5 amazing Pool workouts for sprinters

What are Pool workouts for sprinters

The Pool workouts for the sprinter’s Circuit were born after deep-water running was discovered and well after the Judo Circuit was formulated.

Above all, it was either a sign of my insanity as an athlete or perhaps just a response to the inner delight I felt when first I unleashed a crude form of it on Coops one morning.

As a result, who will no doubt remember this and many subsequent occasions as his introduction to bile?

For instance, I have since regarded it as a neat cross-training activity, and you can use it as a substitute for the Judo Circuit in your program or simply as something different for the week.

It’s a good pool workout for sprinters and great fun. It would help if you did it properly.

In conclusion, I must give credit to some of these crazy exercises to some friends in Victoria in 1994, who used them as an adjunct to their training as sprinters on the national team.


  1. Flush Waste Lactic Acid
  2. Aids Recovery. Stimulate Blood Flow. Gets Oxygen in the Blood.
  3. Provide Constant Tension. Resistance.
  4. High Volume Concentric Contractions


  1. An aide with Recovery from Injury
  2. Prevent Injury
  3. Build higher levels of lactic Tolerance

(Hannan, 2005)



  1. Do 5 easy warmup laps ending at the shallow end of the pool (rest 2 mins)
  2. 2 Mins Tread Water. (rest 2 mins)

Hip Internal External Rotation 1 min on each leg on both sides

  1. Leg Swings 1 min each leg side front
  2. Leg Swings 1 min each front to back
  1. Tuck Jumps for 30 seconds in the pool (rest 3 mins)

Swim Sets for Sprinters

    1. Feet remain on the ground. Head up, back straight, brace abs and glutes.
    2. Do 11 sets of sprints with 3×15 seconds with 15 seconds off between each one, 2 x 30 seconds with 30 seconds off between each one, 1 x 45 seconds with 45 seconds off, then 2 x30 seconds with 30 seconds off between each one, and then 3×15 seconds with 15 seconds off. (rest 3-5 mins).
  1. Warm Down easy swimming with a flotation board 2 laps


Pool workouts for sprinters (done in pairs). See below for explanations of each step.

A. 5 laps of the pool warm-up B. Arm sprint session C. Dips session D. Sit-ups E. 5 sprints of pool F. 10 tea bags

A. Go to the deep end of the pool and take the plunge

Also, good mental conditioning will be necessary for when winter comes around.

Hence do five easy ‘warm-up’ (hoho) laps ending up at the shallow end.

Also, make polite conversation with anyone else who is in that lane, as you are about to start something quite extraordinary and you want them thinking the very best of you.

B. Also, the arm sprint session is one of my personal favorites

From the shallow end, wade down the pool until the water is around nipple height.

Also, you need to be able to get a full range of motion of your arms in a sprinting style underwater, such that your triceps come just to the surface behind you and your cupped hands in front.

Hence feet should remain firmly on the ground at all times, and knees should be able to ‘bounce’ to stabilize each motion.

Consequently, the posture is the same as for the deep-water running – head up, back straight, brace your abdominals and gluteals, and back musculature to isolate your arms.

Turn and face the pool clock and note the second hand.

Swim Sets for Speed: Do 11 sets of sprints in the following order:

  • 3 x 15 seconds with 15 seconds off between each one
  • 2 x 30 seconds with 30 seconds off between each one
  • 1 x 45 seconds with 45 seconds off
  • then back down (2x30s with –2 x 30s; 3 x 15s with -3 x 15s).
  • Make sure you max out!

C. Your upper body should now be primed for the onslaught of dips.

Go to the poolside and place your palms flat on the edge facing out of the pool.

Bend knees to 90 degrees and let your body hang (big people may need to go further down the pool). Also, no part of your knees or legs should touch the bottom during the dips.

Make it a full motion such that you start with your chin on the ledge and complete with arms straight, thighs touching the ledge.

Stay in control on the way down to avoid losing any teeth.

Do a similar pyramid of sets with the arm sprints

  • 3 x 5 dips with –3 x 5s
  • 2 x 10 dips with –2 x 10s
  • 1 x 15 dips with –1 x 15s
  • then come back down again to 3 x 5.

You may wish to increase the reps in each set if you think this is too easy.

D. After your last dip, haul yourself out of the pool while your partner stays in.

Up to this point, you and your partner have been doing it together.

Now take it in turns (leave this sentence alone, you dirty buggers).

Your partner slings his/her legs out of the pool such that the calves are flat on the ledge and the thighs run down the pool wall.

Hold your partner’s legs firmly, and you are ready for sit-ups. Away you go – full crunch. Do three sets of 50 alternating with your partner.


E. Almost there. Make 5 sprints of the pool, with a full recovery between each sprint (as long as you like). Max out.


F. Then 10 tea bags to finish off.

This exercise was more effective when wearing a full battle dress, but you will get the idea.

It would help if you had ended up back in the deep end after your last sprint, so you can start straight away – aim to haul yourself out of the pool in one complete maneuver (i.e., basically exploding out of the beginning of a dip motion to end with both feet on the side of the pool).

Then jump back in.

Please do it again, and again, and again (10 times).

Don’t cheat by springing off the bottom. It’s less painful if you go for it and don’t be a beached whale.

Again, remember posture control: Brace! Brace! Brace!

Courtesy to Swimmers

The pool workouts for the sprinter’s circuit are quite disruptive to morning lap swimmers, so don’t overload the pool with too many people doing this at once! Ideally, one pair could do it at the shallow end of the slow lane of the pool – many more people, and you’ll find yourself being asked to play elsewhere!.

And make sure you chat with your partner during the pool workouts for the sprinters’ circuit to allow for a full recovery and procreate club gossip.

And I nearly forgot one of life’s simple pleasures: if you happen to do this at Victoria Park Pool (recommended as it’s outdoors and has scenic surroundings), you will find a neat little chin-up bar (of sorts) in the playground on the City Roadside.

I misspent much of my youth here following pool visits. A simple one-minute visit each time and your maximum effort for a number 201 of chin-ups will serve as a good indicator of how the training is progressing.

pool workouts

Are pool workouts a great way to build mental toughness?

Yes, they are a great way to improve your mental toughness.

Here are 7 ways to help you improve your mental toughness

  1. Committing to starting.
  2. Drown out the negativity.
  3. Be competitive.
  4. Consistency.
  5. Focus.
  6. A step above what’s typical.
  7. Getting into the habit.

Working out in the pool will make you very hungry, haha.

Some tips and tricks to working out and staying healthy are the keys to building mental toughness.


Brian Power 2000

Hannan, S. (2005), Speed Performance – Thinking Outside the Square

Pool workouts for sprinters



Categories: 05. Training
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