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Don Oswalt | April 11, 2020

No pool? No worries. Swim equipment to help you with dry land exercises is going to be a lifesaver for you.

Over the past month I know many of you triathletes have had to face a lot of disappointment. Races have been postponed or cancelled consequently leaving you feeling sad, anxious and probably a little uncertain about what the future holds.

With all the pools and gyms closed due to the Covid-19 virus I know many of you are probably questioning what your swim is going to look like when all of this is behind you and you get to race again.

Rest assured, there are several things you can do to build your swim strength.

So, if you’re not in the pool how do you build strength? While you might not be able to get in the pool, you can still build your triathlon swim strength with dry land exercises that can be done at home.

The good news is, with a little creativity, you can target the muscles you use when swimming.

A huge part of successful swimming is the ability your arms have to pull and push your body through the water. Dry land training develops power and as a result will transfer nicely once you get back into the water.

For that reason, we’ve put together a list of “must have” dry land swim equipment that can be used at home.

Also, be sure to check out The 32 Best Gifts for Triathletes blog for some great ideas for yourself and for your triathlete friends!

Use the gear below to build your upper body exercises for swimming.

*Note: we earn a small commission from affiliate links at no additional cost to you. 

Dry Land Swim Equipment – Resistance Bands


Resistance Bands are a “must have” swim equipment for land-based swimming exercises.

Some of the benefits of using resistance bands for your triathlon training swim workout are:
  • Convenience
  • Ease of Use
  • Effectiveness
  •  Safety

These inexpensive exercise tools are a convenient option for triathletes of any age and fitness level. Resistance band exercises are surprisingly effective and consequently offer a ton of benefits to help build your upper body swim strength.


FINIS Dry land swim equipmentFINIS Slide Dryland Swimming and Sports Training Resistance Exercise Bands with Rotating Handles


Swim Equipment for Dry Land Exercises 25-30 pound resistance bands

Workout Resistance Tube Band Anti-snap Exercise Loop Band with Handles Door Anchor


Swim Equipment for Dry Land Exercises - stretch cords

SuperStroke StrechCordz with Handles


Resistance band set for Dry Land ExercisesFitness Insanity Resistance Bands Set – 5-Piece Exercise Bands – Stackable Up to 150 lbs.


Resistance Band and Strength training set for Dry land Exercises

CHAREADA 22 Pack Resistance Bands Set Workout Bands, 5 Stackable Exercise Bands 5 Loop Resistance Bands

Resistance bands for dry land swim training

Jienixiya Resistance Bands Set, Exercise Bands with Door Anchor, Handles, Waterproof Carry Bag, Legs Ankle Straps for Resistance Training, Home Workouts


20 Minute Dry Land Swim Circuit with Marni Sumbal

If you need some inspiration and motivation for a “swim” dryland workout, here’s a video that Marni did with her Trimarni team.

Dry Land Swim workout

If you like this video and would like more, check out our new 6-week maintenance training plan by Marni which includes videos (like this one) for strength, planks and swim dry land, along with a variety of structured bike and run workouts. To learn more about the training plan, click HERE.


Dave Scott Workout

Here are a few tips using resistance bands from 6 time Ironman World Champ Dave Scott.

Dave Scott demonstrating using resistance bands


Stability Ball


A stability ball should be part of your swim equipment stash. This ball is a dynamic and dry land triathlon workout tool. You can incorporate a stability ball into your workout to take your core stability to the next level.

Stability balls can be a little tricky to start with, but as you learn to use it and get your balance you will see how fun it can be to include it into your endurance strength routine.

5 Major benefits of including a fitness ball into your workout routine:
  • Core Strength
  • Improved Flexibility
  • Develop Balance
  • Promote Coordination
  • Strengthen Lower Back

Here are some of our favorites.

Swim Equipment - Stability Ball for dry land strength training

Wacces Professional Exercise, Stability and Yoga Ball for Fitness, Balance & Gym Workouts- Anti Burst


Stability Ball for dry land strength training

Retrospec Luna Exercise Ball, Base & Pump with Anti-Burst Material, Perfect for Balance, Stability, Yoga & Pilates


Dry land gear for triathletes to build strength - Fitness Ball

Home Gym Bundle Exercise Ball with 15LB Resistance Bands & Stability Base – Workout from Home – Great for All Fitness Levels – 65CM


Swim Equipment - Stability Ball for dry land strength training

PACEARTH Exercise Ball Yoga Balance Fitness Ball Chair 65cm Stability Birthing Workout Ball with Quick Pump and Resistance Bands for Office,Home,Gym (Pink)



Pull-Up Bar For Home


Pull-ups are one of the most common and basic exercises out there. But it can be a very challenging exercise for beginners. Because it’s also probably one of the best exercises for building your lats and back muscles a pull-up bar should be part of your collection of swim equipment.  The pull-up bar will definitely help improve your swim strength.

