Best Strength Exercises for Swimmers

Training all of your muscles is definitely important when it comes to improving your strength and endurance, but some exercises are simply better than others when it comes to swimming.

Swimmers can focus on a few types of exercises that are designed especially for improving efficiency and getting stronger. This prevents you from wasting time and only increases your chances of getting stronger much faster in the areas that really count for swimmers.

In this guide, you will discover the top 5 strength exercises for swimmers that will focus on your core muscles and help you build up the endurance to keep you going much longer once inside the pool.

⚠ Note: Don’t forget to warm up before swimming to avoid injury! Follow these warm-up tips for swimmers to improve efficiency and practice safety.

Top 5 Strength Training Exercises for Swimmers

The 5 types of training exercises we’re about to discuss are meant to help swimmers work out the areas of their body that really count regarding swimming. This includes the triceps, pectorals, shoulders, hamstrings, lats, and quadriceps.

1. Pull-Ups

man doing pull ups in gym

One of the most popular and beneficial exercises of all time, the pull-up, helps improve strength through exercise with only bodyweight. It’s one of the most difficult exercises to get used to but it helps build strength extremely fast once you start doing more and more in a row.

The pull-ups help swimmers workout their lats, which is one of the main muscles we mentioned that are important for strong swimmers. This exercise also helps train strong shoulders and focuses on your entire back. Doing pull-ups properly enforces rapid strength gain in these areas and helps you improve your pull when swimming, allowing you to glide through the water with much more force.

2. Alternating Dumbbell Press

alternating dumbbell press exercise

The main reason for doing this exercise for swimmers is to improve strength and stability in the shoulders. It focuses the shoulder muscles and the pectoral muscles as well. This helps improve your butterfly stroke significantly among many other swimming techniques as well.

By doing the alternating dumbbell press exercise, the added stability and strength in your shoulders and pecs help you maintain swimming longer and help avoid any serious injuries, especially in the shoulder, which is known as a risky area for swimmers.

3. Lateral Lunge

woman doing lateral lunge

When it comes to working out and gaining strength in your leg muscles, especially for swimmers, lateral lunges are a must-have workout. This exercise helps in more than one way. For starters, lateral lunges help build a lot of strength in the quadriceps, hamstrings, inner thighs, and glutes – all important areas for a strong and fast swimmer.

On top of building strength in your legs, lateral lunges also improve a swimmer’s flexibility and hip rotation, which are both features vital to strong distance swimmers. By having more strength in your legs, you will be able to swim further and perform much more powerful and longer strokes.

4. Jump Squats

woman doing jump squats

Becoming stronger in the areas that really matter for swimmers also means becoming much faster. Working out your quadriceps is very important for this, as the power of your kick determines how fast you will glide through the water.

As a result, doing jump squats or box squats can be one of the best ways to improve strength in your legs. Because of this, remember to never skip leg day, especially if you want to become a faster and stronger swimmer.

5. Burpees

man doing burpees

Finally, to make sure you develop amazing endurance, gain strength all around your body, and have a flexible body that won’t have any trouble stretching inside the water, the burpee will be the exercise to deliver all of this.

Burpees are quite difficult to maintain at the beginning, but you will quickly notice that this exercise will deliver results fast as long as you don’t give up. The burpee focuses on significantly improving strength in both your upper and lower body, and stretches your muscles, making sure you avoid injuries and feel better after training. Burpees are also great for improving your breaststroke among many other strokes as well.


All of these strength training exercises for swimmers are great for just about everyone but they do feature a little extra something for swimmers. These 5 amazing exercises focus on improving strength in the muscles that are used in swimming the most. So, include them in your workout routine and start noticing results relatively quickly.

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AthletePath Staff

We are a team of enthusiasts and professional athletes thriving to provide you with helpful advice on buying everything you may ever need to become a better athlete.

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