Planning of Dry land Training

Planning of Dry land Training for 12 & Under Age Group Swimmers

By Len Sterlin, BA ASCA Level 4 coach ASCA

Analysis of age group swimming- related publications and my own coaching experience shows that land-based training of young swimmers is not considered as important as at the later stages of their development.

However, according to recommendations of sport scientists and coaches of the most successful swimming centers of Russia (and former USSR) and Eastern Europe extensive dry land training should be introduced at the earliest stages of a competitive swimmer’s development. They believe that strength training in the beginning of a swimming career is crucially important as it encourages mastering of swimming technique.

One of the leading experts Dr. A. Vorontosov, states that strength training becomes a powerful way to simultaneously develop anaerobic abilities and to strengthen the muscles used during propulsion. For young swimmers a blend of strength and swimming training may be even more productive for rapid improvement than only swimming.

The aim of this presentation is to give age group coaches a general idea of using workloads, exercises and methods of land-based training of junior swimmers.

Coaches should plan dryland training for the whole season for the entire squad.

Stage of Preliminary Training (Swimmers of up to 10 years old)

Objectives: 1. Comprehensive development and building up fitness of young swimmers. 2. Developing motor abilities such as strength, endurance, rapidity, flexibility and agility with an emphasis on rapidity, flexibility and agility. 3. Elimination of weaknesses in physical development such as stoop, flatfoot, limited joint movement, etc. 4. Tempering of young organism (importance of outdoor activities). 5. Creation of additional conditions for learning swimming technique.

Planning: Land based only sessions – throughout the year: 7-8 year olds – 2×45 min. sessions a week 9-10 year olds – 3×60 min. sessions a week.

Dryland sessions combined with pool sessions (before pool session): 7-8 year olds – 2×30 min. sessions a week 9-10 year olds – 3×45 min. sessions a week.

Recommended exercises for dryland training: Calisthenics, light dumbbells, medicine ball, skipping rope, games and running. 1. Running relays: – running with a relay stick or medicine-ball; – jumping relay (one leg or two legs jumping); – mix: going out-run, coming home – “frog” jumps – pair relay: “wheel-barrow” 2. Leap-frog 3. “Centipede” run (Athletes form a chain file. Person standing behind bends over and holds front person on his/her waist. Then entire team runs on the Coach’s signal). 4. Soccer with 1kg medicine ball. Two teams of 4-6 people play on soft ground. Compulsory rule – everyone touches the ground by one hand. 5. Jumping relays: – one leg – sideways – with medicine-ball 6. Medicine ball throwing.

Stage of Basic Training (Swimmers 11-12 years old)

Objectives: 1. Comprehensive development and building up fitness of young swimmers. 2. Developing of motor abilities with emphasis on strength, endurance and agility. 3. Tempering of young organism (importance of outdoor activities). 4. Creation of additional conditions for learning swimming technique.

Planning: Land based training is carried out regularly throughout the season.

Dryland sessions can be held as much as 5 times of 60 min. a week or 6 times of 45 min. a week.

Attention should be paid to the specific strength exercises which do not exceed 30% of overall dryland training duration. It is essential that young athletes are taught to do one or two relaxation exercises after every strength exercise.

Week 1-Week 9 (Mesocycle 1)

Monday-Wednesday-Friday Warm-up: Jogging with short spurts 8-10 min.

Arms and forearms rotation. Dash arms motion. Vertical and horizontal arms swinging. Trunk twisting. Knee circular motions. Knee circular motions with slow squatting. Push-off stretch position. From crouch to push-off. Jumps. Walking in squatting position. Stretching.

Main Section: Medicine-Ball Exercises in pairs 20-25 min. Note: Recommended weight of the medicine ball is from 2kg to 4kg. – Standing (or sitting), throw the ball from behind the head – 30-40 times. – The same from the seat on heels position. – The same, but throw the ball with arms bent in the elbows – wrist throw – 20-30 times. – Standing (or sitting), throw the ball from the chest with both arms – 20-40 times. – Standing (or sitting), throw the ball from the shoulder with one arm – 15-25 times. – Standing and holding the ball at the right hip, throw the ball with both arms through the right side. Repeat through left side. 20-30 times through each side. – Standing and holding the ball in lowered arms, legs are wider than shoulders, throw the ball with straight arms from beneath – 20-30 times. – The same but throw the ball from the bend forward position. – Standing back to partner, throw the ball with both arms backward, paying attention on full arms extension at the final phase of the throw and relaxing arms after each throw – 15-25 times. – The same but throw the ball from the bend forward position – 15-25 times. – The same but throw the ball through each shoulder with body rotation. – Sitting back to partner in the bend forward position, and holding the ball in straight arms at the ankles, throw the ball backward with both straight arms and simultaneously unbend back (L-seat) – 15-25 times. – Lying on back and holding the ball in straight arms over head, throw the ball with both straight arms from behind the head with simultaneous transition in to the sitting position. Then catch the ball with simultaneous transition in to the lying on back position – 15-30 times. – Parallel running with partner and throwing the ball to each other. Then swap sides – 50-100m. – Form a circle by group of 3-5 people. Throw over 1-3 balls in a circle for 2-4 min.

