11 Aug Weight Lifting For Breaststroke: Swim Fast Like Cameron Van Der Burgh
Exercises: Faster Breaststroke
If you’re here to learn about weight lifting for breaststroke you’ve come to the right place. Before we begin, I want you to watch this video with the muscles used in the Breaststroke technique.
We want to re-create the lifting exercises to match that of when you are swimming. Building muscle and increasing strength is different, so you want to ideally do 3-4 heavy reps of 4-6 sets with long rest intervals. If you generally want to improve your overall strength, check out this 12 week strength program.
The main compound muscles we want to target are: Legs, Back, and Arms
The king of leg exercises. If you can’t squat well, your breaststroke times won’t be as fast. You don’t want to use any belts, since your core muscles are also used. A lot people don’t have a good form when squatting, and it is crucial you get it right to avoid injuries or muscle imbalances.
Get a gym membership, or if you have money to spare, get a squat rack and start building your leg strength.
Not only are underwater jumps great for improving your block starts, but if you mix Medicine Balls into the exercise, and do 3 sets of 12 , you’re building both strength and endurance.
Side Leg Raises
Get some ankle weights and do some side leg raises during your dry land exercises, or if you’re in the weight lifting room, side leg extensions machine will do as well.
I know most swimmers are swimmers because they can’t do track and field, however, sprinting has always been a good exercise to improve leg strength. Try doing 4 sets of 100 meters each week. You might just discover you could potentially be a good track athlete, who knows!
Lat Pull Downs
For a bigger and stronger back, besides pull-ups and chin-ups, lat pull downs are one of the most effective exercises. You will need a lat pulldown machine, but your local gym should also have it.
I prefer the Crossfit version of seated rows because it emulates the breaststroke movement better than the static version of the seated row.
Standing Pull Downs
This is a great weight lifting exercise for breaststroke. It hits 3 major muscles groups. Your back, your shoulders, and arms. The compound movement closely resembles the breaststroke.
Be careful of internal shoulder rotation though, heavier weights can injure you!
Athlean X is a professional when it comes to training athletes for performance. Make this minor adjustment and you will notice a big difference with your breaststroke pulling strength.
And to finish it off weight lifting exercises for breaststroke, weighted chin ups. Pull-Ups work more of your back, than your bicep (an important muscle in the breaststroke)
You will need: Pull Up Bar. You can start off without any weights, but as you get stronger, get a backpack and add weights.