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Virtual Coach: Exercise Articles and Links


At-home yoga for swimmers. For the next two months Swimming-Specific Yoga will be offering free online yoga classes (25-45 minutes) for swimmers ending May 31st. These yoga classes can help you not only maintain, but improve your fitness levels. They will also benefit your mental wellness during these challenging times.

USMS member/coach, Bo Hickey, is releasing dryland workouts on Mondays and Thursdays for a few weeks for you to complete at home. There will be a bodyweight option and a minimal-equipment option.
These dryland routines will help you maintain mobility and strength during this time of social distancing. More...

Feeling fit and looking to take a 30 day fitness challenge? Try this ultimate at home workout. It's intense, only 20 minutes long and is an excellent home body weight workout for fat loss and total body conditioning. More...

Feeling fit and looking to take a 30 day fitness challenge? Try this ultimate at home workout. It's intense, only 20 minutes long and is an excellent home body weight workout for fat loss and total body conditioning.

Exercise Scientists Say One 23-Minute Workout a Week Is Nearly as Effective as Three--but There Is One Catch. Improve aerobic fitness, lose weight, lower blood pressure... all it can take is one 23-minute workout per week. (But it's a tough 23 minutes.)

Here is another great exercise option from 10am swimmer, Cecily Sprouse. She's been recommending fitnessblender.com to some of her swimming buddies. They have many free classes and you can vary the type of exercise you want: she rotates cardio, weights and stretching so she's not doing the same thing everyday. The classes also range in time from just 10 minutes to 45 minutes.

Why Having a Daily Routine is Important - More than ever, it provides structure at home

Colin Powell once gave a powerful TED Talk on the importance of instilling structure in children.  It is the same with adults.  Routine provides a sense of structure and familiarity.  Structure is a way of organizing your life so that it makes sense to you.  You wake up with a sense of ownership, order, and organization of your life. 

One of the more convenient reasons why structure is important is because it negates the need to regularly schedule your days ahead of time.  You already know what you are doing each and every day.  Once you are finished with a task, you already know what is next on your schedule.  This structure provides direction in your life, enabling you to act instead of standing still because of a lack of direction or decision paralysis (not doing anything because you don’t know what to do). 

Have you created your workout plan for the week?  If not, then get on it.  You can go for a hike, run, walk, jump rope, run in place, aerobic dance videos…lift weights, duffel bags of books or bags of can goods;  squats, lunges, bicep curls, tricep extensions, shoulder exercises, band workouts, balance drills, etc!
Get your plan going – write it down and send it to me or Mary by next Monday.  If possible, try to stay on your normal swim workout schedule as you did before and it will be easier to manage!
GET GOING and Stick to it.!

Coaches Note from Stu and Mary
It's been four weeks of shutdown and it's now time for a change. It's time for a DAM Check-In! 
We need to see you and hear from you. You need to know how much we miss you and if you didn't know it already, we just like being with you. Standing on the pool deck and just checking in with you makes us feel complete. Well, it's time to fix that.
Starting today you're going to show us (and the whole DAM team) exactly what you're doing. We want you to make a short video and send it to us via email. The video needs to be less than 25mb (no more than 10 seconds) and it should introduce yourself and state or show what type of exercising you're doing. In future snippets we'll ask you to show and tell us what you're doing in your free time, but for now it's about exercising. We want you to put yourself out there - literally- and be accountable to yourself, your coaches and your teammates for the benefit of your health. 
Here's the first video. It's Stu and Mary, and a couple surprise contributors. This is all we're looking for. Have fun and let's see what you've got.

Nine Minute Video for 60+ Athletes:  Do these 5 exercises DAILY. Balance, coordination, strength, stability, and posture are all things that need to be addressed if we want to age successfully. 5 exercises that should be included in all programs: Bridging, heel lifts, grapevine for balance and coordination, squats, and scapular strengthening for posture improvement. All exercises in the video should be done for 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions 3 times per week.  More...

Here are some core exercises you can do everyday to build core strength whilst stuck at home!

You should know what the best core exercises are... Why? Many athletes don’t understand the principals of how to train their core effectively and without it causing pain. Pain isn’t always a good sign, and you certainly shouldn’t use it as an indication of good training.    More...  


The following two articles on healthy, smart nutrition come from USMS.

1. If you're unable to swim, you should modify your diet. 

When you’re training, you need to stay fueled, which can be accomplished by eating additional snacks or heartier meals. But what happens when you take a break? If you eat the same way you were when you were training hard, you’ll most likely gain weight.

To maintain your weight when you’re not training, you’ll need to adjust your diet. Here are five tips on how you can make those modifications. 

2. Try eating these items to help you fight off illness

A strong immune system can help your body fight against infections and reduce the risk of getting sick. To improve your immune resistance (the ability to destroy pathogens) and increase immune tolerance (the ability to decrease infection), eat a well-balanced diet full of nutrient-rich vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. More...


Watch four young French swimmers recreate their National Team's 400 Medley Relay in the privacy of each of their bedrooms (pools). More...

