Top Menu

Swimming and Rugby


Hi Gary,

Re- swimming training: Are there any excercises that my son Liam would be doing for rugby league that would hinder  his swimming development. I understand that in athletics for instance, certain coaches suggest that swimming for example may counteract against a runners development – I believe that this is regards to certain muscle development?

Regards Brett


Hi Brett,

This is an area I have experienced only with AFL players and below are my thoughts.

Swimming is a great sport to develop all areas of the body.  This includes the development of a strong upper body, especially around the shoulders.  Swimming requires flexibility and swimmers often do exercises to keep their joints flexible so that they maintain a full range of motion when they are swimming.  Swimming provides athletes with a very strong aerobic system and their fitness is normally a huge asset for running based sports.

Sports like AFL and rugby require athletes to develop muscle and ‘thicken up’ especially around the shoulder and knee joints to avoid injuries when tackled or changing direction quickly.  For example, when they are tackled they want to ensure that their shoulders don’t just pop out on impact.  It is therefore important that they are not too flexible around the joints.

The primary way swimming may counteract a runners development from my point of view is that swimming develops the upper body with strong muscles and definition.  From my observations, track athletes are normally quite fine through the upper body so there is less weight to carry around the track.

That’s probably the extent of my knowledge Brett and others may be able to add their comments below.

Regards Gary

The Swimming Expert

, , , , , , ,

One Response to Swimming and Rugby

  1. Nikkei October 29, 2012 at 10:21 pm #

    That was an interesting read as I can relate . My son is only 8 and he is a fantastic swimmer but he is also very good in every sport he tries. He excels in rugby league as he has speed, running, Oztag, nippers….. I prefer him to continue down the path of swimming as I was a swimmer and I think it’s so good for your health! I have been thinking whether his other sports will hinder his swimming but I believe it all helps at his age but as he starts to develop his body will be more suited to one type of sport rather then everything .

© 2018 The Swimming Expert. All Rights Reserved. | Privacy Policy
Solutions Indata