Ian and Bx are correct in saying we encourage people to do strength and resistance training -- but to avoid attempting to make it 'swim-specific.'
In fact, if there is such a thing as "TI-specific" strength training it's to prioritize muscle groups in this order
1) Spinal stabilizers - the muscles that keep the body aligned -- especially when there are different, and often conflicting, forces being applied to each side of the body. These muscles (1) keep the entire bodyline toned and aligned during the stroke; (2) keep the right side aligned while left side is stroking and recovering; and (3) connect propelling actions to the power-producing weight shift.
2) Secondary movers - the small muscles - mainly in the shoulder - that hold the arm in a high-traction position (we call it the Soft Hook position) during the weight shift. These muscles are small and weak and hard to 'educate.'
3) Prime movers - the large, highly visible muscles that young men admire in the mirror between weight-heaving sets. These are waaay more than strong enough to apply the amount of power/pressure the water can handle in any event above the 50m. They're also strong enough to overwhelm the secondary movers if we apply them full-force. The instinctive tendency to overuse them is very strong and--in nearly all cases--must be UNlearned.
Many swim-specific strength programs have these priorities exactly reversed.
Head Coach & Chief Executive Optimist
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