March 11, 2021 3 min read

So, you have (or want to have) your own set of dryland stretch cords. Now what do you do?   You know you can use them to supplement your swim training but what exactly are the movements you can do?  We’ve put together a list of some articles and Youtube videos that will give you some guidance.  Some of these resources are great reference for explaining or providing examples and explanations of proper technique. Others are great outlines for a workout you can follow.  The key is to get started and jump in:  do something.  

Here’s my plan for my own set of stretch cords:

When there is no swim access

- Do something every day.  I do a minimum 1-minute plank plus 10 pushups every day.  With stretch cords, I add 100 double arm stretch cord pulls. To add some variation, I do a number of steady reps followed by some mid-pull and finishing pulses.  10 to 20 steady reps followed by 5 to 10 pulses is my go-to favouritee.

- Do a focused stretch cord set of 10 to 15 minutes 3 times a week.  A workout will be 4 to 8 movements of a set number of reps.  Reps are either:

  1. multiples of a pre-set number (50 or 100) or 
  2. timed sets (ie 30 to 60 seconds of work followed by short rest to shake things out and transition to next set

Incorporating band workouts into regular swim training

Stretch cords are a great supplement to regular swim training in a few ways:

  1. Supplement your swim training on the days between swim workouts.  Since my work weeks are pretty full and I have developed a strong aversion to pre-dawn swim workouts, I tend to only swim on weekends.   2 or 3 short stretch cord workouts during the week help maintain muscle memory between swim sessions in the water.

2 Stretch cords can be used to rehabilitate shoulder impingements or help strengthen the whole muscle framework to provide better stability and prevent injury. Mini-sets for this purpose can be done daily. A few minutes to prevent injury can prevent downtime.

  1. Use stretch cords as part of your warmup. If you are early to the pool and have some wait time or for a triathlon race where there is limited access to getting in a warmup, stretch cords are a great option.

Stretch Cord Workout Resources

This article will guide you through a 15 to 20 minute routine that pretty much covers all the major movements and it provides static pictures of the movement progressions.

This article summarizes 4 simple movements you can incorporate into your swim warmup out of the water.

This video is on the Youtube channelSwim Gym and it is basically a guided workout with written cues, timer and set to music. I turned their music off and turned my own favourites up and you can find what works best for you.

This video is fromDave Scott’s Youtube channel and it is great for explaining, describing and demonstrating great technique. While this one isn’t a guided workout,Dave Scott does describe the workout he would suggest in terms of number of sets and reps. 

There are tons of other options but the 4 resources listed here cover the basics and you can get creative with combinations and order to provide enough variety to keep you moving, engaged and on your way to better swimming.

Elise Gaudet
Elise Gaudet

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