Dryland – Stretch

Swim Stroke Doctor has created fun, age-appropriate stretching and dryland (out-of-water) exercises that help deliver the agility, balance, coordination, strength and skill training that swimmers need to complement their in-water play.

Stretching is done to safeguard the swimmer’s complete body, including their head, neck, shoulders, back, arms, core, and legs. Dryland bodyweight drills are intended to help the swimmer concentrate on the mechanics of the stroke.

Caution: If at any time you feel uncomfortable with exercise, stop immediately.


  • Streamline stretch – front view: Standing with feet spread apart at shoulder width, eyes look forward, arms extend over the head with biceps squeezing the ears. Stacked hands are flat with thumb overlap. Fingers together and thumb tucked into hand. Stretch with tight core.

  • Streamline stretch – side view: Streamline focuses on body posture and head position. Arms and hands are vertical with fingers pointing to the ceiling.

  • Hands horizontal – fingertip view:  Hand control and a flat hand position for the front catch in swimming. Fingers rigid with thumb tucked in.

  • Hanging stretch – front view: Reach straight overhead and grab pull-up bar with hands slightly wider than shoulder width. The Lat muscles are stretched and the spine elongated.

Dryland Exercises

The following exercises will directly improve your swimming by helping you have better body control.

Use your camera in video mode for self-evaluation.

  • VERTICAL JUMP: Building fast twitch muscle fibers, endurance and strength. Feet are placed shoulder width apart with arms at side and fingertips pointing down. Legs squat down at the start with knee angle approximately 90 degrees. Arms raise over the head as the legs create upward thrust and the knees drive towards chest with arms and fingertips pointing up. During recovery legs absorb the jump and reload for the next cycle.  Do this drill behind the blocks prior to a swim race.

  • Feet flex: While sitting on the floor with legs fully extended flex the foot moving the toes to a horizontal position. 

  • Streamline sit-ups: Lay down with the body in a streamline position. Engage the core muscles to raise the torso from a horizontal to a vertical sitting position. Then, repeat the motion without moving the legs. 

  • Alternate kick: Keep the body in a streamline position. At the start engage the core muscles to raise the legs to approximately 20 degrees and begin alternate kicking. It is important to have the back flat to the floor with legs straight with toes pointed.

  • Arm spin – alternating rotation: The standing spin drill is performed at 75% speed to help find core balance and rotation in the shoulders and arms. 

  • Arm spin – reverse rotation: This drill features the opposite direction rotation to balance the shoulders.

  • Arm spin – freestyle: While standing with feet at shoulder width, bend forward while the arms rotate in circular freestyle pattern at 75% speed.

  • Arm spin – freestyle build: This is an arm speed building exercise, increase the rotation rate from 75% to 100%. 

  • Wall Streamline: An efficient streamline is the most important part of swimming and is the foundation of every stroke. Engage and extend the arms.

Caution: If at any time you are uncomfortable with exercise or feel pain, immediately stop the exercise and discuss with your trainer.