During the current Coronavirus pandemic, we’re experiencing changes and uncertainty around our daily routines. Many swimmers and triathletes are finding their local pool and gym closed for the foreseeable future and are looking to maintain their fitness while self-isolating at home. I’m very fortunate that my local facilities remain open, but I wanted to share some ideas for dryland workouts if you cannot access a pool.
These exercises use stretch cords with handles (also known as resistance tubes). I picked mine up for £4.99 on Amazon– home workout equipment is selling very well right now and worth adding to your home gym! These stretch cord exercises can be done at home, in the garden or a local park- you just need something secure to wrap the cord around.
- Secure the stretch cords around a post. Stand back and bend forwards at the waist holding the handles in front of you with some tension in the cords.
- Pull one of the handles back to the waist, engaging the lat muscles. Hold for a second before returning to the starting position.
- This exercise can be performed with alternate arms, or both arms together.
- Secure the stretch cords around a post at chest height. Stand facing away, holding each handle in each hand with arms outstretched to the sides. Lean your weight slightly forwards, engaging the core.
- Slowly bring both hands together in front of the body. Pause for a second, before returning the arms to the starting position.
- Stand with one food securing the stretch cord. Hold each handle in each hand, arms extended, palms facing forward.
- Slowly curl your hands up toward your shoulders, squeezing your biceps. Keep your elbows tight to the sides of your body.
- Pause for a second before lowering your hands back to the starting position.
- Hold the centre of the stretch cord in one hand behind your back (you could also stand on it to secure it). Hold the handle in the other hand with arm extended overhead and elbow bent.
- Slowly raise your arm overhead, squeezing your tricep.
- Pause for a second before lowering your hand to the starting position.
- Switch sides and repeat with the other arm.
- Secure the stretch cords around a post. Stand back, facing the post and holding each handle in each hand at chest height.
- Pull your elbows back, keeping hands in line with the chest, squeezing the shoulder blades together and engaging the core.
- Pause for a second before returning hands to the starting position.
Lat Pull Down
- Wrap the stretch cord over a post above head height. Start with your elbows by your side, and arms bent holding each handle in each hand, with palms facing down.
- Slowly lower your hands until your arms are straight, squeezing the lat muscles and engaging the core.
- Pause for a second before returning hands to starting position.
Repeat each of these stretch cord exercises for 3 sets of 15 reps. They will condition the muscles used in swimming and help to keep you active whilst the pool is closed. It’s also worth continuing these exercises as a pre-swim warm-up once you are able to resume swimming.
Here are some other at-home exercises to try:
5 Bulgarian Bag Exercises to build full-body strength
5 Wall Ball Exercises to build full-body strength
How are you keeping active whilst self-isolating? Have you tried any stretch-cord exercises?