Tethered Swimming in Backyard Pools: With the new, warmer weather suddenly upon us, those of you with backyard pools (or neighbors with the same) may be thinking about doing some tethered (stationary) swimming. Mary and Stu hope to be in a friend's pool next week creating some instructional videos on basic technique and training for stationary swimming. Before that, check out these videos from a South Texas Masters coach and some practices from a Long Beach Masters coach.

Strength Training Program for DAM Donors

THRIVE and POWER10 owner and DAM member, Amy Spence, (click here for full bio) is offering a free, online strength training program for DAM members who continue to donate their dues to the club during the Covid-19 shutdown. Amy offered this to the club as her way to support DAM and we are very grateful and excited about the opportunity to exercise with her and our teammates.

Here is what we have in mind - 
  • All DAM members donating full dues are eligible for the program and will receive a private invitation to access the online classes. Anyone currently paying leave-only fees ($9/mo) can change their status to donor by contacting registrar@damfast.org before April 28.
  • Classes will be offered through a private portal on the DAM Facebook page.  Eligible DAM members who don't yet have a Facebook page will be taught how to open a basic account with no strings attached.
  • Rest assured that the exercises will include progressions and regressions at three different levels tailored to meet the diverse ability levels of our swimmers.
  • The three levels of Advanced, Intermediate and Rookie exercises will be demonstrated each session by Amy, Stu and Mary.
  • No additional equipment is required as the program will primarily offer body weight exercises only. (Optional dumbbells for Advanced and soup cans for Intermediate may be offered)
  • The exercise routine will focus on four themes - Upper Body, Lower Body, Full Body and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).  
  • Eight original sessions, created and led by Amy (two live and six pre-recorded) will be available through the Facebook portal and can be accessed and repeated whenever needed. Each session will last between 30 and 40 minutes.
  • The initial live class is this Wednesday, April 29 at noon. The second and final live class will be on Monday, May 4 at noon. After those two live sessions, the next six pre-recorded sessions will posted every Monday and Thursday for three weeks. 


Russian Olympic swimmer, Yuliya Efimova, under quarantine at a California rental, found a creative way to train her adamantine abs in the kitchenn.  Turn the volume down a bit and do not try all these at home. (This is the extended version.)

And here's a link to a fun, new way to enjoy pushups. 


Yoga for DAM Swimmers: Check out for some yoga fun while you shelter in place from DAM member Lisa Fischer. Lisa is one of our substitute coaches who swims regularly at 7am and is also a yoga inspired Life and Leadership coach.  She teaches yoga and has created a YouTube channel called Yoga for Everyone with Lisa Fischer - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxQ9-fQDPFRjljhjXZjE4cg/featured.  She'll be adding more classes shortly, let her know if you desire anything in particular! 

10 Best Exercises for Swimmers: An effective dryland program, performed just twice a week, can pay huge dividends in the water while reducing the potential for injury. Even the most accomplished swimmers tend to lack joint stability on land because of the movements in the pool, and any swimmer can benefit from increased lower body power to get further off the blocks and the wall. By working on stability in the joints, rotation through the hips, core and shoulders, and lower body power on land, swimmers can shave times off their races in the water. More...

5/11 & 5/14

Dryland Exercise for DAM Swimmers: Check out for some exercise fun and current COVID-19 Services at Thrive and POWER10, offered by DAM member Amy Spence.

We provide Daily Fitness Classes accessible online as a way to inspire exercise, facilitate connections and keep our hearts, minds & bodies fit and healthy! Now more than ever people need exercise, virtual communities and connection. We offer live and re-playable classes via a Private Facebook Group and Private YouTube Channel. You can sign up for Daily Livestream Classes ($20 per week which breaks down to just $2.50 per class). You can sign up here.

We also offer virtual Personal Training from the comfort of your own home. You may be overwhelmed by the current climate, but what better way to stimulate your health and mindset than a refocus! Our virtual personal training sessions give you the opportunity to work on individualized results and includes:
??1-on-1, 2-on-1, etc. virtual meetings?
??Workouts are targeted and progressive to incorporate what YOU want?
??Set your schedule! We’ll work together to find a time that’s best for you!?
??Real, lasting results ?

Email Amy for more details at thrivechooseyou@gmail.com and learn more here.


From Kris Goodrich,  a USMS Level 3 coach in South Lyon, Mich. She studied athletics at the University of Michigan and currently uses her degree in kinesiology to help swimmers fine-tune their technique for maximum efficiency.

Interval training now can help you be in better cardiovascular shape once your pool opens again following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now that we're close to the finish line, this is a must read article to help transition back to the pools. Give yourself the opportunity to condition your swim body by reintroducing some of the basic training stresses from our pool training. 
Here is her final thought from the article - "No matter what you do, your first day in the water will be both frustrating and exhilarating. Your feel for the water and time you spent training over previous months will be lost. But if all goes well, you can maintain your cardiovascular fitness, heal any lingering injuries, grow in your social friendships, and, best of all, gain a new appreciation for the sport you love." More...