Skip to Content

Swimmer Exercise | Swimming Workout 2023

The Swimmer is a key exercise in the conditioning drill designed to strengthen multiple body parts.

  • This exercise targets specific muscle groups crucial in various training and combat tasks. 
  • I will cover the benefits of the swimmer exercise and then the regular swimming workout.

Army Swimmer PRT Exercise

The Swimmer mainly focuses on strengthening what’s often referred to as the “posterior chain” of muscles. This chain includes:

  • Back of the shoulder
  • Neck
  • Spine
  • Hips
  • Legs

The posterior chain is vital for maintaining good posture and balance, making the Swimmer an essential exercise for overall body strengthening.


  • This exercise strengthens the lower back and shoulder muscles while promoting quadrilateral coordination of the arms and legs.

Starting Position: 

  • The prone position with the arms extended, palms facing down, and toes pointed to the rear.


  • SLOW


  1. Raise the left arm and right leg 4 to 6 inches off the ground while arching the back slightly and looking upward.
  2. Return to the starting position.
  3. Raise the right arm and left leg 4 to 6 inches off the ground while arching the back slightly and looking upward.
  4. Return to the starting position.
Army Swimmer Exercise
Army Swimmer Exercise

Check Points:

  • At the starting position and throughout the exercise, maintain tightness in the abdominal and hip muscles.
  • On counts 1 and 3, raise the head slightly and look upward.
  • Keep the toes pointed throughout the exercise.


  • Do not move into counts 1 and 3 with a jerking motion.

How to do the Swimmer Exercise at Home

Though instructions might vary slightly based on the specifics of your conditioning drill, the general steps to perform The Swimmer exercise are as follows:

  1. Positioning: Start in a prone position, lying flat on your stomach. Extend your arms straight before you and keep your legs behind you.
  2. Movement: Simultaneously lift your opposite arm and leg off the ground as if you’re swimming. For example, if you lift your right arm, lift your left leg, and vice versa.
  3. Repetition: Continue the “swimming” motion for the recommended number of repetitions, maintaining controlled and smooth movements throughout.

Muscles Worked by Swimmer Exercise

The Swimmer exercise primarily works the muscles of the posterior chain, which include:

  • Upper body, such as Trapezius, Rhomboids, and Latissimus Dorsi, contribute to neck, shoulder, and arm movements.
  • Mid-body, such as Erector Spinae, aids in spinal movements and maintaining posture.
  • The lower body, such as the Gluteus Maximus, Hamstrings, and Calves (Gastrocnemius and Soleus), assist in hip and knee movements and flexion.

The swimmer exercise is beneficial for enhancing strength and performance in physical activities, but proper execution is critical to preventing potential injuries.

Safety Tips and Cautions

While performing The Swimmer exercise, keep these safety tips in mind:

  1. Control: Always perform the movements in a controlled manner and do not rush the exercise, as it could lead to strain or injury.
  2. Form: Ensure that your form is correct throughout the exercise, as proper form optimizes the benefits of the exercise and reduces the risk of injury.
  3. Listen to your body: If you feel discomfort or pain while performing the exercise, stop immediately and consult a professional.
  4. Warm-up: Warm up your body before you start the exercise, and cool down afterward, as this helps prepare your muscles for the workout and aids recovery.
  5. Progression: Start with several repetitions you can comfortably perform and gradually increase as your strength and endurance improve.

Adding swimmer exercises to your routine can help improve your overall fitness level, significantly strengthening your posterior chain, which is essential for various training and combat tasks. 

Application of The Swimmer in Training and Combat Tasks

The Army Swimmer exercise targets many muscle groups you use in training and combat tasks. These include:

  1. Low crawling: The strength of the neck, spine, hips, and legs is crucial in low crawling, making the swimmer exercise beneficial.
  2. Prone firing: Posterior muscles help stabilize the body during prone firing positions; this allows for more accurate and controlled firing. 
  3. Swimming: As the name suggests, the Swimmer exercise improves swimming performance; a strong back, shoulder, hips, neck, and legs help you make smoother and more efficient strokes when swimming. 

