• Day 9 | Tuesday, April 7

    Core workout for today – see the chart for visuals of the core exercises.

    Please use proper form when doing these exercises.
    If something hurts don’t do it. It is better to hold the exercise for a shorter period of time than to continue with sloppy form.

    20 arm circles – forward with big sweeping arms
    20 arm circles – backwards with big swimming arms

    20 side to side leg swings  with each leg (facing a wall) as you go through these work on extending how far you can swing each time

    20 arm circles – forward with small circles
    20 arm circles – backward with small circles

    20 forward  to backward leg swings with each leg – facing the same way your leg swings

    4 rounds of (See above chart for each type of crunch or plank)
    1 min of crunches / 1 min elbow plank after every set of crunches / 1 min off
    round 1 – cross crunch – knees bent, feet planted – elbow to knee
    round 2 – cycling crunches
    round 3 – knee crunches – feet crossed off the ground
    round 4 – Russian twists

    Push ups – day 9 of the Push up Challenge
    8  – 1 min break
    12 – 1 min break
    10 – 1 min break
    8 – 1 min break

    20 – 40 min of walk or run
    60 – 80 min of bike

    Fitter and Faster has had some great clinics every day.
    Tuesday their topic is balancing School and Swimming.
    Check it out!

    Enjoy the beautiful weather today as this looks to be our warmest day for a bit.

  • Day 8 | Monday, April 6

    Happy Monday All,

    Hope everyone had as nice a weekend as possible while staying close to home! A couple of decent weather days ahead so let’s get outside and take advantage. If you have been following the blog last Monday we detailed some aerobic workouts to try either running or biking (refer to those guidelines from last week.)

    Now that we have all been working our cardio for a few weeks now it is time to step up the daily amount. 
    The 10% rule in running is always good as not to cause injuries as your body adapts to being a land animal. Increase your mileage or time by 10% each week for running.
    Cycling is a bit more forgiving on the body and can typically be ramped up more – once certain parts of your body adjust you can stretch those rides out longer and enjoy being outside with the nice weather.

    Push Up Challenge:
    If you missed a few days please start on the day you last left off with. The idea is to build your body into being able to handle 50 push-ups at the end of a 30 day period. If you miss days – don’t skip ahead just start where you left off. Hopefully you are all definitely feeling toner after a week. If you have been following along since last Monday we are now on Day 8 of the push up challenge. If you are just getting on board start with Day 1! 

    College Swimming: High School Freshman and older if you are thinking you are interested in swimming in College now is a good time to sign up an account at collegeswimming.com It is a clearinghouse for Colleges to check out your times etc. 

    Also here is a recruiting video that MSI (Mn Swimming) put together including a Q & A with Gopher coach Jesse Moore and St. Catherine’s Coach Justin Zook. Very informative and hopefully will get some of your questions answered.

    Zoom Connect! We are planning to connect with the groups this week via Zoom – stay tuned for more details! We would rather be in the water but want to “see everyone” and check in on what and how you are doing. 

  • Day 7 | Friday, April 3

    Today looks to be a day for inside activities. 
    Day 5 of the push up challenge – after today we get a little break with a easier day. I know my arms will appreciate that!

    Here is an IM Challenge workout that Coach Ron did earlier this week and thought it was a good one.
    Hopefully you have two soup cans at home as that is the main equipment. 
    It is pretty short (about 4 min) so maybe once in the morning and again in the afternoon.  Thanks to MN Masters for posting!

    Have a great weekend everyone – we are going to try to have some zoom meetings next week to touch base and see how everyone is doing. 

  • Day 6 | Thursday, April 2

    The hardest part about this sort of lay off and it comes with injury or illness too is staying motivated when you don’t have an end in sight. Or you don’t have a “goal” race to train for.

    Now more than ever it is important to focus on the process of what and why you are doing something and not just the outcome. If dryland training becomes part of your process you will be better off in the long run after we are back in the water.

    At the link below there is an article from US Masters Swimming on how to stay motivated when you can’t train.

    I thought this quote in the article from Carrie Cheadle (mental performance consultant) hit home…. “Focus on the things that you can do, and keep reminding yourself that you will be getting back in the water again.”


    For today here is a nice quick core workout, only 3 minutes! Do it twice if you have time.

    What I like about it – back to the basics!

  • Day 5 | Wednesday, April 1

    ALL ABOUT YOGA TODAY! Thanks to Dena Bretz (yep, Casey’s mom!) for sharing her knowledge and insights into Yoga training for swimmers. Dena is a certified Yoga instructor for Life Time.
    Also, day 3 of the push up challenge – I don’t know about the rest of you but I am definitely feeling those first two days – that tells me it is working!

    Thanks to Dena for sharing her insights 👇

    Before you start with this download the DownDoggApp Which is free til May 1st. This is a nice app as you can choose the level, number of minutes, and “boost” a workout with more shoulders, core or whatever you would like.

