How To Use Swim Cords To Get More Out Of Your Swim Training

Video to explain using swim cords

I made the following video describing how to incorporate stretch cords into your swim routine.  Many professional triathletes use swim cords as part of their warm up on race day.  This is only one of three ways the cords are beneficial and I outline in the video below how to use swim cords for triathlon training.

use swim cords for triathlon training
Swim cords (or stretch cords) are an effective way to get a good dryland swim specific warmup, improve technique, and build power/strength.

How to use swim cords in your triathlon training:

1.  Dryland warm up

Using the swim cords in tandem with a short in water warm up will give you an idea of what a realistic race day warm up will be.  I use the cords and an abbreviated warmup on days where I am swimming very hard, like a time trial day.

Although I would choose a long warm up for these types of swim workouts, it is not realistic to expect I will swim 1000 or more meters before the start of a race.  3 sets of 40-50 reps with the swim cords with about 300 meters (maximum) of swimming is more likely what I will be able to do on race day.  Figuring out how to make the most of your cords and 300 meters takes some practice.  Try a variety of iterations in the water well before race day until you find the right distance and intensity.

2.  Neurological patterning for proper swim technique

I outline in this video some cues to adopt proper technique with the swim cords.  Different coaches use different language to communicate the same tips I offer.  Sometimes you need to hear the same thing a few different ways before it sticks.

3.  Strength and power training

Using the cords can tire out your swim muscles fairly quickly.  If you find them difficult, start with 3x 20 strokes to start.  Build up to 40-50 strokes in multiple sets slowly over time.  This work will develop strength and power in the muscles specific to swimming over time.

Swim cords are useful but proper mobility is required to achieve optimal swim technique.  I will address mobility in the next video.

Feel free to comment with further questions!

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