NO POOL? NO PROBLEM!

At CRA, we are dedicated to keeping you healthy and engaged during this time out of the water

USE AT YOUR OWN RISK: This website is for informational purposes only. Make sure the area is clear of hazards before participating. Consult a physician before performing any exercise program, including the programs on this website. It is your responsibility to evaluate your own medical and physical condition, or that of your clients, and to independently determine whether to perform, use or adapt any of the information or content on this website. Any exercise program may result in injury. By voluntarily undertaking any exercise displayed on this website, you assume the risk of any resulting injury.

CRA CREATIVITY CONTEST

It’s important to keep your brain active too, so show us your creative side!

 

Write a story about what you like the most about swimming!

Submissions are due by Sunday, May 24.

Each week we’ll pick a piece of artwork to showcase. Winners will be entered into a drawing for a free week of Swim Camp!

Entries can be submitted to lessons@charlesriveraquatics.com.

DRYLAND SWIM TIPS BY LEVEL:
Level 1
  • Shoulder stretches are good for loosening up the shoulder joint and muscles. Bring your left arm across your upper body and hold it straight. Grasp the elbow with your right arm and gently pull toward your chest. Hold for 10 seconds, then repeat the stretch on the opposite side.
  • Standing upright, let your chin fall toward your chest. Hold this position for ten seconds. Then lift your head looking upwards and try to point at the ceiling with your chin. Hold this position for ten seconds. Practicing this motion will build your neck flexibility, which helps with taking breaths while kicking!
  • Toe touches are a good exercise for stretching out both the arm and leg muscles. To do this, sit on the floor with your legs extended straight in front of you. Reach out and try to touch your toes with your fingers. It’s okay if you can’t make it all the way–it’s more important that you don’t bend your knees! Hold for 10 seconds.
  • Proper head position–looking straight down to the bottom of the pool–is very important during flutter kicking, as it leads to better flotation in the water. To practice this on land, lie on your stomach on top of a bed so that only your head is hanging off the edge. Your chin should be pressed flat against the side of the bed and your eyes should be looking straight down to the ground. Slowly lift your head up until your eyes are looking straight forward, then reset your head to the starting position. Repeat this motion ten times.
  • Getting comfortable with blowing bubbles is one of the most important skills in Level 1. Blowing bubbles during bath time is a fun and easy way for swimmers to practice putting their faces in the water before moving on to being fully submerged. Start by simply tilting your head forward until your nose is in the water. When you feel comfortable enough to do so, try tilting even more forward until your eyes are in the water too. Remember to breath in through your mouth and out through your nose. If you are having trouble blowing bubbles, you can also practice this skill by humming! Use this video as a guide.
  • Bath/shower time is a great opportunity to get used to wearing goggles! Practice putting them on, taking them off, and adjusting them. Put the lenses on first and then bring the strap around the back of your head. Check that the strap(s) are behind your head and above your ears for the best fit.
  • To practice blowing bubbles, fill up a cup or bowl with water and have your child blow through a straw to create bubbles. The bigger the bubbles the better! Use this video as a guide.
  • Practice flutter kicking on land by laying on the floor. Make sure your lower back is flat to the ground (no arching) and always keep your core engaged the entire time. Lift both legs up, slightly past hip height and flutter kick without bending your knees. Remember to keep your feet close together and point your toes! Tip: placing both hands under your bottom will help reduce back strain.
Level 2
  • Seal jacks are a fun and easy twist on regular jumping jacks! To do them, stand with your feet together and your arms straight in front of you, with palms together. Jump to spread your feet about hip-width apart, while bringing your arms straight out to the sides at the same time. Jump again to return to the starting position. Repeat this process 10 times.
  • Stand upright with your shoulders still and your head up. Slowly rotate your head to the left until your chin is pointing toward your left shoulder. Hold this position for ten seconds. Then slowly rotate your head to the right until your chin is pointing toward your right shoulder. Hold this position for ten seconds. Practicing this motion will increase the range of motion in your neck, which will help with side breathing!
  • High knees is a cardio-intensive exercise that’s great for building endurance and strengthening your leg muscles. Begin in a standing position with your arms held out in front of you at shoulder height. Start running in place as fast as you can by lifting your knees up to waist height for each stride. Avoid leaning backwards and try to keep your arms as still as possible. See how many high knees you can do in 30 seconds!
  • It takes fast kicks to get back to the wall after a survival jump! Lie flat on your back with your legs straight and your feet off the floor, and practice kicking up and down without letting your feet touch the floor. See how many kicks you can do in one minute!
  • Practice roly-poly-oly by lying flat on your back on a bed or other soft surface. You can either cross your arms in front of your chest or raise them above your head. See if you can roll three times to the right and then three times to the left. Try to throw your weight to help you roll instead of using your arms and legs. This drill will help you become more comfortable with the rolling motion necessary to roly-poly-oly.
  • Practice side breathing by standing sideways next to a mirror with one arm extended (hold a book or other kickboard substitute, if you’d like) and turn your head toward the mirror. Watch for your chin to stay close to your shoulder and your spine to stay straight. For a challenge, try jogging in place while turning your head. This will build the muscle memory and coordination of moving your legs while rotating your head. Take one breath every 3 seconds for 10 to 20 seconds at a time. Repeat 5 times on one side and then switch to the other side to keep your practice balanced!
  • Back sculling is the first skill we work on that builds the connection between a swimmer’s hands and the water. We want swimmers to hold the water and feel it thick in the palms of their hands. You can practice this at home in the sink or tub by trying to press a wave to one side of the sink/tub, and then back again. How smoothly can you move your hand? How much water can you move? Be sure to have towels handy to clean up any big waves!
