Developing a Strength and Conditioning Program for a DIII Swim Team
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Many sports require high levels of strength and power to be successful in competition. Competitive swimming is no exception to this trend. Although swimming is a very endurance-based sport, weight training promotes strength, speed and power gains to the muscles that are used in the water (Maglischo, 2002). Weightlifting also provides many other adaptations for the body, including: reduced rates of injury, neuromuscular adaptations, and muscle fiber growth (hypertrophy). Differing from other sports, swimming lacks a ground reaction force. This constant suspension in water makes swimmers more susceptible to certain injuries that stem from poor posture and weak core strength. Therefore, in addition to the strength gains desired from normal strength and condition programs, these predispositions to injury were accounted for in the athlete’s programming by incorporating preventative therapy exercises.