Dryland Ideas

A fellow blogger sent me an e-mail because it is summer time and he’s been swimming outdoors. However, sometimes there might be inclement weather, which requires exiting the pool or not getting in at all. He was wondering what dryland exercises compliment (or even substitute) swimming and if I had any circuit suggestions.

Here are some great dryland exercises that we are very familiar with. Many are from our careers as swimmers and some are from current training methods. Our circuits typically last between 30-45 minutes but can be adjusted however best fits your training plan, i.e the amount of time/repetitions spent doing the exercise and the amount of rest needed. These are just ideas and I’m sure I’ll think of more later …

Medicine Balls:

  1. Med Ball Push-ups (alone)
  2. Med Ball Chest Throws (with a partner)
  3. Med Ball Sit-ups (alone or with a partner, many versions)
  4. Med Ball Overhead Throws (with a partner)
  5. Wall Balls (alone)
  6. Slam Balls (alone)
  7. Med Ball Sit-up Throws (with a partner)
  8. Med Ball Toe Touches (alone)
  9. Med Ball Front Lunges/Side Lunges

Stretch Cords:

  1. Swimmer Pulls
  2. Single Arm Pulls (Freestyle Pulls)
  3. Tricep Extensions
  4. Overhead Tricep Extensions
  5. Bicep Curls (stand on the cords to adjust tension)
  6. Chest Flys
  7. Breaststroke Pulls

Rowing Machine:

  1. 500 Meter Sprint
  2. Timed Sprints (:30, :45, 1:00, etc.)


  1. Everything! They come with great booklets of exercises that you can use them for. There are also great TRX videos on youtube.

Core Work:

  1. Sit-ups
  2. Crunches
  3. Partner Throw Downs (Don’t be gentle!)
  4. Alphabet Abs
  5. Toe Touches
  6. V-ups
  7. Leg Lifts
  8. Flutter Kicks
  9. Russian Twists
  10. Planks
  11. (These are endless, really)

Kettle Bells:

  1. Kettle Bell Swings (one handed or two handed)
  2. Rows
  3. Kettle Bell High Pulls
  4. (I’m new to kettle bells but I’ll add more as I learn them/do them myself. Plus I’m not familiar with all of the names of kettle bell exercises I’ve been doing…)


  1. Jump Rope
  2. Vasa Trainer
  3. Box Jumps
  4. Step Ups
  5. One Legged Squats
  6. Wall Sits
  7. Jacob’s Ladder (:30 or 1:00 sprints)
  8. Stairs (don’t even ask me about stadium stairs!)
  9. Pull-ups
  10. Squat Jumps
  11. Tuck Jumps
  12. Rope Training
  13. Anything using your body weight as resistance
  14. Agility Ladders
  15. Running (for a circuit, probably 400 meters or less)
  16. Spinning

As a swimmer/coach, I’ve often done circuits that we’ve set up with 10-15 exercises in which we perform :30 max repetitions and have :15 to switch to the next exercise. Now, as a beginning triathlete I often find myself doing my cardio first, followed by short circuits that have 3-4 different sets made up of 3 rounds of three exercises.

There are so many things I haven’t touched on yet. I’m also learning new things everyday. What kind of circuits do you do? What about crossfit peeps or Insanity fans?

Do you think these exercises have a place in triathlon? Probably depends a lot on the distance of the triathlon you’re training for.

Categories: Dear Water Bloggers, Dryland

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: