Bulgakova, N. Z., Vorontsov, A. R., & Fomichenko, T. G. (1987). Improving the technical preparedness of young swimmers by using strength training. Theory and Practice of Physical Culture, 7, 31-33.

Most young swimmers cannot perform correct technical actions because they lack fundamental physical capacities (e.g., strength, endurance, joint mobility). Strength changes developed in the water in adults have been shown to be associated with performance changes. This study investigated the effects of two forms of strength training on good 11-12 years-old swimmers. Exercises were performed twice a week over a six-month period. Water exercises were mainly tethered, rubber-band swims, while the land exercises used a pulling swim bench. The same amounts of interval training were used for each group on the exercises. A variety of measures were taken in and out of the water.

Strength and muscular endurance for the device activities increased in both groups. The dry-land group actually increased more in the water than did the in-water group. However, the in-water group improved to a greater degree in actual swimming speed. The in-water group displayed significantly better mechanical improvements in the application of the strength than did the dry-land group. It was found that the mechanical actions of the dry-land machines, which were not the same as those done in the water, had a negative impact on swimming technique.

Implication. It would seem that strength developed in the water is more useful for swimming development in age-group swimmers. Dry-land training has the potential to negatively effect swimming performance because of disruptive transfers to swimming technique as well as not being associated with performance improvements.

Return to Table of Contents for this issue.