Conclusion: Game (basketball or handball) 10 min.

Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday Warm-Up: Jogging 6-8 min. Exercises in Motion: Arms and forearms rotation. Dash arms motion. Vertical and horizontal arms swinging. Push-off stretch position. From crouch to push-off. Jumps. Walking in squatting position. Stretching.

Main Section: 25-30min. – Developing upper limbs strength: Push-Ups: 4-8 sets of 10-12 times Pull-Ups: 6-8 sets of 8-10 times – Developing lower limbs strength: Squatting: 2-3 sets of 20-30 times “Starting Dive” jumps: 4-6 sets of 2-4 times Running relays.

Conclusion: Game (basketball or soccer) 10 min.

Week 10-Week 18 (Mesocycle 2)

Monday-Wednesday-Friday Warm-Up: Jogging 6-8 min.

Exercises in Motion: Arms and forearms rotation. Dash arms motion. Vertical and horizontal arms swinging. Push-off stretch position. From crouch to push-off. Jumps. Walking in squatting position. Stretching.

Main Section: Strength Exercises 20-25 min.

All exercises are of 16-18 sets of 15-25 times: – Push Ups – Pull Ups – Chin Ups – Sit Ups – Squatting

Conclusion: Game (basketball or handball) 10 min.

Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday Warm-Up: Jogging with short spurts 8-10 min.

Arms and forearms rotation. Dash arms motion. Vertical and horizontal arms swinging. Trunk twisting. Knee circular motions. Knee circular motions with slow squatting. Push-off stretch position. From crouch to push-off. Jumps. Walking in squatting position. Stretching.

Main Section: Sliding Trolley Machine or Swimming Bench 25-30 min. Training regime: 20 sets of 45-50 sec. – Freestyle/Butterfly/Breaststroke Pull – Breaststroke Pull – Breaststroke Kick – Kick On Back – Kick On Front

If the equipment mentioned above is not available then stretch cord can be used.

Important Note: Stretch Cord exercises are outwardly similar to swimming stroke. However, they are different in neural-muscular structure from the arm stroke mechanics because of different distribution of exertions in the stroke cycle and non-coincidence of relaxation phase. That is why numerous repeats may cause negative changes in the stroke technique.

Thus, Stretch Cord exercises should be carried out using the repetition training method in maximum pace: 30-60 sec – workload, 15-30 sec – rest.

Two types of stretch cords should be used: 1) “Heavy” – with tension of 20-25kg; 2) “Light” – with tension of 4-12kg.

Teaching point: Swimmers should keep their elbows up throughout the “stroke” and make a good push motion at the very end of the “stroke.” – Freestyle, Butterfly, Breaststroke Pulling. “Light” cord. Standing in the bend forward position or lying on a bench – 3 sets x30-60 times. – Arm pull between the legs. “Light” cord. Pull with both straight arms in the direction between legs – 3 sets x30-60 times. – Arm pull outside the legs. “Light” cord. Pull with both straight arms in the direction between legs – 3 sets x30-60 times. – Side Pull. “Heavy” cord. Standing face to stretch cord. Pull with both straight arms to the left side with simultaneous vigorous body rotation to the left. Repeat to the right side. 2-3 sets x20-30 times. – Upward Pull. “Light” stretch cord. Standing face to stretch cord. Pull with both straight arms upward. 3 sets x25-50 times. – Pull To Chest. “Heavy” stretch cord. Standing face to stretch cord. Pull with both upper arms to the chest bending elbows. Elbows positions: 1) Down; 2) Sideways; 3) Up. 2-3 sets x20-30 times. – Triceps extension. “Heavy” stretch cord. Standing back to stretch cord with arms bent in the elbows. Pull with both upper arms upward. – Backstroke Pull. “Light” stretch cord. Standing back to stretch cord – Arm pull. 3 sets x30-60 times. – Forward Pull. “Light” stretch. 3 sets x25-50 times. Standing back to stretch cord, arms sideways. Pull with both straight arms forward. – Double Arm Backstroke Pull. “Light” stretch cord. Sitting with arms over head; stretch cord is secured above. Pull from the top to the bottom as swimming breaststroke on back. 3 sets x25-50 times. – Breaststroke Kick (Both technique and strength exercise). “Heavy” stretch cord. Lying on stomach face to stretch cord, with ends of stretch cord on feet, legs bent in the knees. Simulate breaststroke kick by extending and bending legs. 3 sets x25-50 times. – Arms Swinging. “Heavy” stretch. Standing holding arms forward with cord in hands. Swing arms sideways. 20-30 times.

