Freestyle with Press-Outs

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

I like incorporating dryland exercises I to practice occasionally, and deep water means it is an opportunity for one of my favorites — press-outs. A press out is essentially a vertical push-up at the side of the pool. The swimmer starts in the water with his belly close to the wall and hands in the gutter. Pressing down on the gutter, he raises himself up until his upper body is entirely out of the water and then drops back in. It is a great exercise for developing strength for all strokes. Here is one of my favorite sets to incorporate press-outs:

16 x 100 free LCM

#1 – with 4 press-outs at the 50 @1:30

#2 – with 3 press-outs at the 50 @1:25

#3 – with 2 press-outs at the 50 @1:20

#4 – FAST swim (no press-outs) @2:00

You can vary the number of press-outs and the interval to create many different interesting combinations of speed and reps. Make sure your swimmers’ shoulders are ready for the stress and don’t do too much too quickly.

Sprint Set with Muscle-Ups

Ryan Lee
Shawnee Mission Northwest High School

We use our starting blocks at our pool to perform muscle ups and combine it with sprints.  Our stronger athletes can perform them without the use of their legs and the others bounce off the bottom of the pool to complete the technique.  But, always focusing on contracting the triceps at the end of the muscle up.
4 Rounds – 
3 Muscle – ups 
25 Blast (12 ½, mid pool turn, 12 ½ back to block)
3 Muscle – ups 

*25 Blast are choice of stroke* 

200 Recovery 

4 Rounds 
12 ½ Mid pool dead float blast to block 
5 Muscle – ups 
25 Max speed 

*12 ½ and 25 are choice of stroke*

Swim-Dryland Hybrid Set

Ryan Woodruff

Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

This set combines elements of dryland with a normal swimming set.  I like this as a change-of-pace and a way to challenge our athletes that they don’t see every day. The dryland exercise comes mid-swim and throws in a bit of fatigue.  We timed the 100 all out and really got some excellent efforts.

“In & Outs” – athlete must climb completely out of the pool (both feet onto the gutter) and then climb back in.
“Press-outs”- athlete lifts himself vertically up and down parallel to the wall.  At highest point, waist is at water level.  At lowest point, water level is at mid-chest.



Heavy 50s

Louis C. Cavadini

Here is a little set we did that was fun and hard

24×50 (1-12 w/fins @1:15, 13-24 wo/fins @1:30)
-25 IM rotation
-25 sprint free
Place 25lb weight room plate on the bottom of the deep end (starting end). Swim 25 IM rotation, sprint back freestyle and at the flags(deep end) dive down and pull the weight back up to the surface. We used 10lb plates for the smaller swimmers.

After that set, we did a little experimenting:
8×25 @1:00 w/fins
-kick underwater with weights (use 10lbs). They kids said it worked
best if you held the weight out like a steering wheel.

The Deck of Cards Dryland Set

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

The concept for this workout was given to me by Ron “Sticks” Ballatore, head coach of the NCAA Champion 1982 UCLA Bruins men’s swimming team.

Using a regular deck of 52 cards, have the swimmers take turns drawing a card for the group. Perform the number of reps according to the card drawn.

Hearts = Pull-ups
Diamonds = Pike-ups on a physio ball
Spades = Push-ups
Clubs = Do all three exercises above

Jack = 11
Queen = 12
King = 13
Ace = repeat the reps of the previous card drawn.

Thus, a 3 of hearts means everyone performs three pull-ups. A 9 of clubs means 9 pull-ups, 9 pike-ups, and 9 push-ups. Keep going through the deck for as long as you can take it.

Race Pace Under Fatigue Part 2

Ryan Woodruff

A little while back, we posted Part 1, a similar set. This week’s set is another step forward (more fast swimming).

10x through:
Dryland exercise @ :30
1 x 50 at P200 @ :40
1 x 50 ez free @ :50
1 x 50 at P200 @ 1:00

Dryland exercises:
#1 – :20 prone hold in pushup position
#2 – 10 press-outs
#3 – :20 prone hold in pushup position with one leg off the ground
#4 – 12 press-outs
#5 – same as #3, other leg
#6 – 14 press-outs
#7 – :20 mountain climbers
#8 – 12 press-outs
#9 – :20 prone hold in 90-degree pushup position
#10 – 10 press-outs