20x full stroke (each arm) + 30 seconds recovery: focus on slow, strong pulls from start to finish.
  • Repeat twice through. After you’ve done this for a full week, maybe bump it up to three times through!
  • BONUS! If you want to add some core to this workout (you need a strong core in swimming!), do a 1-minute plank in between rounds!

Here are some good videos you can also watch to help with your dry land training:

Good for technique:
Good for exercises:


My biggest pointers are:

-GO SLOW! Rushing through these exercises can run a huge risk of injury and could mean you aren’t getting the full benefit of building your swim strength.

-Start out with just one arm at a time so you can focus on your form

-High elbows! Don’t let your elbow collapse into your body.

Remember to have fun with it! We’re all in this together and adding in these exercises will give us some sort of normalcy to our routines until we’re cleared to get back in the pool again. Lastly, don’t forget how many times we’ve complained about our pool being closed once we’re back to regular training!

Quintana Roo Triathlon
Quintana Roo Triathlon

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