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Develop strength to add power to your stroke

This is an excerpt from Swimming Drill Book-2nd Edition, The by Ruben J. Guzman.

Lat Pulldown


To develop strength in the lats and the muscles of the upper back, some of the most important muscles for generating the power behind your pull.


  1. Loop a piece of elastic tubing over a lifeguard chair, through a fence, or over anything sturdy above your head.
  2. Face the point of attachment and grasp the ends of the band above your shoulders with your elbows extended forward.
  3. Pull the bands down and back by bringing your hands to your chest while bending your elbows.
  4. Hold this position for two seconds and return to the starting position.

Focus Points

  • Keep the elbows pointed out toward the sides throughout the movements.
  • The elbows should be bent 90 degrees in the final position.


The lats are the muscles that give many swimmers their V shape, and swimmers use them every time they pull. You will likely want to use a fairly heavy resistance when training these muscles because the lats are among the strongest muscles in the body.

Learn more about The Swimming Drill Book, Second Edition.