Medicine Ball Workout For Swimmers

GB Swimming

This article will look at the many reasons why swimmers should incorporate medicine ball workouts within their dry-land routine.

As we know, swimmers should engage within a structured dry-land training programme to improve strength, power and speed that cannot be achieved within the pool.

The Medicine Ball

The medicine ball is also known as a med ball, exercise ball or a fitness ball. Whatever the name, they are essentially a weighted ball and can be used to improve strength and power for the swimmer.

There are a number of medicine balls available in differing sizes, weights, with and without handles, different materials etc. However, the selection of the medicine ball should be directly linked to the aims and goals of the training. For example, lighter medicine balls can be used for higher intensity speed work, whereas the heavier medicine balls can be used for the development of power and strength. However, we would recommend that beginners start with a 2-3kg ball. Ideally, the swimmer should select a medicine ball that gives resistance to a particular exercise that can be performed under controlled and correct technique and form.

The Use of a Medicine Ball

As with all exercise, it is essential that the correct warm up is performed. This should be based around the RAMP protocol: Raise, Activate and Mobilise and Potentiate.

AmazonBasics Medicine Ball, 3KG is a fantastic starting point for a medicine ball, they are well made and are reasonably priced.

Alternative medicine balls include:

Recommended Medicine Ball Workout for Swimmers

The follow series of videos illustrates a sample workout for a medicine ball routine for swimmers.

Russian Twists

  • Engage core
  • Lean back slightly, legs are bent to 45 degrees
  • Feet are raises off the floor. You can regress this exercise by keeping the feet on the floor.
  • Hold the medicine ball with 90 degree elbows
  • To perform, twist the torso from one side to another
  • Exercise should be based on a controlled movement.
  • Perform this 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions.

Source: Health Magazine

Diamond Push Ups on Medicine Ball

  • Swimmer takes up the push-up position
  • Hands are placed on medicine ball instead of the floor
  • Start with arms fully extended
  • In a controlled manner, lower to the ball
  • Ensure core is engaged at all times
  • Perform this 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions.

Source: Dr Saranjeet Singh

Overhead Squats

  • Stand should width apart
  • Feet slightly turns out
  • Look straight ahead
  • Engage Core
  • Hold the medicine ball above the head
  • In a controlled manner, squat down to parallel with the floor
  • The knees should follow the direction of the feet
  • Perform this 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions.

Source: Jeff Boele

Pullover Throw

  • Feet on the floor
  • Legs bent to 90 degrees
  • Arms straight over the head and on the floor.
  • Engage core
  • Sit up and throw the ball as move to the top of the knees
  • Perform this 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions.

Source: Tread Athletics

In this article we have looked at the benefits of using medicine balls within the dry land workout for swimmers.

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