Because your lats play a big role in swimming, strengthening your lats will help to build a stronger pull.

5 Main benefits of pull-ups will strengthen:
  • Lat Muscles
  • Your Back
  • Rear Shoulders
  • Core Muscles
  • Forearms

Pull up bar for Dry Land Exercises

TANTIKC Foam Handle Doorway Upper Pull Rod Perfect Multifunctional Portable Pull-Ups-Push-Ups Home-Gym


Pull up bar for Dry Land Exercises

Garren Fitness Maximiza Pull Up Bar – Locking Doorway Pullup Bar/Chin up Bar with 3 Sets of Screw-in Door-Mounts (2 Heavy-Duty and 1 Medium-Duty Sets), 26 to 39 Inches Adjustable Width


Pull up bar for Dry Land Exercises

Stamina Door Gyms


Pull up bar for Dry Land Exercises

Iron Core Athletics Joist Mount Pull Up Bar – Heavy Duty Joist Mounted Pull-Up/Chin Up Bar


Doorway Pull up bar for Dry Land Exercises

Multifunctional Pull Up Bar for Doorway with Mount Hook No Screw Chin Up/Situp Bar Ergonomic Grip Home Gym Exercise Equipment Strength Training Upper Body Workout Bar with Resistence Band


If you have some extra room…

Home gym for building overall strength

YADEOU Power Tower Dip Station Pull Up Bar for Home Gym Strength Training Workout Equipment


Foam Roller


Foam rolling is one activity that you should add into your routine as an athlete. Think of it as a way to “self massage” your body.

It targets the muscles and fascia and therefore helps free up stiffness and tension.

Below are some of the benefits of foam rolling:
  • Reduces Muscle Soreness
  • Restores Elasticity to Fascia
  • Improves Flexibility and Range Of Motion
  • Injury Prevention

Foam Roller

AmazonBasics High-Density Round Exercise Therapy Foam Roller – 36 Inches, Black


Foam Roller

321 STRONG ALIFFBA Foam Roller, Medium Density Deep Tissue Massager for Muscle Massage and Myofascial Trigger Point Release, with 4K eBook, Aqua


Trigger Point Foam Roller

TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller with Free Online Instructional Videos, Original (13-Inch), Black


High Density Foam Roller

Original Body Roller – High Density Foam Roller Massager for Deep Tissue Massage of The Back and Leg Muscles – Self Myofascial Release of Painful Trigger Point Muscle Adhesions – 13″ Black


Trigger Point Foam Roller

TriggerPoint CORE Multi-Density Solid Foam Roller with Free Online Instructional Videos


Vibrating Foam Roller

Epitomie Fitness VIBRA Vibrating Foam Roller – Next Generation Electric Foam Roller with 5 Speeds Settings | Includes Carry Case & Vibration Foam Rolling Training


Foam Roller Set

Invincible Fitness Foam Roller Set, Includes Muscle Roller Stick, Double Peanut Massage Ball, Trigger Point Ball and 3 Resistance Loop Bands, for Self – Myofascial Release, Deep Tissue Massage


Triathlon Strength Training Resources

This certainly is a great time to not only be working on your swim strength, but your overall strength to become a better triathlete.

Even more now than ever this seems like a perfect time to go deeper into strength training. If you’re ready, check out the resources below.

Strength Training for Triathletes book

Strength Training for Triathletes: The Complete Program to Build Triathlon Power, Speed, and Muscular Endurance


Holistic Strength Training for Triathlon

Holistic Strength Training For Triathlon


Athlete to Triathlete book

Athlete to Triathlete: The Ultimate Triathlon Training Plan for Sprint and Olympic Races


The Triathlete's Training Bible

The Triathlete’s Training Bible: The World’s Most Comprehensive Training Guide, 4th Ed.


Finally, to all the triathletes out there above all, don’t give up! Stay positive, use this time to develop your skills as an athlete. While we practice social distancing and honor stay at home orders focus on those things that you can control, like strengthening your swim. Grab some of the swim equipment above and have some fun. Focus on things that fill you with positive vibes and happiness. Because this is what’s going to get your through until we see brighter days.

If you’re looking for other equipment ideas you can head over to this blog for some cool triathlon gift ideas.


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Dietitian Kathleen and Kona-Qualifier Don Oswalt

Welcome to Eat Love Triathlon! We’re Don and Kathleen your go-to dietitian and triathlete. Together, we’re here to share our latest and greatest tips, with you, on how to be a well-balanced triathlete with nutrition, triathlon and keeping harmony in your relationships. We’re excited you’ve stopped by, happy reading and don’t be shy about reaching out. We’d love to hear from you!