Triathlon Swimming Training Program For Ladies Without Getting in the Water

by Pool Builders on 04-05-2010 in Articles

There are times when every woman triathlete cannot get to the pool for a swim workout, or wants to train specifically for swimming but in a gym rather than a pool. Of course there is nothing that can take the place of actually getting in the pool and doing it, but when that is not possible or you feel like changing things because you are getting stale with your old pool routine, then this workout covers just that.

This is a great routine for off-season cross-training, do not neglect your pool workouts totally, just use this resistance routine when the need arises.

These exercises are best done before a bicycle workout, or maybe a spin class, and are designed as a multi-sport training booster or part of a longer endurance workout. If you are at the level where you can add a run afterward then that is a great extra option as well. This type of workout can be a bit of a challenge, but then what is not a challenge when it comes to triathlon?

The equipment that you will need is standard in most half-decent gyms, if what you need is not available you can improvise and do the closest exercise to the ones described here.

To start with, as with any type of exercise, you should warm-up.

Do this exercise on a rowing machine or use an arm ergometer.

Warm-up for 2 minutes

Hard-Easy Ladder:
1 X Hard/Easy ladder (1 X hard pull cycle then 1 X easy pull cycle)

Repeat this routine but increase both the easy and the hard pull by one each time:
2 X easy then 2 X hard, the 3/3, 4/4 and so on until you do 10 of each.

Now you need to ladder backwards, reversing what you just did going from 10/10 back down to 1/1 again.

Finish this section with a hard 2 minutes at your maximum effort.

The next section of exercises are using the cable machines.

There are three different exercises and you should do 15 reps for each one with the minimal amount of rest possible (it is going to burn!).

Exercise #1.
Cable Pulldowns - Straight arm: For this exercise you need to use the bar and the cable attachment at the top of the machine. Start with the bar held with both hands above shoulder height and gradually using a slow controlled motion bring it down to your hip area, but without bending your arms. Start with the lightest weight possible until you get used to the exercise.

Exercise #2.
Cable Pushdowns - Bent arm: Using the bar attached at the top of the machine once again, holding it with both hands, start with your arms bent at a 90 degree angle (so both fists are on top of the bar facing forwards). Some machines you face forward, and others have a back support, use the back support if possible, you do not want to use your back when doing this exercise, you are trying to work your triceps muscles on the back of your arms. Steadily push the bar down until your fists are facing the floor, slightly flex you triceps at the bottom. Let the bar come back up to the beginning position, but in a controlled fashion, do not just let the bar go because you may cause yourself an injury.

Exercise #3.
Cable Rows - Standing: This time you will be using the pulley cable that is on the bottom of the cable machine (sometimes this is on a slide so you can move it to the required height). Start facing the machine with an over grip on the bar using a light weight to begin with, the bar should be at around belly level with both arms straight down. Pull the bar straight upwards into your body by bending your arms, and squeeze your shoulder blades when you reach the top. Let the bar go back to the beginning position in a controlled manner, otherwise you may injure yourself.

Do 15 reps of each exercise, and do the whole circuit three times.

Now we are going to move on to some core work.

These exercises should be done the same as the last ones, 15 reps each, 3 times round with minimal rest.

Exercise #1.
Sky Diver: lie on the floor in a prone position, stretch all four of your limbs out and lift them simultaneously off the floor, hold this position for a 5 count and then relax and do it again.

Exercise #2.
Cycle Crunch: Lie on your back with one leg stretched out straight but slightly off the floor, and the other leg should be bent and also slightly off the floor. Crunch your upper body towards your feet and at the same time straighten your bent leg and bend your straight leg and return to your starting position to complete 1 rep. You need to do 15 for each side.

Exercise #3.
Hill Climber: Get yourself set in a standard push-up position. Bend your right knee up towards your left elbow and touch them together, then bend you left knee up towards right elbow and touch them together. Do 15 per side.

Getting tough yet?

Now for some leg work.
These exercises should be done as 15 reps, but only 2 circuits this time.

Exercise #1.
Forward Leg Kicks: Use a small weight and put your left foot in the cable machine harness and stand on your right leg. Start with a bent left leg and kick away like when you kick a soccer ball so the weight is constant on your leg until your left leg is straight and repeat for 15 reps. You should feel it mainly in your upper leg. Switch legs and repeat the exercise for the right leg.

Exercise #2.
Reverse Leg Kicks: Start with your left leg again in the cable machine harness and stand on your right leg. Bend forward at your waist and kick backwards in a controlled manner for 15 reps. You should feel this in your hamstrings and glutes. Repeat for the right leg.

There you have it. This will give your body a full swim style workout without getting wet, and keep you ready to go until you can get back to the pool and do it for real.

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