Even though dry-land strength and conditioning training is a common practice in the context of swimming, there are countless uncertainties over its effects in performance of age group swimmers. The objective was to investigate the effects of dry-land strength and conditioning programs in swimming performance of age group swimmers. A total of 21 male competitive swimmers (12.7 ± 0.7 years) were randomly assigned to the Control group (n = 7) and experimental groups GR1 and GR2 (n = 7 for each group). Control group performed a 10-week training period of swim training alone, GR1 followed a 6-week dry-land strength and conditioning program based on sets and repetitions plus a 4-week swim training program alone and GR2 followed a 6-week dry-land strength and conditioning program focused on explosiveness, plus a 4-week program of swim training alone. Results for the dry-land tests showed a time effect between week 0 and week 6 for vertical jump (p < 0.01) in both experimental groups, and for the GR2 ball throwing (p < 0.01), with moderate to strong effect sizes. The time × group analyses showed that for performance in 50 m, differences were significant, with the GR2 presenting higher improvements than their counterparts (F = 4.156; p = 0.007) at week 10. Concluding, the results suggest that 6 weeks of a complementary dry-land strength and conditioning training may lead to improvements in dry-land strength. Furthermore, a 4-week adaptation period was mandatory to achieve beneficial transfer for aquatic performance. Additional benefits may occur if coaches plan the dry-land S&C training focusing on explosiveness.
Practical Implication on Strength and Conditioning in Age Group Swimmers:
In age-group swimming, 4 weeks of strength and conditioning was beneficial for land tests and 50-m performance after a 4-week adaptation phase. Future studies should include another control group (making it another experimental group) work on starts or turns (a swimming skill) or mental training during the time the other experimental group does supplemental training. This would clarify if this supplemental training was beneficial or if simply doing additional training is beneficial for age-group swimmers.
- Amaro NM, Marinho DA, Marques MC, Batalha NP, Morouço PG. Effects of Dry-Land Strength and Conditioning Programs in Age Group Swimmers. J Strength Cond Res. 2017 Sep;31(9):2447-2454. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001709.