    Why Yoga for Swimmers? Yoga is beneficial for swimmers because it allows you to slow down!  It also helps you connect your mind to your body.  Yoga allows you to build strength using the resistance of your own body weight and gravity.  
    What you need. If you have a mat that is great – if not a beach towel is also the right length to practice on.
    Where to start. Even on a day when you are engaging in a different type of work out try to spend 1-2 minutes sitting in meditation and breathing.  In swimming you are told NOT to breathe so taking a couple of minutes to slow down your brain and breathe can calm stress and clear your mind.  Don’t worry if you get distracted (EVERYONE DOES!) just begin again.  Sometimes it helps to picture your lungs as balloons filling and emptying with each inhale and exhale.  
    Once you have spent some time on your breath I highly recommend trying a class on the Down Dog App. If you choose this app the home page has selections: Type of Class – Hatha – means a slower class where you hold the poses for a long time (this class builds strength and stretch) Quick Flow – will mean a quicker class where you move from one pose to another with your breath. (this class has cardio and stretching) Start with one of these. Level- If you have never been taken a yoga class choose “Beginner 2” If you have taken classes before but aren’t a regular yogi choose “Intermediate 2” And if yoga is a regular part of your dryland workouts choose “advanced” (there will be more difficult balance postures in these classes) Boost-This is an opportunity to add something to your class like more core work or more hip stretches.  Feel free to play around with these. Length of class – Do at least 30 minutes – Savasana is the rest at the end of a class choose 3, 4, or 5 minutes 
    I know a lot of you have also been told to run or bike for cardio and stamina training.  Take time after you do these work outs to stretch, and hold the poses for 1-3 minutes.  Here are a couple of suggestions for post-cardio stretches.  The First is Extended Child’s pose where you go from your hands and knees, and then you open your knees wide.  You then push your hips to your heels and reach your arms out in front of you.  The longer you stay in this position the more you will fell the benefit in the connective tissue of your hips and shoulders.  (Pictured Below)

    The other stretch for recovery would be Spinal Twist.  You start laying on your back and pull one knee to your chest.  Take a moment to draw some circles with your knee to massage your hip joint.  If you have started with the right knee use your left hand to take your leg across your body.  The right knee is now on the left side of you mat, and you can further the twist by sliding your chin along your chest and looking over your right shoulder.  This pose will release your lower back as well as your shoulders, and create a stretch the entire length of your spine.  (Pictured Below) 

    Have fun and take your time – these skills can last a life time and will be helpful when you get back in the pool!

  • Day 4 | Tuesday, March 31

    A couple videos for you today:

    This is the all time best relay race in the Olympics, still brings chills!

    16 min core work for Swimmers:

    Looks to be nice for a few more days this week so make sure to get out for some aerobic activity – check the Monday post for simple guidelines!

  • Day 3 | Monday, March 30

    After the rainy weekend today is a great day to get out and enjoy some fresh air. Warmest day of the year (so far) coming up!  Get out for some cardio and also read below to start a push up challenge, get your family and friends to play along!
    Check at the bottom of this post for the WEST Express Trivia Crossword Puzzle – see Sunday’s post for the puzzle if you haven’t done it yet!

    Running/ Walking OR Riding (See Below) 
    10 & Under 10 – 20 minutes (1 – 2 miles)
    12 & Under 20 – 30 minutes (2 – 3 miles)
    14 & Over 20 – 40 minutes (1 – 4 miles)

    Biking is great too (remember to stay on the trails and wear a helmet!) – the general rule of thumb is that you need to bike 3:1 ratio of what you would for running to gain the same benefits of the workout.  For example if you are to run 2 miles, you would need a 6 mile bike to get those same cardio benefits. 

    10 & Under  20 – 40 minutes
    12 & Under  30 – 60 minutes
    14 & Over     40 – 80 minutes 

    4 Week 50 Push Up Challenge – starts TODAY!  See the tips and link of proper form below. For those that are more advanced (Seniors who are already do push ups on a regular basis –  double this chart)
    I remember years ago when William Currie went off to summer camp for two weeks he asked what he should do when he was gone. I said Push ups. He listened! He came back from camp super strong. SO THEY WORK with minimal time and equipment. 

    Push ups are simple and setting a goal keeps a person on track for consistency. 
    Why are Push Ups good for a person:
    From Healthline Magazine Traditional pushups are beneficial for building upper body strength. They work the triceps, pectoral muscles, and shoulders. When done with proper form, they can also strengthen the lower back and core by engaging (pulling in) the abdominal muscles. Pushups are a fast and effective exercise for building strength
    Use this link to view a quick video of a push up with good form and some tips:
    Tips for proper form

    When performing a pushup:

    1. Keep your back straight and your core engaged.
    2. Your butt should be down, not lifted.
    3. Your body should form a straight line. Don’t arch your back or let your body sag down.



  • Welcome!

    Welcome to our newest way to keep everyone in touch during this break from pool time. 
    Look to this site for information Monday Through Friday on ways to keep engaged and self directed workouts for each group level. 
    Thankfully the weather is improving and getting outside for some cardio and fresh air is one of the best ways to cope with this. Check out the Carver County Parks for places to go. They are still open! https://www.co.carver.mn.us/departments/public-works/parks-recreation

    Just to get started – we will get more specific next week: 
    These are activities that all kids of all ages can do. 
    A 1 – 2 mile run for 10 and under and 2 – 4 for 10 and older is great for legs and cardio. Running is the easiest thing to do and quite helpful to maintain a strong cardio. When you get back in the water your cardio will be great! 
    Play tag in the yardPlay basketball 
    Do any parents in the crowd remember hopscotch and 4 square? Go for a bike ride – wear a helmet and stay on paths. One thing I was reading is now is not the time to get injured and overflow hospitals. 
    Start a plank challenge with your child – add time each day OR add number of planks each day at a fixed time i.e start with 1 min plank, day 2 is 2 min planks.
    Take care all!

    WEST Express Coaching Staff 

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