Welcome to Winchester City Penguin’s Virtual Hub. This hub has been created for swimmers (and parents) to help you stay physically and mentally healthy during these unusual times, as well as expanding your knowledge. Within the hub you will find:

  • A Range of Land Training Exercise – including circuits, images and videos
  • A Workout Logger and Squad Leaderboard
  • Education Resources
  • Links to other Useful Resources
  • Some Extra Reading Materials
  • Useful Documents

Important Information

It is for you to consider whether this content, and content we signpost to, is appropriate to you based on your health, your fitness / mobility / ability levels and your environment. We cannot be there to provide this assessment for you therefore we (the club) cannot accept any liability for any injury or issue arising from following such content. Additional safety guidance be found here.

Safety of the participant is paramount and the following guidelines should be followed:

  • Wear appropriate clothing, including suitable footwear, no jewellery etc.
  • Stay hydrated during the session
  • Consider the environment that you are training in and determine if it is appropriate for the training you are about to do. The following are examples of what should be considered:
    • What is the floor like? Is it safe and will it stay so if it gets wet?
    • Is the area well ventilated?
    • Do you have a mat?
    • Can you exercise outside?
    • Is there any furniture you may bump into? Can it be moved?
    • Have you got enough space to exercise safely?
    • Are there any trip hazards, including any unexpected ones such as pets?
  • We recommend that any equipment used should be wiped clean before and after use

Enjoy this time away from the pool but make sure you are staying active. Use as many resources on this page as you would like. Keep in touch with your coaches so they know what you are getting up to and why not share pictures of your sessions with us on social media.

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What is your core?: Your core is not just your abs and about trying to get a 6 pack. The core is a combination of muscles, including muscles from your lats and back muscles all the way down to some of the leg muscles.

Why is core strength important in swimming?: A strong core is extremely helpful in swimming as it gives a swimmer many benefits. Firstly, it helps you maintain a streamlined body position in the water, which will reduce drag. Secondly, a strong core will increase the effectiveness of kick, whether it’s the stroke kick or your fly kick underwater. Thirdly, it helps generate the body roll in freestyle and backstroke which allows for a more efficient pull and kick.

Core Image

Core Circuit Videos

What is Plyometrics?: Plyometrics is a form of dryland exercises, with the aim of increasing both speed and strength. A plyometric circuit is a series of intense, high-impact exercises at maximum effort with short intervals.

Why Plyometrics are Important?: These exercises help develop explosive power. This explosive power allows swimmers to become faster off the starting blocks and off the turns. It is also helpful when trying to accelerate within a swim.

Important things to consider: Before doing plyometrics, ensure you are throughly warmed up. Big focus on technique and landing, if you don’t you are more likely to injure yourself. Wear appropriate footwear, with good cushioning and padding.

  • Jumps (Squat Jumps, Tuck Jumps, Box Jumps)
  • Power Skipping
  • Single Leg Jumps
  • Plyometric Press Ups
  • Jumping Lunges
  • Bounding

Take a look at the following Conditioning videos featuring swimmers from the Performance Squads and have a go at the circuits yourself.

Roll Ups Image

Roll Ups – 10 Reps

Starting Position (Level 1): Sit on the mat with your legs in front of you, hip-distance apart. Bend your hips and knees a little. Ensure that your pelvis is in an upright, neutral position. Lengthen your upper spine and back of your neck. Place your hands at the back of your thighs.

Starting Position (Level 2): Lift both arms upwards to shoulder height, palms facing downwards.

Action: Roll off the back of your sitting bones to round your lower back and tilt your pelvis backwards. Your ribcage and upper body should remain relatively still. Keep the head upright. Roll your pelvis forwards onto the sitting bones again to resume neutral alignment.

Tips: If you feel uncomfortable in this position, try the exercise sitting on a stool or swiss ball. To avoid unwanted ribcage movement, place one thumb at the base of the breast bone and one thumb in the belly button. As you perform this movement, check that the distance between your thumbs does not alter. You should feel the thumb in the belly button deepen in towards your spine and the thumb at the base of your breast bone remains still.

Side Bend Image

Side Bends – 2 Sets of 10 Reps

Starting Position: Lie on your side with your hips slightly bent and knees bent to 90 degrees. Support your upper body on your underneath forearm. Lift your underneath waist and ribcage away from the mat. Hips and shoulders stacked and facing forwards.Top arm resting long on top of the legs. Neck long in alignment with the trunk.

