All swimmers are expected to learn and regularly participate in dynamic flex prior to their pool session. This is actively taught on entry to the club, however, thereafter swimmers are expected to take responsibility to prepare for sessions independently. Additional to this, specific land work is provided by the club and takes various forms as it has various aims.
The primary aim of the NDASC land based programme is to make the swimmers more physically robust so that they can handle the training loads in the water. We want strong, resilient swimmers resistant to injury! There are additional goals and benefits to be garnered from land training too, some with direct and obvious impact on performance in the pool; others less obvious but still of value in producing rounded athletes.
The training will develop balance, flexibility, co-ordination, kinaesthetics, and proprioception; strength, power, speed, agility, and endurance.
Attendance at land training is by invitation. This will be initiated by the Head Coach once a swimmer has reached a level of ability to cope and with the Lead Land trainer’s agreement. There are two groups incorporating a general programme and a performance focussed programme for active competitors.
Below are three examples of the training used:
Example Set 1
Jog along the promenade to the west making about 6 stops for additional warm-up exercises of gradually increasing intensity (ranging from mobilisation/light stretching to basic calisthenics and light plyometrics).
Bench Sprints - the group makes its way back to the pool by sprint intervals - sprinting to the first bench, then jogging/walking to the next as active recovery, sprinting from there. The return trip is made entirely alternating sprint and jog/walk.
The remainder of the session tends to comprise strength and more intense plyometric work before a handful of stretches at the end.
Strength exercises usually comprise the following or progressions thereof: squats, lunges, one-leg dead lifts, press-ups, plank, or other abdominal strength.
Plyometrics usually involve jumping in some way, shape or form: tuck jumps, squat jumps, power squats, jump-switch lunges, burpees, distance hopping and vertical max hopping.
Example Set 2
Basic on-the-spot warm-up e.g. jogging on the spot; high knees; heel kicks. Lunges; squats; forward bends. Windmills; wide squats; side squats. Torso twists; joint mobilisation; light stretching.
Working hand-eye co-ordination and kinaesthetics (one's sense of how one moves)
Pairing up participants throw a tennis ball between each other - throwing over-hand with their favoured hand. During this time they are asked to focus on the way their arm moves as they throw with their favoured hand.
All participants then change to throwing (again over-hand) with their opposite hand, trying to carry over the technique and movement pattern they use on the more co-ordinated side.
They return to their right throwing at increased distance from each other and aiming to catch with only one hand, before switching back to the left again while maintaining that distance.
Stretching and flexibility work. Taking participants through a range of stretches and yoga poses to increase flexibility and balance. This involves several different stretches (static/dynamic/assisted) with repetitions and progressions for feet, calves, quads, abductors, hamstrings, and glutes; particularly looking to increase flexibility at the ankles and hips. Less time spent on upper body stretches, but still looking to stretch all major muscle groups.
Remaining time spent on some balance exercises and balance based yoga poses, progressing or regressing as required.
Example Set 3
As (2) or thereabouts.
'Core Strength'. Working isometric (static) strength, and dynamic abdominal, side, and back exercises, while abiding by the Scottish Swimming directive not to do sit-ups. The format of the session is 3 exercises performed back-to-back for 30sec each, after which there is 30sec rest, followed by 15sec each of the same exercises, and 1min rest. Then 3 new exercises; 30sec each; 30sec rest; 15sec x3; 1min rest. The majority of the remaining time is played out working to this format with a wide variety of exercises, making for a very intense abdominal work-out.
The session is finished with additional stretching and mobilisation in preparation for going into the pool.