Carrie Lester: Using Stretch Cords during Covid-19

Carrie Lester: Using Stretch Cords during Covid-19

Missing your familiar pool sessions during the Coronavirus shut downs? We checked in with blueseventy professional triathlete Carrie Lester to see how she's making the most of the time out of the water. 

"Most of us are well into COVID-19 lockdown now, with no sign yet of when we will be back swimming in our local pools. It is inevitable that over this time some swim fitness will be lost, but we can do our best to maintain some strength and technique from some dry land exercises.

I am a big fan of the Swim Cordz (stretch cordz, swim bands etc) as pictured, and can confidently say that by doing these consistently over the last few years my swim has never felt better – particularly in open water. They come in a few different resistance levels, with the yellow ones being the easiest. The yellow ones still provide a pretty good amount of resistance, and once you get stronger you can either move to a higher resistance or just crank out more reps.

I like to do these with a deeper pull position, elbows above the hand, firm wrist, and simply focus on power. Double arm pull (like butterfly), and go for power! Done right you should feel the burn in your lats and shoulders. You can also do some single arm swimming. Note: the only time you will break your wrist is at the end of the stroke, just as you would in the pool."

carrie lester demonstrates using the swim cordz

Focusing on strength exercises during this time is a great way to help minimize the loss of swim fitness. Here's Carrie's suggested way to get started using strength cords to help get you through the stay at home, and for many folks, stay out of the water time we're in. 

"If you are just starting these now, start with 3 sets, and do as many as you can until you feel your form starting to drop. And then build on this number each week. For example at the start of the year, I feel about 30 repetitions is where my strength is at, so I do 3 sets x 30 reps, 4-5 times a week. Throughout the year I will build these to 3 x 100 or 4-5 sets of 60."

"When pools reopen, don’t forget about these! Keep doing them, but 3-4 times a week and less reps is fine. Leave them in your swim bag and make them a part of your swim workout."

Adding strength training to your normal swim workouts is always beneficial, not only during the time of Covid-19, and these swim cord exercises are an easy way to get in a quick strength session.