Action: Inhale to prepare. Exhale and gently engage your gluteal muscles to lift your pelvis off the mat, forming a diagonal line from your head to the knees. Simultaneously, reach your top arm upwards in an arc within your peripheral vision. Inhale and hold your side bend. Exhale and lower your pelvis to the mat while simultaneously lowering your top arm.

Clam Image

Clam – 2 Sets of 10 Reps

Starting Position: Side lying. Underneath arm outstretched in alignment with the trunk, with your head resting on this arm. Hips bent up to approximately 45 degrees and knees bent up to approximately 90 degrees. Shoulders and hips stacked. Top hand resting on the floor. Draw the top hip downwards away from the top shoulder to create a small space between your waist and the mat.

Action: Inhale to prepare. Exhale and lift the top knee upwards, keeping the feet together. Inhale and lower the top knee onto the bottom leg.

Double Leg Stretch Image

Double Leg Stretch – 2 Sets of 10 Reps

Starting Position: Rest position. Centre engaged.

Action: Float your legs, one at a time, into the tabletop position and lift both arms to the ceiling. Inhale to prepare. Exhale and lower both arms overhead maintaining the tabletop leg position. Inhale and circle your arms outwards and downwards, finishing with your hands over your shoulders.

Cat Stretch Image

Cat Stretch – 2 Sets of 10 Reps

Starting Position: Kneel on your hands and knees. Knees directly under hips and hands slightly forward of your shoulders. Elbow joints soft. Head and neck lifted in alignment with your spine. Spine long in a ‘tabletop’ position.

Action: Inhale to prepare. Exhale and roll your tailbone and pelvis downwards towards the floor. Then round your lower back and continue to round your middle and upper back and finally your neck form a C shaped curve from your tailbone to the crown of the head. Inhale and hold the cat position. Exhale and roll your tailbone and pelvis to neutral. Then lengthen your lower, middle and upper back and finally your head and neck to neutral. Draw your shoulder blades downwards and lengthen the back of your neck.

Tips: Imagine each vertebrae as the key on a piano. Imagine walking your fingers along each piano key to roll it into your C curve. Imagine opening the space between each vertebrae as you roll into your C shaped curve.

Leg Pull in Prone Image

Leg Pull in Prone – 2 Sets of 10 Reps

Starting Position: Kneel on your hands and knees. Knees directly under hips and hands slightly forward of your shoulders. Elbow joints soft. Head and neck lifted in alignment with your spine. Spine long in a ‘tabletop’ position.

Action: Inhale to prepare. Exhale and hover your knees off the mat. Then glide your upper body forwards and lower your pelvis to form a long plank position. Inhale and hold the long plank position. Exhale and lengthen your left leg away from the body, allowing it to lift off the mat into alignment with your trunk. Inhale and replace your left leg to resume the long plank position. Repeat alternating legs. Then, exhale and glide the upper body backwards your hips over your knees. Then lower your knees to the mat.

Tips: Imagine a harness suspended from the ceiling lifting and supporting your pelvis. Imagine that the trunk is buoyant and is lifting upwards out of the shoulder joints to avoid sinking into the ribcage or shoulders. Keep the elbow and knee joints soft.

Glute Bridges

Glute Bridges

Lie on your back with legs bent. Squeeze your buttocks, roll your pelvis off the floor and straighten your hips. Hold and in a controlled manner, return to the starting position.

Hold for 10 secs. Repeat 5 Times
Squats

Squats

Stand tall with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Toes pointing forward or turned a few degrees outwards. Keep your chest up and your spine and neck in a neutral position. Squat down by sitting back and bring your arms forward. Push back up through the heels, chest up and straighten your hips.

Lower for 3s. Rise for 3s. Repeat 5 Times
Resisted Shoulder Rotations

Resisted Shoulder Rotations

Stand tall. Bend your elbow to 90 degrees and hold and exercise band. Take the slack off the band at the starting position and rotate your arm inwards by squeezing your shoulder blades inwards and down. Return to the starting position in a controlled manner.

3 Sets of 10 Reps Each Arm
Childs Pose

Child’s Pose

Start on your hands and knees. Move backwards, bringing your buttocks towards your heels, lower your chest towards the floor. Hold the position for a moment whilst breathing smoothly. Return to the starting position.

Hold for 10 secs. Repeat 5 Times
Hamstring Stretch

Hamstring Stretch

Lie on your back with legs straight. Hold under one knee and pull the leg towards your chest. Straighten the knee until you feel a stretch in the back of your thigh. Hold the stretch while breathing smoothly, then relax.

