Three great home exercises you can do to build a stronger freestyle
Here are three great exercises you can do in your home that will help improve your freestyle with accompanying videos that you will find in Lanes 3 and 4. These exercises require some relatively inexpensive equipment. You can find some of the equipment on our website store.
The boxing windmill exercise is a full range of motion exercise that helps build all of the muscles supporting the shoulder joint. For this one, you will need a partner to hold the boxing mitts in front of you. With your head down, swing the arms straight around in a near vertical circular path, tapping the mitt with the edge of your gloves. We recommend 3 rounds of one minute each with 30 seconds rest in between. Race Club record is 196 taps in one minute!
Lexie Kelly and Olympic gold medalist Rebecca Soni demonstrating the freestyle boxing windmill exercise
The up kick is often a neglected part of the important kicking sets done in the pool. Yet the up kick can provide a lot of propulsion if you work it! This exercise requires a yoga or balance ball and a couple of light dumbbells or kettle bells (5-8 pounds). It does require some coordination of the movements but will work up kick and shoulders at the same time. Works the lower back, hamstrings and calf muscles, all responsible for a strong up kick. Do 3 rounds of one minute with 30 seconds rest in between.
World class swimmer Zach Hayden working on freestyle up kick and upper body strength
The ab wheel will not only build stronger abdominal muscles, it will also help build the important deltoid muscle of your shoulder. I call the deltoid muscle the conductor of the orchestra, because this muscle helps set up the correct pulling motion with the high elbow pull. Not many athletes are as strong as Roland to extend fully from a standing position, but do 3 rounds of this exercise from your knees of one minute, followed by 30 seconds of rest. Try to keep your elbows higher than your wrists as you extend forward as far as possible. Keep your back straight with your head down. If you can reach 20 full extensions in a minute you are doing well!
Olympian Roland Schoeman doing a full-extension ab wheel from his knees
Yours in swimming,
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