3 Swim Workouts to Keep Practice Fun

Posted by  Ryan Willi on 01/06/2016

As a swim coach, it can be difficult to continuously motivate your swimmers. Swimming isn't an easy sport- as you well know, training works and wears on the entire body and can test an athlete's resiliance. Swimming burnout is a very real phenomenon. Fortunately, there are workouts that can help to keep a swim team interested, while maximizing their abilities. Here are a few such workouts that can enhance a team's conditioning, technique, and athleticism.



This workout will improve a swim team's muscular endurance while getting your swimmers out of the pool for a bit (a change in environment can go a long way.) You'll need to set up a weight lifting station using dumbbells and a mat for pushups/crunches before the workout begins.

  • 3x 100M Sprint -- any stroke
  • Get out of the pool and head to the weight lifting station
  • 10-20 Pushups
  • 30-40 Crunches
  • 10-15 Bicep curls
  • 10-15 Military press reps
  • Repeat for five sets with a 45 second break in between each set.


This workout, known as the catch-up drill, will develop long stroke and body position while keeping technique development interesting.

  • Hold a ball no bigger than a softball in one hand
  • Fully extend the arm holding the ball forward towards the other end of the pool
  • Using the other hand, perform a stroke, grabbing the ball from the extended arm
  • Repeat the same motion with the other arm until the end of the pool is reached
  • Complete 10 laps for the entire workout


Taking a swim team out of the water with this plyometric dry land workout is a great way to keep training interesting while significantly boosting explosive athleticism.

  • 10 squat jumps with dumbbells
  • 10 tuck jumps
  • 6 alternating arm plyometric push-ups (use a barbell plate for the base)
    With one hand on the plate, do a push-up, moving the body across the plate so that you are on the other side of the plate; repeat
  • 6 plyometric push-ups on a medicine ball
    Keeping the ball below the center of the chest, do a push-up and explode up to grab the ball; push off of the ball and return to the starting position; repeat
  • 10 box jumps
  • Complete 4 sets with a 30 second break in between each set
  • A coach does not have to sacrifice quality workouts to keep a team motivated

The workouts above are just a few motivational sets for swim coaches that can keep a team engaged, while driving them to be the best they can.

Note: This post was originally published in November 2014 and has been revamped and updated with new ideas and information.


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