Reply To: Dry-land Training
We need to be careful when using those examples. Anthropometry, range of motion, motor unit recruitment, etc. Birds are born to fly, fish born to swim, humans born to walk upright on land.
More swimming isn’t necessarily the correct answer. I need to change specific things about my body, which is designed to walk upright on land, to swim efficiently in water. Anthropometry: I can’t change my height or arm span but I can change my weight; currently I need to lose some weight. Range of motion: my arm can abduct upward while internally rotated 90 degrees to a certain point before I feel a stretch in the lats, pecs, coracobrachialis, etc; I want to increase that range of motion to attain the Phelps/Ledecky pull distance. This ROM has nothing to do with walking upright on land (or hunting a sabertooth tiger) only swimming. Motor unit recruitment: nothing else in my everyday life requires me to forcefully adduct the arm while internally rotated 90 degrees; this is purely for efficiently swimming through water.
Don’t forget that 2 motions used in a swimming race are land-based: pushing off the wall and the block start. It is near impossible to overload the leg/hip extension during the push off the wall because of the glide and the “walk” back to the wall; recovery time is long and you can’t change the density of water. This can be overloaded better on land using countermovement jumps and hip hinge swings. Squats and deadlifts are irrelevant because they don’t replicate the power requirement or range of motion we would need. I also need to increase my range of motion in my overhead arm extension prior to and during internal rotation of the arm. This can’t really be accomplished by swimming because I will routinely reach my current comfortable ROM then begin the stroke. There are a few things I can do on land to apply a stretching pressure beyond that in the pool: dynamic and static stretching generally applies to tendons while eccentric resistance exercise specific to the movement will increase the length of the muscle fiber by adding sarcomeres to myofibril segments (think intercostals, serratus anterior, lats, pecs, tricep long head, coracobrachialis).
So, you’re correct. Dissimilar training is useless for high-level athletes.