There is a difference between strength on dry land and strength in the water. The forces we must overcome and the manner in which we must overcome them when suspended in water are slightly different than what we experience when on dry land when running or cycling. Of course gravity still plays a major role in the total resistive force that we experience in the water just as we do on dry land, but in the water we now encounter buoyant forces and hydrodynamic drag. Additionally, our body is in a horizontal, prone position, as opposed to upright like we would be when exercising on dry land. These all make the development of swim-specific strength quite unique when compared to the development of strength for running or cycling. Does simple dry land strength training translate over directly to swim-specific strength? Or, do we need to be emphasizing more strength work in the water for it to translate directly over to our swim stroke? The video herein covers all this and much more related to swim-specific strength!
-Ryan Eckert, MS, CSCS