Most swimmers need yardage to form a solid base, but endless laps in the pool can be boring, and can lead to burn-out, breakdown, and injury. That�s where training on dry land comes to the rescue. And by �dryland� I don�t mean just crunches and pushups. I mean INTENSE activity.

P is for Persistence

persistence, noun, the act of persisting, to refuse to give up, especially when faced with opposition or difficulty; to continue firmly or steadily in a chosen course or purpose. Stretch and fitness guru Tom Drum sends some inspiration to help you reach your goals in 2005.

Some of the best athletes at harnessing the power developed at your midsection are full-contact kickboxers and Thai fighters. They realized early on that strength in the midsection was greatly enhanced with extraordinary flexibility. Flexibility allows them to use their whole body as a power unit, rather than having to rely on individual appendages. This week’s drill of the week, sent to us by stretchmeister Tom Drum, can become a secret weapon for you in swimming, allowing you to use your hips to propel your stroke.

Throughout my years of coaching people in many disciplines, occasionally one big change greatly enhances an athlete�s ability. For the most part, however, it�s improvement in a lot of little things that adds up to a big change in performance. Here’s an incredibly simple exercise you can do with an incredibly simple piece of equipment — that will bring huge benefits.

While throwing a medicine ball back and forth with a partner has always been a great workout, this abdominal set takes it to the next level.

Stretchmeister Tom Drum sends us a stretch specifically designed to help increase shoulder flexibility for freestyle, and to help you become more balanced — left to right — in your freestyle recovery.

Medicine-ball training has been used for decades to train athletes desiring superior results. Swimmers especially can reap tremendous strength, range-of-motion, and power benefits with a regular program. Here’s a med-ball exercise developed by stretchmeister Tom Drum.

At the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials in Long Beach, CA, it was fascinating to watch the swimmers go through their warm-up routines. In fact, this part of Trials was almost more educational than the races themselves. I’d show up early to observe warm-ups, and to see how all these world-class swimmers dealt with the pre-race jitters.