Strength training can improve swimming performance, body awareness, and prevent injury.
“You’ll increase bone density and strengthen the tendons and ligaments, so not only are you simply able to lift more weight, but you’re also building resistance to injury,” explains Michael Boyle, a Functional Training expert.
If done incorrectly, lifting weights can be dangerous and nowhere near your goals. But don’t write it off just yet! If you take the time to consider a few key principles, you’ll know that the work you put in will keep you healthy, free from injury, and ready to attack your next swim workout.
1) Quality > Quantity
For every single lift you perform, concentrate on the quality of the lift over the actual amount of weight lifted. Be mindful of your technique, make sure the last repetition of a set is as good as the first repetition.
While tracking your training load is important, tracking your form is CRITICAL. Sure, you may be able to lift a few more pounds with poor form, but what happens when that poor form results in an injury keeping you out of the pool for months?
Don’t let ego get in the way of being healthy. Patience will yield the results you’re looking for. Taking the time to master the technical skills of a movement will offer the maximum long-term benefit. You’ll be amazed at the results down the line.