I know that trying to get in workouts for 3 sports a week into your schedule is a challenge in and of itself. But if you find you are going to have to miss that 2 hour bike ride or are looking to focus in on some specific muscles, drylands might be your answer. They provide a quick and easy way to get in some conditioning, and you don’t even have to leave your home. While there are countless exercises you can find to do, below are some great exercises I have found to be effective and keep you on track.
- Dips – A dip bar in a weight room is the most obvious choice, but if you are at the house then a bench/chair will work great. Position your hands at the edge of the bench with torso straight, bend only at the hips and legs straight. Start with straight arms and lower your body until your elbow is bent to at least a 90 degree angle. Be sure each rep is done with a full range of motion. As you progress and you need more resistance, place a weight in your lap.
- Jump rope – If you are thinking this is the same type of jumping rope as you did in elementary school (Cindrella dressed in yella..), think again. This is the Rocky Balboa version. Start with a leather rope and jump for 3 minutes with 2 minutes rest, or 500 successful jumps for time. As you progress, add a weighted rope or a thicker rope to add resistance.
- Medicine Ball – Use your own judgement on what size and weight to use. There are dozens of exercises to do with a medicine ball. Here are a few I prefer.
- Lay down flat on your back and with both arms throw the ball straight up and then catch. Reps of 15-20, or just before failure if you’re feeling brave. Start slow as accuracy is very important. The first time you throw it a little off and the ball lands on your face, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
- Pass ball back to back with a partner in both a sitting and standing position. Great for the core
- Sit ups with ball. Another great core workout. This also helps to immobilize your arms, which often start swinging to give you some momentum to ease the workload on your abs.
- Backstroke kick – Great workout for your lower abs. Lie flat on your back and with your legs straight lift them about 8 inches off the ground and begin kicking a flutter kick. Build up to 60 seconds at a time without dropping your legs.
- Push ups – Two types to try. Traditional, with your hands about shoulder width apart and elbows pointed outward, and a variation of that with hands positioned slightly closer with elbows kept right at your side. This will work over your triceps.
- Leg throw-downs – You should do this with a partner. Lie flat on your back while holding the ankles of your partner who is standing right above your head. Keeping them straight, lift your legs upwards toward the chest of your partner. Your partner wiill then throw your legs down towards the floor. Your goal is to stop them (without bending at the knees) before they hit the ground and immediately send them back up at your partner. Try 25 of these. As you get stronger have your partner throw harder.
- Lunges- nothing groundbreaking here. You can do them in place or walk a certain distance, just make sure you are consistent in your form. I make sure that my knee touches the ground each time so that I don’t cheat as I get tired. Hold weights (dumbells, etc) to add difficultly as you progress.
- Static arm raises – The explanation is simple. The exercise is hard. Keeping your arm straight lift both arms out to your sides forming a “T”. Keep them in that position for 3-5 minutes. Works your delts and all supporting muscles in your shoulders. Great for injury prevention in the swim.
- Plyometrics – this is sort of a category all by itself that is primarily used to work on explosive type actions. There is one great exercise in this category that I found that helps with the footspeed in your running. Stand infront of a bench or chair and place one foot on the bench. With the other foot, jump up and bring your heel all the way up to your bum and back down again to land. Do sets of 20 or so on each leg. Next try the same drill, but with the bench in front of you. I have found it really helped the foot recovery in my running gait.
- Stretching – If you’re a poor swimmer, put this at the top of the list. Stretch the triceps, lats, and core. Also be sure to stretch your legs for cycling and running.
- Shadow boxing – Sounds crazy I know, but this is one of the roughest dryland workouts I’ve done. As a swimmer I thought my upper body was well developed. The day after I couldn’t lift my arms. An entertaining way to do this exercise is Wii boxing. Just be sure that you’re using a full range of motion while playing and not just flicking your wrist when using the Wii remote.