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Flywheel training improves swimming performance

We’ve seen several studies showing that flywheel training improves strength, power and hypertrophy to a greater extent than ‘normal’ weight training. If you want to become stronger, flywheel training is a better choice than regular weight training. But do those benefits also translate into sport specific performance improvements? In previous blogs we already looked at how tennis play Rafael Nadal uses flywheel training and why flywheel training has become so popular in team sports. In this blog we’ll have a look at the effect of flywheel training on swimming performance!

 

Participants

Becoming a better swimmer with so called “on land” exercise like weight training is not that easy. In many cases, on land performance improvements do not translate into better (swimming) performance. But let’s have a look at the effect of on land flywheel training on swimming performance. 14 young national swimmers who already trained about 19 hours per week participated in a flywheel training study. Normally the law of diminishing returns suggests that the higher the performance level and the higher the amount of time spent on training, the lower the chances you will see improvements by adding a training stimulus. Not in this case.

 

Workout & Results

With only 60 seconds total workload (4 sets of 15 seconds) per flywheel workout, these national level swimmers improved their strength by 13% and their power by 14%. Four weeks of 3 sessions, each containing 60 seconds total workload, were enough to see those improvements. That means every minute spent doing swim specific on land flywheel exercises resulted in more than 1% increase in performance (!). That sounds like a good time investment.

swimmer performs flywheel training

swim specific on land flywheel exercise

 

Swimming performance

Now we hope you are critical, and question: do these on land strength and power improvements also result in an increase in swimming performance? Because as we said in the beginning of this article, this is often not the case with ‘normal’ weight training.

 

The swimming times of the 100 m butterfly and 50 m freestyle (front crawl) significantly decreased by 1.83% and 0.76% respectively after 4 weeks of flywheel training. For those who think these are minor improvements, keep in mind we are looking at national swimmers ranked between 4th and 32nd places on the national championship. That means that we could probably see bigger improvements for recreational swimmers.

 

Interestingly strength and power were negatively correlated to swimming times. In other words, the higher your strength and power (improvement), the faster you’ll swim.

 

Get started

If you’re not convinced yet, you can read the original article here or – even smarter – test flywheel training yourself. Want to try flywheel training yourself? Check out our flywheel products in the shop or ask any question that comes into mind :)!