Try this swimming progression exercise for military swimming and diving training

Try this swimming progression exercise for military swimming and diving training

As you prepare for military swimming or diving tests, your abilities should see steady progress as both technique and conditioning improve. A rescue swimmer or combat diver needs to master technique and conditioning, confidence in surface and ground water, walking and tactical applications, including life saving, rescue, explosives and navigation.

The following is a natural progression that focuses primarily on conditioning, but also requires a strong commitment to technique. These training phases allow non-swimming athletes to practice swimming techniques when they are in better swimming condition.

Phase one workout

If you are only learning to stroke and find it difficult to swim through a 25-meter pool without getting caught in the wind, start with this program.

Warm up by swimming for five minutes (non-stop) or walking. You may have to reinforce this “warm-up”, but soon this will become easy.

Repeat 10 times.

  • Swimming: 25 meters freestyle
  • Swimming: 25 meters combat side stroke (CSS), stroke or side stroke

Do this exercise three times a week. On leg days, do the same exercise with fins for 4-5 days a week.

Phase two workout

This is a classic exercise called 50-50 Workout. When your swimming abilities begin to improve, a 50-50 average will be the next challenge.

Warm up with a 500-meter or 10-minute swim. The goal is to finish swimming for 500 yards or 500 meters without stopping. The next step is to reduce time by improving efficiency and conditioning.

Repeat 10 times.

  • Swimming: 50 meters freestyle, hard and fast
  • Swimming: 50m CSS, breaststroke or side kick at goal pace

Phase Three Workout

Once you find that 50-50 is easier, try doubling the given distances to 100-100 Workout.

Warm up with a 500-meter or 10-minute swim. The goal is to finish swimming for 500 yards or 500 meters without stopping. The next step is to reduce time by improving efficiency and conditioning.

Repeat 10 times.

  • Swimming: 100m freestyle, hard and fast
  • Swimming: 100m CSS, breaststroke or side kick at goal pace

As you improve your conditioning, set a target time for each set of 50 or 100 metres. A good criterion is swimming close to a yard or a meter per second. Therefore, the 50-meter swim goal is 50 seconds; The 100-meter distance has a 100-second goal (1:40).

Phase 4 workout

You may want to mix it up a bit after swimming 4-5 days a week for the past two months. This exercise is the next installment. Maintain target pace (1 yards per second) for 300 yards or 300 metres. This means 300 seconds, which is equivalent to five minutes.

These five-minute sets are challenging and will push your technique and endurance to the level you need to become an exceptional swimmer, even if you were a non-athlete before joining the military.

Warm up with a 500-meter or 10-minute swim. The goal is to finish swimming for 500 yards or 500 meters without stopping. The next step is to reduce time by improving efficiency and conditioning.

Repeat five times.

  • Swimming: 300m (choose which stroke is tested)
  • Convenience: as needed

You can choose the comfort method. Tread plenty of water for 1-2 minutes. Some stretching and moisturizing for a minute before you get to the next set.

This swimming advance can be the exact preparation you need to achieve the necessary scores on swimming fitness tests, increase confidence in the water and learn new tactical skills.

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Visit his site Fitness e-book store If you are looking to start a training program to create a healthy lifestyle. Send fitness questions to stew@stewsmith.com.

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