Boston University Swimming
In March, BU’s swimming and diving teams swept the Eastern College Athletic Conference championships for the first time in program history. Logging about 20 training hours each week, the swim team combines weights, plyometrics, and dexterity workouts with strict prehab and rehab routines. “Swimming is one of the few total-body workouts that is also low-impact,” says associate head swim coach Jen Strasburger, “but you have to use the clock to make it worthwhile!”
“Swimming is the best racing environment. No weather exceptions; no staggering of competitors; everyone starts together and never loses sight of each other.”
Swimmers tend to get very tight in the chest from all the forward motion. Roll out shoulders and pectorals with a tennis ball to diffuse muscle tension.
Wind Up and Down
Using a foam roller before a workout increases blood flow and activates muscle tissue. Roll out muscles after a hard swim to release toxins like lactic acid.
Prehab is better than rehab.
If you’re prone to a certain injury, do preventative exercises to avoid flare-ups or being sidelined.
Keep track of the details.
Time, distance, heart rate, technique, sleep, nutrition, and weight training are all factors that build speed over time. If you’re not improving, reexamine your routine.
Use the clock.
Beginners should focus on faster swims at shorter distances to see the most improvement.
Diversify your strength-training.
Combine heavy weightlifting—cleans, bench presses, squats, and pull-ups—with maintenance-oriented, core, and plyometric circuits.
Take the plunge.
A seven-minute ice bath helps to decrease post-workout muscle inflammation.
Cambridge Masters Swim Club
$700 per year ($75 per month), cambridgemasters.com.
Hone your technique and go lane-to-lane in regional competitions at Harvard University.
Boston University Masters Swim Program
Starting at $144 for a summer session, bu.edu/fitrec.
Experienced coaches tailor early-morning workouts to each competitive swimmer or triathlete’s needs.
Check out “Home Team Workouts” to find out how other college teams in Boston get fit.