Lockdown 2.0 is upon us and, for the second time this year, pools and gyms are being forced to close. Just as training momentum was building, the metaphoric door is being slammed shut. However, now is not the time to take your foot off the gas, with Olympic trials around the corner, and a Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022.

So, what are 5 things you can do during lockdown to stay in shape, ready for pools to re-open?

1. conditioning

If the quickest way to get fitter is to train more, the quickest way to lose fitness is to train less. The cardiovascular adaptations resulting from 20+ hours/40-60,000m swam per week are not easy to replace but you need to do as much as you can; put simply, you cannot drop from 20 hours to only 2 hours per week and expect to maintain the same levels of fitness. Got an exercise bike at home? Great, it’s an excellent off-feet (joint friendly) cardio option. If not, get outside and run. Gradually build up volumes to allow your tendons and joints to adapt to a new training stimulus.

2. CORE TRAINING

Every swim stroke requires stabilising the spine and creating movement about the extremities. Maintaining good aquatic posture is key to efficient technique and faster race times. We need to get good at using our core musculature to resist motion, not create it. Sit-ups won’t cut it. Instead, try these three 3 exercises:

– Push Up Position plank

– Heel slides

– Bird dogs

3. JUMP TRAINING

A better squat jump and countermovement jump has been shown to correlate to a better start and turn, respectively. Jump training therefore needs to be a cornerstone of your land-based strength and conditioning program. To prepare for more intensive jump training post lockdown, do these three landing-based exercises:

– Bilateral snapdown

– Single leg snapdown

– Depth drop landing.

4. MOBILITY

High training volumes takes its toll on our body and if we don’t spend the time restoring optimal joint ranges of motions and muscle length we increase the risk of injury. Spend some extra time going through mobility flows, paying particular attention to your hips and shoulders (the two main sites of injury for swimmers). If you’re not sure where to start, try these mobility drills:

– 90/90 hip rotations

– Spidermans + rotate

– YTWs

5. SLEEP

Sleep is so often sacrificed in order to stay on top of a hectic training and school schedule. 4am alarm clocks take their toll and your body is almost always in a sleep deprived state. Lack of sleep significantly hinders muscle recovery rates. Use the slower pace of life during lockdown to develop some good sleep hygiene habits. A few easy ones to start are:

– Maintain a regular sleep routine

– Do not watch TV/play video games/look at your phone in bed

– Avoid caffeine after 4pm

Hopefully these 5 steps have provided you with a good starting point for staying in shape as a swimmer during lockdown. If you have any further questions about how I can help you DM me (@rigsperformance) or email me (josh@rigsfitness.co.uk).