How to do Dryland Workouts Without Weights at Home

Just because the pool is closed doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be keeping active! To help keep yourself moving, you can do dryland workouts without weights at home.

It’s tempting to enjoy the downtime by sitting at home and binging some of your favorite shows. But that shouldn’t be all that you’re doing.

Because at some point, your coach will call you back to the pool, and that month or two that you took off will feel more like a year. 

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You can do these at home easily. And if you have some weights, you can incorporate them, too!

No weights? No worries! You can easily do dryland workouts without weights at home just by sticking with body weight. Or make some of your own 🙂 

DISCLAIMER: I don’t claim to be a trainer, a coach, or a medical provider. These workouts and suggestions are only provided for informational purposes. Only those individuals who can safely complete these workouts should attempt them.

Check with your coach and parents before beginning. Always consult with your health care provider before starting any new workout regimen. If you can’t safely complete an exercise or workout, modify it so it best fits your capabilities

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I earn a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase something through one of my links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please check out my disclosure page for more information.

Warm up and cool down

Regardless of what workout you decide to do, make sure you always start your dryland workout with some form of warm up. Get in some dynamic stretching, in that you’re active in your motions and not just holding a pose.

Do some rotations or jumping jacks to get the blood moving and the body loosened up. Stretch cords or bands are also great to use for warm up and cooling down.

You should repeat the process when you’re cooling down. Don’t just close out a workout and not stretch out some. Do some yoga poses or roll out. If you can, take a walk. 

Warming up and cooling down properly can help prevent injury, even out of the water.

Core Workouts

Swimming starts at the core and every swimmer should make sure they keep up with their core workouts while away from the pool. 

Most core exercises can be completed without weight, which is a great benefit for those of us trying to do dryland workouts without weights at home.

To have the most effective workout, aim for doing repetition on your sets. To include going through a workout twice. You can also look at super-setting similar type workouts for an additional burn.

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Switch out your daily workouts with either sets or timed workouts. Alternating between these will keep your muscles and mind engaged.

You can also challenge yourself by counting cycles vs individual sets. An example of this would be bicycle crunches. A full cycle would be an extension of the left and right leg to count as one set. Instead of counting the left and right leg as two sets.

Some core workouts to try are:

  • 4x 25 cycle Russian Twists
  • 2x 100 cycle flutter kicks
  • 3x 30 superwoman 
  • 100 crunches
  • 5x 20 leg raises
  • Repeat 2-3 times 🙂

If you’re looking for a timed workout, look at doing them in minute increments. Where you complete an ab workout in 45 seconds and rest the remaining 15 seconds. Then move onto the next workout.

45 seconds too much? That’s okay! Do what you can. Try starting out at 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off. Or, increase it to 50 seconds on and 10 seconds off if you really want a challenge.

Some workouts that would fit well are:

  • Planks
  • Side planks
  • Ski planks
  • Mountain climbers
  • Bear crawl variations

You can add as much as you want to these types of workouts. Or, opt to repeat them a certain amount through. As each set takes a full minute, you’ll know exactly how long your workout will take.

Related article: Best Dryland Equipment for Swimmers at Home

Want weights or dryland equipment for your core exercises? You can check out some of the following online.

Leg Workouts

Want some leg workouts? Of course you do! Swimmers need to keep up the leg strength to push off those walls and have fast, explosive starts off the blocks. And for kicking. That’s important too.

Unless you’re a distance swimmer. Then it’s not as important. But even the best distance swimmers keep up with their leg workouts and kicking.

You can also do your leg dryland workouts without weights. Body weight works well for leg workout.

  • 5x 15 squats
  • 2x 10 lunges (cycles)
  • 2x 10 reverse lunges (cycles)
  • 100 Calf raises
  • 3x 30 sumo squats
  • 2x 10 side lunge left (cycles)
  • 2x 10 side lunge right (cycles)
  • And repeat!

Much like the core workouts, you can also put these on a timed workout.

We recently completed a six minute straight lunge jump set with 45 seconds on and 15 rest. However you decide to mix up your timed sets, make sure you have fun with it. But that it also challenges you.

If a timed workout isn’t something you want to attempt with your leg dryland, look at trying a super set instead. Supersets work great with leg exercises, as they really push them when combined the right way.

Our favorite super set is wall sits with holding a deep squat while marching/walking in place. Run through that a few times and you should feel a good burn in your legs.

Combine squat jumps with lunges for a workout to get not just your legs burning but also your heart rate up. 

If you truly want some weights for your leg workouts, check out some of the following online.

