A Great HIIT workout for swimmers

This month Swim England and their experts at the SCI Smart Coach bring you a HIIT workout for swimmers to try at home or in the gym.

HIIT stands for ‘High Intensity Interval Training’, and it’s a form of cardiovascular exercise which alternates short periods of maximum exertion to elevate the heart rate, with recovery periods of lower intensity or total rest to lower the heart rate back to normal.

We love HIIT workouts for two reasons: they produce a noticeable increase in fitness in a short space of time relative to other exercise methods, and they’re a great way to release feel-good endorphins and burn calories even when you’re short on time. And what’s more, your metabolic rate will stay elevated for longer after a HIIT workout, which means you’ll continue burning calories long after the session has ended!

This unique workout is built for swimmers, targeting and strengthening muscle groups which you are going to call upon in the pool.

The muscles of your back, your abdominal muscles, your glutes and your shoulder muscles will all benefit from performing this workout, even while your cardiovascular strength and endurance improves. The workout can be performed at home or in the gym – so let’s get on it!

Step 1: The Warm Up

Perform leg swings for thirty seconds each leg, followed by arm circles for thirty seconds each arm. Perform some gentle bodyweight squats for thirty seconds, followed by some gentle alternate lunges for thirty seconds. This should be enough to warm you up, but if you don’t quite feel warm, repeat this circuit once more.

Step 2: The Pre-Workout

These exercises will help you to strengthen and stabilise the muscles most crucial for swimming. Perform 2 sets (that’s 2 ’rounds’) of the below exercises, with 15 repetitions of each exercise. Take a 90-second rest between the first and second set.

  • Poliquin Step Up
  • Glute Bridge
  • Trap 3 Raise

Step 3: The HIIT Workout

Your workout is split into two circuits, A and B. The aim is to perform every exercise in Circuit A in a row, for the duration specified, without taking a break. When you reach the end of Circuit A, you can rest for 2-4 minutes, then repeat Circuit A. Do this until you’ve completed 3 sets. After 3 sets have been completed, you’ll do the same for Circuit B: complete ever exercise in a row, rest for 2-4 minutes, repeat Circuit B again, until you’ve completed 3 sets. Then you’re done!

Circuit A – 3 Sets

  • A1. Alternate Lunge – perform for 40 seconds
  • A2. Bunny Hops – perform for 40 seconds
  • A3. Curl Squat Press – perform for 40 seconds
  • A4. Renegade Row – perform for 60 seconds
  • A5. Side Plank – perform for 30 seconds on each side
  • A6. Rest for 2-4 minutes before repeating

Circuit B – 3 Sets

  • B1. Star Jumps – perform 20 repetitions
  • B2. V Sit – perform 20 repetitions
  • B3. Prone Cobra – hold for 30 seconds
  • B4. Alternate Squat Thrusts – perform 30 repetitions
  • B5. Reverse Grip Row – perform 20 repetitions
  • B6. Rest for 2-4 minutes before repeating

You can watch example videos of all exercises used in this session on the Swim England website. If you haven’t already registered, it takes just a few minutes and will give you access to loads of great tips and advice to develop your swimming.