  • Practice streamline body positioning on land by standing with your back to a wall. Raise your arms up in a tight streamline position behind the ears and stand on your tiptoes. Hold this position for 10 seconds, break, and try again!
Level 3
  • Seal jacks are a fun and easy twist on regular jumping jacks! To do them, stand with your feet together and your arms straight in front of you, with palms together. Jump to spread your feet about hip-width apart, while bringing your arms straight out to the sides at the same time. Jump again to return to the starting position. Repeat this process 10 times.
  • Stand upright with your shoulders still and your head up. Slowly rotate your head to the left until your chin is pointing toward your left shoulder. Hold this position for ten seconds. Then slowly rotate your head to the right until your chin is pointing toward your right shoulder. Hold this position for ten seconds. Practicing this motion will increase the range of motion in your neck, which will help with side breathing!
  • High knees is a cardio-intensive exercise that’s great for building endurance and strengthening your leg muscles. Begin in a standing position with your arms held out in front of you at shoulder height. Start running in place as fast as you can by lifting your knees up to waist height for each stride. Avoid leaning backwards and try to keep your arms as still as possible. See how many high knees you can do in 30 seconds!
  • Back exercises can help to increase the condition of your spine and posture, which is important when swimming backstroke. One simple back exercise is the seal stretch. To practice this, lie facedown with your arms by your sides, then lift your head and shoulders up (aim for about a 45 degree angle) while keeping the rest of your body in contact with the floor. Try to hold this position for three seconds. See if you can do five in a row! Use this video as a guide.
  • Practice jumping rope! Jumping rope is an easy way to build endurance and get cardio exercise. It’s especially effective in helping swimmers become light and quick on their feet, which will help with kicks, turns, and flips!
  • Now that you are using our hands to swim more, what shape should you make your hand to grab the most water? If you are going for a drive, try sticking your arm out the window and see what kind of shape creates the most drag in the wind. You can also do this experiment in front of a small fan, just watch your fingers! Should you stretch your fingers apart as wide as you can, or cup your hand like you’re trying to hold a puddle of water? Maybe something in between? Use this video as a guide
  • Streamline jumps are a fun way to practice keeping a tight streamline with your arms while moving your legs at the same time. First, stand with your feet shoulders-width apart. Next, bring your arms into a tight streamline, making sure to squeeze your head with your elbows behind your ears. Finally, jump as high as you can go and land with your legs together! Did you keep your arms together? Can you jump even higher? For an extra challenge, stand against a wall and practice jumping straight up and down to help improve your balance
  • One issue many swimmers have with their backstroke is that they move their arms one at a time. You can practice moving your arms together in front of a mirror to help build the muscle memory in your backstroke arms. Watch for one arm to pull down by your side while the other arm makes a big arc in front of you on its way up towards the ceiling. Practice one switch every 3 seconds for 10 to 20 seconds, then build up to one switch every second. Challenge yourself to keep your speed fast and your arm movements accurate. Remember: Slow and Smooth builds into Smooth and Fast!
Level 4
  • Lateral hops are a great way to boost agility and power. To do them, stand straight with your hands by your sides and your feet hip-width apart. Jump with both feet to the right and then to the left in a quick, repetitive motion. See how many hops you can do in 30 seconds! Use this video as a guide.
  • Standing “T” is a good exercise for reinforcing proper posture and engaging the shoulder blades. To perform this exercise, stand in an upright position with your arms raised in front of you and your palms facing up. Slowly squeeze your shoulder blades together as you guide your arms out toward your sides. Try to imagine grabbing an object with your shoulder blades. Repeat this motion ten times. Use this video as a guide.
  • Starting from a standing position, spread your arms to each side and extend your fingers, palms facing down. Bend your wrists and move the backs of your hands towards your face, while still keeping your arms extended. Maintain this position for 10 seconds. This exercise stretches your forearms and biceps, which will help with the backstroke recovery! Use this video as a guide.
  • Knee hugs target your hip and lower back muscles, which can help with push-offs during dives and flipturns. To practice them, lie flat on your back with your legs straight and feet raised off the floor. Bend both legs into your chest, using your hands to squeeze your knees. For a good workout, try repeating this exercise twenty times. Use this video as a guide.
  • In Level 4, we begin to work on adding a bent elbow catch and pull while swimming backstroke. This can easily be practiced on land by placing your forearm on a window sill or other flat surface and applying pressure. Try holding this position for 30 seconds with each arm in order to build muscle memory. Use this video as a guide.
  • To practice breaststroke kick on land, start by practicing simple foot circles. Sit on the ground with your legs straight and your toes pointing forward (Letter ‘I’). Bend your feet at the ankle so that your toes are pointing straight up (Letter ‘L’). Next, keeping the balls of your feet together, turn your feet apart so that your left foot is pointing left and your right foot is pointing right (Letter ‘V’). Finally, roll your feet forward until they are back together and your toes are pointing straight forward again. Remember: Back-Out-Forward. Repeat this process ten times until this motion becomes comfortable. Use this video as a guide.
  • To practice eggbeater kick on land, find a dining room chair or elevated surface to sit on with your legs hanging down at a 90 degree angle. Start by moving your right leg in a circular fashion counterclockwise. Once you become comfortable with that, practice moving your left leg in a circular fashion clockwise. Continue this process for ten cycles until you feel comfortable making a full circle with each leg in an upright sitting posture. Now practice moving both legs together. Start moving your right leg first, and right as your right leg is coming out, move your left leg in. Ideally, you should have a leg going in and a leg coming out at all times. Use this video as a guide.
  • Check out this video for some great exercises to help with dolphin kick.