In summary, the swimmer exercise is an all-around workout that has improved my overall fitness and combat readiness, making it a crucial component of my conditioning drill two activities.

Swimming Exercise

I will now move on to swimming and not the swimmer exercise I addressed above.

Swimming is a form of physical activity that involves movement through different water bodies, such as oceans, lakes, or artificial pools.

  • It provides significant low-impact cardio benefits, making it a suitable exercise option for individuals across all fitness levels.
  • The sports industry recognizes various swim competitions, each with its unique style, including freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, and butterfly. Each style requires specific techniques and skills for effective performance.
  • Swimming offers numerous health benefits, such as improved cardiovascular health, stronger muscles, and stress reduction. The weightless sensation while floating on water adds to the appeal of swimming.
  • Due to its non-weight-bearing nature and effectiveness in achieving maximum results, swimming is the preferred physical activity for those seeking to maintain good health or aspiring to become professional athletes.

Performance in Swimming

  • Successful performance in swimming requires effective utilization of strength, technique, and endurance-based skills.
  • Swimmers must maintain accurate form throughout their swim session or race to achieve peak performance.
  • Performance initiation starts with various techniques when plunging from starting blocks into deep waters. However, effective arm strokes synchronized with leg movements contribute to propulsion in water.
  • Proper breathing is crucial during each stroke, with swimmers required to turn their heads every 2-3 strokes to maximize their body position.
  • Endurance is a fundamental aspect of swimming, as sustained physical effort forms the core of this sport.
  • A strong core contributes to stable and efficient movements in water, which is necessary for achieving top performance levels.
  • Strength, endurance, and technique contribute to successful swimming performance, underscoring the importance of correct form in every exercise or race session.

Benefits of Swimming

It is an excellent form of physical activity that delivers immense benefits while being fun at the same time. 

Everyone can enjoy this low-impact workout, regardless of age or fitness level. Below are some reasons why you should think about incorporating swimming into your exercise regimen:

Cardiovascular Health

  • One benefit of swimming is its positive impact on cardiovascular health by improving lung capacity and blood circulation. 
  • Swimming also offers an opportunity to burn calories without putting undue pressure on joints while simultaneously honing muscles. 

Mental Health

  • Swimming has significant mental health impacts because it can help reduce anxiety due to its relaxation response when one is in the water. 

Strength and Endurance

  • Swimming improves overall strength and endurance by engaging multiple muscle groups during each workout. 

Prevents injuries

  • Swimming is essential because it can prevent injuries over time, unlike other exercises that can harm joints without such safeguards due to the resistance that water provides.

When you devote time to swimming regularly, you invest in your physical and mental health, regardless of whether you seek a toned or active lifestyle.

My Swimming Regime

  • Before starting, I usually ensure I have appropriate swimwear, goggles, and a cap if necessary. 
  • I choose safe and suitable locations for swimming, like safe pools or appropriate open water spaces. 
  • Start with beginner-focused training courses with skilled coaches, initially focusing on basic drills like floating or kicking. 
  • I also warm up before and stretch after each session to avoid injuries.

Army Swimming Pros and Cons


Swimming is an exercise routine that improves physical health while being easy on the body’s joints. 

  • Swimming is a low-impact exercise that enhances cardiovascular health by boosting lung capacity and strength—resulting in longer-lasting endurance during daily activities and improving respiratory function over time. 
  • Swimming has psychological advantages: regular aquatic activity promotes lessened stress levels and enhances mood and mental well-being. 
  • Swimming provides relief from oppressive heat during warm weather months!


The following are some of the issues that come with swimming:

  • Swimmers with overly sensitive skin or respiratory problems may experience discomfort due to chlorinated water exposure. 
  • Swimmers’ ears or other infections can result from overexposure in an aquatic environment.
  • Only some have access to a swimming pool.


Including swimming as part of your weekly routine will significantly improve your health through increased stamina and enhanced cardiovascular fitness levels, as well as developing strength throughout various muscle groups. 

Be adventurous- try a dip in your local swimming pool! You might just be surprised about how fantastic you feel!

George N.