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A-Z swimmers workout: 26 exercises to do at home with no equipment

Are you getting bored of doing home workouts?

Are they challenging enough?

Are you struggling to find the motivation to stay active?

There are so many different types of workouts online and across social media it’s easy to get lost amongst all the information. At Willmott Swim Skills we have put together an A-Z list of exercises in alphabetical order to help you design your own sessions at home.

The exercises are easy to follow, focus on developing strength, and centred around the muscle groups used in the pool. The best part… all you need is a mat and a chair!

A-Z List of exercises

  • A - Arabesques

This is a great exercise for glute activation and eccentric hamstring loading. Useful in kicking sports and can help with strength of the 'up kick' on freestyle and butterfly.

  • B - Body Weight Squat

Squatting helps build strength in the key muscles of the lower body – quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. This is key to being explosive on your starts and push offs.

  • C - Crunches

This core exercise works the lower abdominal muscles. This can help improve your ability to tuck your knees into your chest to help improve speed of rotation on your tumble turns.

  • D - Deadbugs

A popular core exercise used by swimmers to target your abdominals and obliques. The alternating movement pattern of opposite arm and opposite leg, replicates that of freestyle and backstroke swimming.

  • E - Elevated Glute Bridges

This exercise is great for the glutes, hamstrings and core. Bridging is great for general strengthening around the hip and encourages good mobility too.

  • F - Flutter Kicking

Replicates that of flutter kicking in freestyle and backstroke. Helps strengthen the lower midsection of your abdominals, as well as glutes, hip flexors, quads, and adductors, activating the whole of the lower body.

  • G - Get ups (rolling)

Rolling Get ups are an awesome core strength exercise that works your abdominal muscles and lower back. It’s also a great movement to stretch though your back.

  • H - Hyper Extensions

Also known as back extensions, they help strengthen your lower back, hamstrings, glutes, and general posterior chain. The exercise closely mimics (even though the movement is much smaller) the undulation in that of butterfly, breaststroke and dolphin kicking.

  • I - Incline Press Ups

Incline Press Ups are great to improve your upper body strength. If you struggle with a full floor press on your feet these are a great alternative. The movement targets lower pectorals, triceps and also incorporates the use of the muscles in your upper back.

  • J - Squat Jumps

Increases the explosive power of your lower legs. Explosive power gives helps you with the ability to take off faster and move quicker which can help with your dive starts and reaction time.

  • K - Kneeling 3pt Plank

Like plank this exercise targets whole body strength and coordination. Lifting 1 limb at a time promotes a greater need for the smaller muscles around shoulders, hips, and core to contribute to the stability of your joints.

  • L - Lunges

Will help build strength in your leg muscles – quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves; whilst improving balance, coordination, and stability.

  • M - Monster Walks

This exercise targets glutes specifically via a side step pattern. Breaststroke swimmers who depend on strong and stable hips should do this exercise more often.

  • N - Narrow Press Ups

A narrow press up puts your shoulders in a closed chain position which enhances muscle recruitment around the shoulders, strengthening pectorals as well as your triceps. This can help with single arm extension and reach at the front of your swimming strokes.

  • O - Overhead Streamline Sit Up

This core exercise works your abdominals, but also stimulates activation in your quads, chest, and lower back. The overhead reach empasisies the need for mobility in your uper back and leads to greater shoulder activation; the ability to extend and open the chest is important moment to help achieve and maintain good streamline positions.

  • P - Plank

This exercise is great for whole body activation. The pectorals, abdominals, obliques, glutes, quads and hamstrings are all engaged in this position. This helps maintain good body position in the water when holding streamline and focusing on body alignment in all four strokes.

  • Q - Your choice

Your choice of exercise.

  • R - Russian Twists

This exercise targets your obliques and lower abdominals. The obliques are important in connecting moments from the arms and legs in freestyle and backstroke. The movement is also similar to that during a touch turn, therefore, they can help improve the speed at which you complete the turn.

  • S - Supermans

This is a great exercise to improve control and activate the stabiliser muscles in your shoulders, and hips. It will also help strengthen your core.

  • T - Tricep dips

Dips predominately target your tricep muscles. Swimmers use their tricep muscles to extend fully past their hips in freestyle and butterfly and backstroke.

  • U - Uni Lateral Plank with a Hip Lift

A side plank with an added hip lift activates the obliques and helps to build endurance and core strength within the deep abdominals and obliques.

  • V - V-Tucks

This exercise recruits your abdominals. Similar to a crunch, a V-Tuck promotes the ability to tuck knees to chest to help improve speed of rotation on your tumble turns.

  • W - Windscreen Wipers

The movement is designed to activate your obliques and lower abdominals. The exercise also requires use of the glutes, and is a great exercise to help with rotation in freestyle and backstroke.

  • X - X Abs

A great exercise to strengthen your abdominals whilst working with opposite arm and opposite leg movement pattern.

  • Y - Y, T, W’s

This exercise targets your posterior deltoids, rotator cuff and scapula muscles, which help support and stabilise your shoulder blades. Performing this exercise will help maintain good shoulder health, prevent injury and aid in the transfer of force applied through the arms in the water.

  • Z - 100’s

Hundreds' recruit your deep abdominal muscles and will help promote trunk stabilisation, as-well-as force you to focus on the timing of your breath whilst doing so.


Work for 40 seconds: Rest for 20 seconds

Aim for around 16-20 letters within your word or phrase

Spell your own name, day of the week, or even your favourite stroke.

Get creative, mix it up and enjoy your next workout!


Download the A-Z template, plus recommended warm up and cool down here

Workout With Willmott Templates
Download PDF • 136KB

Don’t forget you can join us on Instagram @willmottswimskills every Wednesday for a LIVE workout!


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