Hold for 30 secs Each Leg. Repeat 3 Times
Hip Flexor Stretch

Hip Flexor Stretch

In half-kneeling. Tilt your pelvis backwards and squeeze your buttocks. Hold the stretch while breathing smoothly then relax.

Hold for 20 sec Each Side. Repeat 3 Times
Upper Back Rotations

Upper Back Rotations

On your hands and knees, with knees under hips and hands under shoulders. Place one hand behind your head. Rotate your upper back and bring your elbow towards the ceiling and then back towards the floor.

3 Sets of 5 Reps Each Side
Single Leg Bridges

Single Leg Bridges

Lie on your back with knees bent. Squeeze your buttocks, tilt your pelvis backwards. Lift your pelvis and straighten one knee keeping your thighs in line. Bend the knee, lower the foot on the floor and return to the starting position.

3 Sets of 5 Reps on Each Leg
Stretching High

Stretching High

Stand tall and cross your fingers. Lift your arms and reach upwards, stretching yourself to be as tall as possible. Return to the starting position and relax.

Hold for 10 secs. Repeat 4 Times
Y-T-Ws

Y-T-W’s

Lie face down. Begin with arms fully stretched above your head at position 1 and 11. Tighten the muscles between your shoulder blades and lift your arms. After 10 seconds, move your arms (without touching the floor) to position 3 and 9 and hold for 10 seconds. After 10 seconds, bend the elbows at 90 degrees and hold for 10 seconds.

Hold in Each Position for 10s. Repeat 5 Times
Spidermans

Spidermans

Start in a press up position, with your arms straight and your body in a straight line from your head to your ankles. Without changing the posture of your lower back, bring your foot out to the side and inline with your hand and hold for a couple of seconds. Then return the foot back to the starting position and repeat with the other foot.

3 Sets of 5 Reps Each Leg
Rollover to Reach

Rollover to Reach

Begin with lying with your back on the floor and legs out straight. Lifts both legs together and roll back onto your shoulders, holding the position for 2 seconds. Then, controlling the movement, roll back and then sit up, reaching as far forward as possible, then return to the start position.

2 Sets of 8 Reps
Stretching

Why should you stretch?: Stretching is very important, especially after a swim session. It helps to improve flexibility and mobility of muscles and also reduce the risk of injury. It is a key part of a swimmers recovery and helps prevent injuries. Because swim sessions utilise your whole body it is important to cycle through stretches that cover the whole body. HOWEVER, it is vital that they are performed correctly to get the optimal benefit.

Neck Stretch

Neck Stretch

Tricep Stretch

Tricep Stretch

Lats Stretch

Lats Stretch

Pec Stretch

Pectoral Stretch

Streamline Stretch

Streamline Stretch

Lumbar Stretch

Lumbar and Abs Stretch

Upper Back Stretch

Upper Back Stretch Stretch

Shoulder Stretch

Shoulder Stretch

Chest Stretch

Chest & Shoulder Stretch

Hip Flexor Stretch

Hip Flexor Stretch

Glute Stretch

Glute Stretch

Hamstring Stretch

Hamstring Stretch

Adductor Stretch

Adductor Stretch

Quads Stretch

Quads Stretch

Glute and Lumbar Stretch

Glute & Lumbar Stretch

Rolling

Why should you roll?: Rolling helps you decrease soreness and speed up the body’s recovery after a session, whether its a tough high intensity session or a low-level skill based session. Not only this, but it will help increase flexibility. HOWEVER, you will only benefit from rolling if it is done correctly.

T-Spine Roll

T-Spine Roll

Lats Roll

Lats Roll

Hamstring Roll

Hamstring Roll

Calf Roll

Calf Roll

Glutes Roll

Glutes Roll

Quads Roll

Quads Roll

Cardio

Cardio

Whilst not being able to train in the pool, naturally fitness levels will drop as you aren’t doing as much exercise. Some form of daily cardio will help maintain these fitness levels as best as possible. This could be going for a run or fast-paced walk, whether it’s around the block or down at the park, or a bike ride which includes different levels of intensity through out.

If you want to track your cardio workouts, whether it be a run, walk or bike ride, there are a number of apps that can be used to record data. Some apps available are:

  • Strava (iOS and Android)
  • Map My Ride by Under Amour (iOS and Android)
  • Map My Run by Under Amour (iOS and Android)
  • Map My Walk by Under Amour (iOS and Android)

After you’ve been out for a walk/run/bike ride, be sure to let your coach know what you’ve been up to. Send them a screenshot of your workout and even share it with your friends.