Dryland Training During Taper
All the hard work has been put in over the course of the season and finally its time to Taper. Every swimmer and coach has a different approach to their taper but everyone wants the same results. Peak performance at the right time!
Dryland training should be part of your seasonal training program and it should also be a part of your taper. A good dryland program develops strength and power thoughout the season and this should continue during taper. If these exercises are eliminated completely during taper then the power gained thoughout the season will most likely drop off. This is the exact opposite of what an athlete or coach wants during this time. In order for peak performance levels to be reached we need to be producing maximum power.
. Many swim coaches are resistant to doing any dryland in fear of “messing up the taper”. It is detrimental to just completely eliminate the exercises all together. Instead just change the variables. Compare this to the work done in the pool. Do we just stop swimming. Of course not, we reduce volume, increase rest periods, and increase speed work. Almost the same exact thing should be done with our dryland training.
During taper exercises should be selected that emphasize power. Fast explosive movements that teach the muscles to generate force quickly are ideal. Reduce the volume and the resistance the closer you get to the championship meet. In addition to this increase the amount of rest the swimmers get between each set.
The last thing swimmers want is to feel weaker because their dryland program has been eliminated the last 2 – 3 weeks before the big meet. If you have a plan then dryland training will improve your taper and certainly won’t hurt it!