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Always remember to warmup the shoulder with some simple mobility first ahead of getting in the pool. 5mins in total before each swim:

All done standing, feet shoulder width apart. Keep the head still

1  swing the arm from down by the hip sideways (imagine you are between two panes of glass) up over the head to the opposite EAR. 20 reps alternating arms eventually developing a loose relaxed continuous rhythm.

2  swing the arm from down by the hip sideways (imagine you are between two panes of glass) up over the head to the opposite SHOULDER. 20 reps

3  ARMS OUT – in a crucifix position, thumbs UP, bounce the thumbs up and down (10cm in distance travelled and 10 reps)

4  ARMS OUT – in a crucifix position, thumbs FORWARDS, bounce the thumbs up& down

5  ARMS OUT – in a crucifix position, thumbs DOWN, bounce the thumbs up and down.

6  Repeat steps 3-5 but bent at the waist, upper body parallel to the ground.

7  Arms out in front parallel to the ground palms together. Take one hand back, traveling parallel to the ground to full range and bring it back to ‘clap’ the hands and send the opposite hand back. 30 reps.


8 Palms against a wall about 30cm above head height, arms straight. Hands in line with the shoulders. Bend the head forwards between your arms, towards the knees to open the upper back, hold for 30secs. 3 reps.

9   ChickenWings – bend over at the waist with the elbows out high and wide, fingers in at armpits. Start to circle the elbows in tiny circles, slowly making the circles bigger. As the circles continue to get bigger at some point the hands under the chin start to make larger circles.

Continue to grow and lengthen the movement until the arms are straight. This is not a FC arm movement, arms are long, straight with hands opposite each other.



9          Standing TORPEDO on dryland ahead of getting in the water and while in the shallow end between lengths. Work to keep the head still, allow the hips to follow and bring the shoulder as close to the chin as comfortable without moving the head.


Progressing this simple movement FIGURE 3&4 include an arm sweep we have the following –


Commence as FIG1 but exaggerate the hand into a ‘drawing sword’ position. As the shoulder sweeps back from the chin bring the arm up, out and around to the back of the head with a pivot at the elbow. The addition of a lightweight can help with the sweeping movement. Be careful to slow the weights progress towards the head.



CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING AS PREHAB i.e. keeping the shoulders strong and healthy. SWIMMING needs 000s of repeatitions even in quite short races. Add the regular load during weekly training and you should look after them. The Drawing the Sword movement can be included here if you simply add a 1kg weight. Be careful of the movements towards the back of the head.



Ball control for shoulders

Try this brilliant movement for control/ coordination and shoulder stability


A light bouncing effect with a large swiss ball keeping the fingertips to elbow in one alignment. Try not to let it become too ‘wristy.’

4x20secs to each arm and build from there.




A Set up facing the point of stretch cord origin with straight arms, light tension

B Straight arms for ‘T’s, ‘Y’s and ‘I’s

C Light 10cm range bouncing in the 3 positions. Back and forwards

3x 30secs in each position


Attach a set of stretch cords to a post/door handle. Ideally at shoulder height or you could kneel. A light tension on the cord is all that is needed. Attach the middle of the cord around a secure post or handle as the above I-T-Y figure.

KEEP THE HANDS OVER THE ELBOWS do not allow them to fall forwards if elastic too tight.

Elbows set at 90 deg, upper arms parallel to the floor, forearms vertical, fingertips point up.

Hands grasp the handle, Hands circle clock and anti-clockwise avoiding being pulled forwards. Circle the hands up and out, around and down, so they flow in opposite clock directions simultaneously.

C Keep hands aligned between two imaginary panes of glass – 4x30secs, each hand performs two sets of clock/anti


A  Similar to the above position but the elastic now just rests between the hands with elbows at 90deg, vertical forearm, light tension holding a cord/theraband.

B  Elbow set at 90deg, upper arms parallel to the floor, forearms vertical

Pull the hands apart in a smooth controlled circular movement. So as both hands move together they flow up and out.

C  They continue Round and down in small smooth circle movements in opposing directions. Left hand Anti and right hand Clockwise then reverse

4x30secs, each hand performs two sets of clock/anti

D  Keep hands aligned between two imaginary panes of glass

Feel the shoulder blades being moved, manipulated and worked in all directions

Add these as a warm-up prior to heavier swim and Tri specific movements


SWIMMING TECHNIQUE- some dryland movements will actually help your streamline, body position and range of motion in the water. 


Here are some Dryland exercises and movements to help accelerate the thousands of repetitions needed for the new movements to become embedded and a strong leg kick to develop.


This one is essential to override the desire to kick from the knee….do not worry so much about what she is doing with the arms!



If the toes pointed away from the body position proves to induce cramping then warmup the ankle area with the following before you get in the pool:

1          While standing on one leg, create large circles with the big toe, clockwise and anti. In this position draw large circles with the toes, clockwise and anti, also try to draw the letters of the alphabet or trace your name to help mobilise the ankle. If you can point your toes for short periods without the calves being tensed then this is a good sign

2          Raise the heel of one foot, keeping the toes planted. Now roll the heel clock and          anticlockwise.

3          While seated on the edge of a chair, straighten your legs. Roll the toes to the  ceiling, then down to the floor slowly and smoothly.



PLANK for Core Strength

The plank position can be performed propped up on your elbows rather then with straight arms to start with. This movement will be very good for gaining the strength and control of the core to enable you to think about kicking in small movements from the hips.


FC Kick focus and other kick exercises for the water

Perform 30secs kick holding onto a wall/poolgutter in a horizontal position, 20 rest, repeat 4 times within your sessions.  You can also perform vertical kick with your back close to the pool edge in the deep end to get an awareness of how wide the kick is. Hold the pool side with the hands behind the shoulders, back and glutes in contact with the wall. Move the feet just a few inches away from the wall alternately, work the hip flexors and glutes to create the movement.

Ideally you work legs only to give them your full attention. You could perform legs only for 5m each time you push off from each wall to focus on the legs and then build that good leg kick into the full stroke.



Date Posted: 20th April 2020


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