Water Polo Strength Training Workout
A high quality water polo strength training workout is important simply because of the massive physical demands the sport places on its athletes. Not only must you have the lung capacity to swim like mad for extended periods of time, you must also have the physical strength to explode into motion, reverse direction, and fight through your opponents. The strength training workouts listed below can help you make certain that you are prepared.
- Chase Sprints. This water polo workout is performed in a pool, either alone or with a partner. Begin on one edge of the pool, then throw a ball in a random direction (or have your partner throw it). Swim as fast as possible until you reach the ball, then swim more easily to the other side. Repeat for a predetermined swim distance or length of time.
- Whistle Sprints. This water polo workout is like a more challenging version of chase sprints (except that you don't need a ball for this one). In this version, your partner blows a whistle and points in a particular direction; you swim as fast as you can in that direction. In a few seconds, your partner blows the whistle again and points in a different direction; swim as fast as you can in that direction. Since this workout will bring your heart rate up very quickly, it is best to divide it into a set number of rounds of a few minutes each.
- Strength Training Resistance Exercises. Resistance training, whether through the use of weights, elastic bands, or similar means, is also important for a high level water polo player. Some of the most important such exercises for water polo are squats and deadlifts for legs, back, etc.; leg raises and resistance sit-ups for core; and rows and lat pulls for back and shoulders. The more exercises and muscle groups that are used, however, the better.
- Supersets vs. Isolation. A sport like water polo that requires a high level of both power and endurance will frequently be best served by the use of supersets in strength training. Supersets simply mean that instead of isolating a single exercise or muscle group for a certain number of reps and then resting, you will immediately move on to another exercise that uses a different muscle group. Supersets can include a circuit of many different exercises; sometimes in isolation for lower body, upper body, etc., or something for the entire body at once.