Solid posture is key to being faster in the water. To strengthen your posture, and therefore increase your speed, you need total body training with exercises that work your body on a horizontal plane, develop muscle memory and translate to when you jump off the blocks or streamline off the wall. This will help you develop good body alignment and head position in the water.
Proper posture is a result of engaging your thighs, glutes, core and posterior chain—and then connecting them. You risk overdevelopment of the core, and in turn poor posture, by working only the front of your body.
One exercise we perform year-round, twice a week, toward the end of workouts is the Pop, Lock and Drop Push-Up. We do 2 to 5 sets of 5 to 10 reps, resting 30 to 60 seconds between sets.
• Assume Push-Up position
• Lower body to ground until chest touches
• Push up until elbows are bent 90 degrees; hold for five seconds
• Complete Push-Up by fully extending arms; hold for five seconds
• Using a five-second count, lower body back to ground
• Rest 5 to 10 seconds; repeat for specified reps
• Increase the length of your holds as the exercise becomes easier.
Holding these positions isometrically is great for your streamlining position coming off the walls and posture positioning with your long axis strokes, as you want your body to move as one piece.
Coaching Points: Keep body in a straight line and head in a neutral position for the duration of the exercise // Avoid popping back and positioning shoulders higher than hips // Tighten through core and belly button, and engage from thighs to the midsection to the shoulders