Cardio Workouts

Swimming is all about cardio.

It’s one of the best cardio workouts you can get for your body. It’s also one of the easier overlooked aspects in dryland. Mainly because I think that swimmers tend to forget about it.

When you’re not at the pool, you should remember to keep up your cardio. While it’s easy to focus on strength and core for your body, you should also keep your cardio on track, too. 

Most swimmers think of running in terms of cardio. And if you’re anything like most swimmers, running is the pits and you’d rather avoid it :).

The good news is that running isn’t the only option to get in your cardio. And, much like most of the dryland on here, you can do these dryland workouts without weights. 

If you have a bike, take it out for a spin. Get some fresh air while you workout your lungs and heart. 

For those of us who don’t have a bike, you still have other options. Pick up a jump rope (or jump in place, if you don’t have one) and set the timer. You might find yourself surprised at how out of breath you’ll be after a minute or two.

Want some more? Try adding some of these to get the blood moving:

  • 2x 100 jumping jacks
  • 5x 15 squat jumps
  • 10x 10 burpees 
  • 5x 20 cycle mountain climbers

Challenge yourself with some timed workouts as well. Set the timer for 10 minutes and go for 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off. Or 45 seconds on and 15 seconds off. That’s right, hold that pattern for 10 minutes! 

Once you’re done with that 10 minutes, move onto the next workout and repeat 🙂 

Remember to keep water nearby during not just a cardio workout, but any workout. Staying hydrated, especially during the warmer summer months, is always key. 

Arm Workouts

We won’t lie. Trying to complete arm workouts without weights can be a challenge. However, it’s not impossible! It just takes some creativity 😉

Doing any type of push up will work your arms and your chest muscles. If you want a harder workout, mix up the type of push ups that you do.

Some variations of push ups are:

  • Decline push ups (feet raised up and hands on the ground)
  • Push up with one arm raised on a set of books or a block
  • Spider push ups
  • Diamond push ups

Any type of dips will work your triceps. You can do them on a chair if you have that option or even a coffee table. Don’t have either? Triceps dips are still possible.

Sitting on the floor, brace your hands behind you and bend your knees out in front of you. Lift your hips up just a bit off the floor and now dip. You might not feel it at first, but with a couple reps, you’ll start to feel the burn.

Make it a bit harder by extending one leg as you dip.

You can also try:

  • 4x 20 T,Y,I’s (yes, you can still do them without weight!)
  • 5x 30 second planks
    • Forearms
    • Side
    • Full extended
  • Inchworm walkouts
  • Bear crawls

While most of the above arm workouts will also work your core, you’re still bracing with your shoulders. You’ll also use more arm muscles than you realize. Why not get in a core and arm workout at the same time? 😀

Full Body Workouts

It’s tempting to focus just on one section of your body. Maybe your core or legs, and ignoring the rest. Don’t fall into this trap! 

Think about the dryland you do at the pool. You might have a day dedicated to legs, but the next workout you might work on arms. Swimming is a full body workout. So your dryland needs to be a full body workout, too.

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When making your own dryland workouts at home, be sure to mix things up. Not even just by day, but as a whole. Make the first 20 minutes of dryland dedicated to arms. And then the next 30 minutes focused on core.

Mixing these up will give your body a great workout and engages your muscles more than you realize. 

In Closing

While it’s difficult to complete some dryland workouts without weights at home, it’s not 100% impossible.

Body weight goes a long way in keeping your strength up and toned. Try going a week without doing anything and you’ll tell a difference pretty quickly 😉

As always, make sure that you’re warming up and cooling down for all of your workouts. Also, keep water or some type of sports drink handy. It’s easy to forget about hydration when you’re working out at home. And that’s the best way to get cramps.

Keep up with your workouts when you can. Even if they’re just short sessions of 15-20 minutes. Some is better than none.

On the other hand, don’t forget to take recovery days, too! This will help your body, well, recover! And gets it ready for the next weeks’ workouts.

As always, to happy swimming (and dryland)!


Bonus Dryland Content:

How to Do Dryland Workouts at Home: Can’t get to the pool for your workout? Here’s how you can keep up with your workouts and get in some dryland while at home or on the road.

Best Dryland Equipment for Swimmers at Home: Having some pieces of dryland equipment can help enhance your workouts at home. Here are 6 of the best pieces of dryland equipment for workouts at home.

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1 thought on “How to do Dryland Workouts Without Weights at Home”

  1. Dryland is an essential component of swim training. Any training you do outside of the water to improve your swimming performance and prevent injury counts as dryland, including yoga, running, weight training, stretching and more.

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