Level 5
  • Lateral hops are a great way to boost agility and power. To do them, stand straight with your hands by your sides and your feet hip-width apart. Jump with both feet to the right and then to the left in a quick, repetitive motion. See how many hops you can do in 30 seconds! Use this video as a guide.
  • Standing “T” is a good exercise for reinforcing proper posture and engaging the shoulder blades. To perform this exercise, stand in an upright position with your arms raised in front of you and your palms facing up. Slowly squeeze your shoulder blades together as you guide your arms out toward your sides. Try to imagine grabbing an object with your shoulder blades. Repeat this motion ten times. Use this video as a guide.
  • Starting from a standing position, spread your arms to each side and extend your fingers, palms facing down. Bend your wrists and move the backs of your hands towards your face, while still keeping your arms extended. Maintain this position for 10 seconds. This exercise stretches your forearms and biceps, which will help with the backstroke recovery! Use this video as a guide.
  • Knee hugs target your hip and lower back muscles, which can help with push-offs during dives and flipturns. To practice them, lie flat on your back with your legs straight and feet raised off the floor. Bend both legs into your chest, using your hands to squeeze your knees. For a good workout, try repeating this exercise twenty times. Use this video as a guide.
  • You can easily practice the flipturn push-off on land by doing squats, since the motion is essentially the same. For an extra challenge, try doing weighted squats by using a dumbbell or medicine ball. By getting accustomed to squatting with extra weight on your body, your flipturn push-offs will feel a lot easier once you get back in the water! Use this video as a guide.
  • Squat down to the ground with your knees and elbows bent–Try to make your body as small as possible. Then, slowly stand up on your tiptoes and move your arms into a streamline position–Try to stretch all the way up to the ceiling. Repeat this process ten times. This drill helps to practice the breaststroke glide. The straighter and tighter you can make your body, the better your glide will be!
  • Many times, new swimmers use giant arms when learning to do the breaststroke pull. The “windshield wipers” drill can help you focus on what motion to use. Lie on your stomach on the edge of a bed with your head and neck hanging over the edge. Bring your arms forward so your elbows are resting on the edge and your forearms are pressed against the vertical side of the bed. Then imagine you’re on top of a car and you are wiping the windshield with just your forearms. Try not to move your arms from the elbow up or the rest of your body!
  • Check out this video for some great exercises to help with dolphin kick.

