Coaching Offseason

The offseason is a great time for coaches to find new ideas to bring into their program, and it’s a great time for swimmers to do some cross training and take a physical and neurological break from swimming.  On Friday, Insanity: the Asylum, got delivered to my door.  I spend the next 48 hours mentally preparing myself for the new workout routine.  The original Insanity was a great change of pace for me and the team.  For someone who hates cardio workouts, Insanity was a great way to through some aerobic fitness into some strength and agility training.  With Insanity came some sports conditioning training that was quite demanding, challenging, and very fun.  It was a great way to increase balance, coordination, and athleticism which is great for swimming.  Now the Asylum comes along with a 30 day sports performance routine.  It’s Day 3, and I’m hobbling around work because I’m so sore after 2 days.  The first day was speed and agility training.  It was filled with some great jump rope exercises and agility ladder exercises that would benefit any swimmer regardless of training group.  Day 2 was strength.  All the exercises work functional strength, incorporating core and balance into the exercises.  Just like swimming, you have to engage a variety of muscle groups to get the full benefit for the workout.  And then as I woke up this morning, with my body aching, I was just hoping today was a core workout.  Luckily today was just that.  The best part of today’s workout was that it had swimming specific exercises!  The first part of the workout focuses on the upper back muscles and is a great way to get a feel for a stroke and how to use back and core muscles to pull your body through the water.  Then you get to do some “swimmer” exercises that work on the breaststroke and butterfly arm motions.  You do these exercises while lying on your stomach with your chest and legs in the air.  The motion of your arms simulates the fly and breast, but better yet, it makes you incorporate your core, hips, and chest into the movement.  In order to do the exercises correctly, with speed and precision, and for full benefit, I was forced to mimic the ideal undulation of the chest and hips in the breast, and really use my lats in the fly motion.  I immediately thought of my team and how great these exercises will be great to teach proper form and timing.  Some the exercises that engage the obliques were amazing simulations of free and back as well.  So I’m looking forward to see what new ways I can motivate the team for next season, and it’s great I’ve found some new exercises to help improve some of those painful breaststrokes for our IMers next year

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