Conclusion: Special relaxation exercises 10 min.

This may include such exercises as tightening specific muscle groups, holding them tight for 5 sec., then relaxing.

Week 19-Week 28 (Mesocycle 3)

(Same as week 1-week 9)

Week 29-Week 36 (Mesocycle 4)

Monday-Wednesday-Friday Warm-Up: Jogging 8-10 min.

Exercises in Motion: Arms and forearms rotation. Dash arms motion. Vertical and horizontal arms swinging. Push-of stretch position. From crouch to push-off. Jumps. Walking in squatting position. Short sprints in form of relay. Stretching.

Main Section: Same as Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday during July-August

Conclusion: Game (basketball or handball) 10 min.

Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday Warm-Up: Jogging 10-15 min.

Main Section: Conditioning Cross training 30-35 min. This is structured form of training when athletes alternate given exercises with running and walking in the following organized order: – Slow pace running 3 min. – Walking 2 min. – Exercises in motion: Arms and forearms rotation. Dash arms motion. Vertical and horizontal arms swinging. Push-off stretch position. From crouch to push-off. Jumps. Walking in squatting position. Stretching. 5 min. – Slow pace running 2 min. – Walking 1 min. – Push Ups: 3 sets of 8 times with 20-25 steps in between – Walking 1 min. – Undulating Arms Flexion/Extension – “Wave.” During the exercise make undulating body motion. 3 sets of 8 times with 15-20 steps in between. – Stretching and relaxation exercises in motion 2 min. – Slow pace running 2 min. – Walking 1 min. – Jump Ups from deep squatting position. 3 sets of 15 times with 30 sec. Jogging in between. – “Wheel-barrow” swapping over partners continuously of 80-100 steps overall. – Stretching and relaxation exercises in motion 2 min. – Slow pace running 3 min. Timing of the program is done by the Coach.

Conclusion: Skipping rope exercises 5 min.

Week 37-Week 44 (Mesocycle 5)

(Same as week 10-week 18)

Week 45-Week 48 (Mesocycle 6)

Monday-Wednesday-Friday Same as Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday during weeks 29-36

Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday Same as Monday-Wednesday-Friday during weeks 1-9

Week 49-Week 52 Time Off

Note: Duration of mesocycles (number of weeks) may vary depending on racing calendar and club’s situation.

When working with swimmers of 8-10 years of age it is also recommended to use stretch cords which promote correct stroke technique and build up aerobic endurance.

It is supposed that the age group Coach is creative and innovative when planning dryland-training programs, which depend on individual peculiarities of young swimmers such as age, physical condition and level of qualification.

Reference: 1. Multi-Year Age Group Swimmer Development Model. Australian Swimming Inc. 2. V.Z. Afanasiev, N.J. Bulgakova, A.R. Vorontsov, L.P. Makarenko, S.N. Morozov, V.R. Solomatin, E.A. Shirkovets “Competitive Swimming.” Manual for Institutes of Sports. Moscow, 1996. 3. A.R. Vorontsov “Development of Basic and Special Endurance in Age Group Swimmers.” Journal of Sports Sciences, San Diego, 1997. 4. Daryl J. Meeks “The Training of Four Age Group Swimmers.” American Swimming Magazine, August/September, 1995. 5. O. Madsen “A Theoretical Basis of a Development Related Age Group Program.” American Swimming Magazine, May/June, 1997. 6. M. Regan “Developing Potential in Age Groupers.” Australian Swim Coach, July/August, 1997.