Gym training to boost your swim speed

This land-based workout from endurance coach Steve Whittle will help to boost your performance in the water.

Bulgarian split squat

Why? It’ll help to stabilise your glutes and hamstrings and strengthen your kicking technique.

How? Standing tall, place one foot on a step behind you, then bend your front leg to lower your body, keeping your chest up and front knee over your toes. Drive back up through your front foot to return to the start.

How much? Perform five sets of 15-20 reps on each leg.

Bird dog

Why? It’ll build a strong core, which will help to improve your posture and maintain a long, streamlined position in the water.

How? Kneel on the floor on your hands and knees with your face down and hands directly beneath you shoulders with arms extended. Straighten and lift your left leg and right arm simultaneously, then lower under control and repeat with the opposite limbs.

How much? Perform five sets of 10-15 reps on each side.

Lunge with arm raises

Why? Most of us have tight hip flexors, which will cause your legs to drag and drop in the water. This dynamic stretch will lengthen and loosen them.

How? Standing tall with your core braced and your arms by your sides, take a big step forward and lunge down until both knees are bent at 90° while simultaneously bringing your arms forward and upwards directly above your head. Push off from your front foot to return to the start position while lowering your hands, then repeat on the other leg.

How much? Perform five sets of 15-20 reps on each leg.

Walking plank

Why? It’ll further help to strengthen your core and shoulders.

How? From the top of a press-up position, lower into a plank position one arm at a time, keeping your body straight, then reverse the move to the start.

How much? Perform three sets of ten reps.

Door frame stretch

Why? It’s another great posture-corrector that’ll help improve your shoulder mobility.

How? Gripping either side of a door frame, carefully lower your upper body forward till you feel a stretch in your pecs.

How much? Hold the stretch for 40 seconds, then release, rest for 20 seconds and repeat.

Steve Whittle is an endurance and nutrition coach with over a decade’s experience. For more information, contact him at or via Twitter @coach_whittle

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