The BridgeAthletic Building Blocks Series is a set of 5 exercises that can be performed on the pool deck by swimmers with a basic level of dryland experience and proficiency.
Methodology: Get explosive off the blocks with these plyometric exercises. By incorporating these movements into your next swim workout, you’ll sharpen your reaction time and get the edge at the start of your race.
Equipment: Light to medium weight medicine ball (MB)
Movement: Start standing, holding the MB with both hands overhead. From the overhead position, throw the MB down to the ground, releasing the MB around chest height and following through with your arms. The MB should hit the ground a foot or two in front of your body, not too close to you. As it rebounds, catch the MB with both hands. Repeat the movement for the prescribed reps or time.
Bridge tip – Get as tall as you can before throwing the MB to the ground. This allows for maximal connection throughout the movement.
Movement: Start standing, with your left leg slightly raised. Drive off your right foot to jump to your left. Land softly on your left foot without your right touching the ground. Regain your balance. Pause. Repeat the movement jumping off your left foot and landing softly on your right. Pause. Repeat this sequence for the prescribed number of reps.
Bridge tip – Focus on landing softly with a slight knee bend on each jump. Make sure to regain your balance on each landing before jumping in the opposite direction.
Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Movement: Start standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. With a quick dip at the hip and knees, swing your arms and jump in to the air, tucking your knees up in front of you. Bring your arms through to chest height and aim to touch your knees to your hands. Control the landing with a bend at your knees. As your feet touch, work on regaining your balance to go right into another jump. Work on maximum height on each jump. Repeat for the recommended number of reps.
Bridge tip – On the landing, focus on keeping your knees in-line. Emphasize the counter-jump movement. When first starting to perform Tuck Jumps, do the jumps as individual repetitions. As you improve, perform them as repetitive jumps.
Incline Clap Pushup
Equipment: Box or bench
Movement: Start with your hands shoulder width apart on the box in a pushup position. Perform a pushup, lowering your chest slowly to the box. On the upward movement, drive your hands off the box to perform a clap in front of your chest while your body is in the air. Control and absorb the landing with your hands on the box by bending at the elbows. Reset for the next rep by returning to the start position. Repeat for the prescribed number of reps.
Bridge tip – Perform these as individual reps, not continuous reps for maximal power.
Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Movement: Start standing with your feet hip-width apart. With a quick hop and arm drive, split your feet with one foot forward and one back. Land in a lunge position with a bend in your knees. Control the landing, then drive your arms to jump into the air, switching your legs to land with your opposite foot in the front. Repeat this alternating sequence for the prescribed reps or time.
Bridge tip – Keep your chest up and use your arms to drive the movement.