Level 6/7
  • Standing leg circles can help to increase balance, coordination, and leg strength. Start by standing straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms to the sides. While keeping the toes pointed, raise one leg at about knee-height and rotate it in a full circle clockwise, then rotate it in a full circle counterclockwise. Repeat the same motion with the opposite leg. Use this video as a guide.
  • Side-to-side heel touches are great for working out the abdominal and oblique muscles. To perform this exercise, start by lying down on your back with your feet on the floor, close to your hips. With your head and shoulders raised slightly off the ground, bend to your left side until you are able to touch your left ankle with your left hand. Repeat the same motion on your right side. Continue for ten repetitions. Use this video as a guide.
  • Scissor jumps are a great exercise for developing both conditioning and power. To do them, start in a lunge position with one leg bent in front of you and one leg bent behind you. Jump up as high as possible and swing your arms to help create lift. Switch the position of your legs in midair, so that you land in the opposite position from where you started. Use this video as a guide.
  • Diver push-ups are a comprehensive exercise, which work out several different muscle groups at a time. To practice them, start in a “diver” position, lying flat on your stomach with your arms and legs stretched out and raised slightly off the ground. Next, bring your arms and legs back down to the ground to perform a basic push-up. Continue to alternate between the diver stretch and the push-up. Use this video as a guide.
  • Vertical butterfly is an effective drill for developing an accelerated pull in order to have a relaxed recovery. You can practice it on land by simply substituting a jump for the dolphin kick. Use this video as a guide.
  • Stretching is a great way to stay in swimming shape, plus it’s a good idea to be in the habit of stretching prior to getting in the pool. Here are some ideas on how to build a simple stretching routine.
  • To practice butterfly arms on land, use the “snow angel” drill. Start by standing with your back to a wall and raise your arms straight up to the ceiling. Next, pull your arms down together in a straight line until they are also touching the wall. Finally, slide your arms slowly up the wall until they are pointing straight up to the ceiling once again. Remember to stretch your arms out straight for a better snow angel.
  • Check out this video for some great exercises to help with dolphin kick.