Upper-Body Foundational Strength Exercises
Focus: Strengthen the latissimus dorsi and the shoulder adductors that help with power production in the pull.
- Use a stool or jump up to grab a pull-up bar with an overhand grip (so your palms face away from you). Your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Hang briefly with your arms straight. Your feet should not touch the ground.
- Using your arms and the muscles of your upper back, pull your body upward until your chin passes above the bar.
- Hold this position briefly and slowly lower your body back to the starting position.
- Do not allow your body to swing; keep the upper body rigid.
Variation: The chin-up is performed by reversing the position of the hands on the grip so that the palms face you. This places more emphasis on the biceps muscle of the upper arm.
Note: Swimmers may find they cannot do more than one or two pull-ups. If this is the case, substitute lat pull-downs for pull-ups or enlist the help of a teammate to support your feet as you execute your pull-ups.