Do young swimmers need strength training?

The coach is the best judge of appropriate training strategies. As with all training, strength training should start with the basics: good technique, control and safety. When people think about strength training they usually think about people with excessive muscular development. However, strength training is not just throwing huge stacks of weights around. Strength training can be exercises such as sit-ups, push-ups, chins, dips, jumps, hops, skips, climbing ropes, using swim rubbers/bands and throwing medicine balls.

There are several myths about strength training:

  • Strength training is unsuitable for females.
  • Strength training should not be started until late teens.
  • Strength training decreases flexibility.
  • Strength training slows you down.

These myths are not founded in any scientific truth or logic. Strength training is a great supplement to specific sports training and, used in addition to a sound, well structured training program, can help swimmers achieve their best.

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