To perform at your best in water polo, you need to be an effective multitasker--you're not only battling your opponents, but also fighting to stay above water and heading in the right direction. Performing all of these functions at once requires not just coordination, but strength as well. For this reason, working out can benefit your water polo performance.
Bodyweight Water Polo Workout
Even though body weight workouts don't require extra resistance, these sessions can still be effective. While raw strength is developed better with heavy weights, you can concentrate on you muscular endurance with body weight exercises.rnrnAccording to the website Hyper Strike, squats, presses and pull-ups are effective exercises for water polo workouts. Though it may seem simplistic, a workout consisting of just these exercises can be challenging and useful. For this workout, you can perform a pyramid circuit--increasing the amount of repetitions and then decreasing them.rnrnFirst, perform five repetitions of push-ups, squats and pull-ups. Next, perform 10 reps of each, and so on up to 25. Then, reverse direction and perform 20 repetitions of each and on down.
According to Terry Schroeder, head coach of the U.S. men's national water polo team, players injure their shoulders often in the sport. For this reason, building shoulder strength is crucial, and it can also help you shoot the ball harder.rnrnBecause of the importance of your shoulders in water polo, you may want to designate one day out of each week as your shoulder workout day in the gym.rnrnAn effective water polo shoulder workout would be: Lateral dumbbell side raises, three sets of 12; military press, three sets of 12; barbell shrugs, four sets of 10; reverse fly, three sets of eight.rnrnFitness site Project Swole recommends the lateral dumbbell side raise, military press and reverse dumbbell fly in the article, "The Top 5 Best Shoulder Exercises," and notes that "everyone needs to train their shoulders."
Coach Schroeder also mentioned that having strong legs is a priority for water polo. Having strong legs and a high level of muscular endurance in your legs helps keep you moving all match long. Training with moderate weight and high repetitions can help build muscular endurance.rnrnAccording to Schroeder, a good leg workout for water polo would include bike riding and stair running in addition to weight training exercises. Schroeder recommends using medium weights for building up your leg muscles. According to the website Bodybuilding For You, the best leg exercises include the squat, leg press, lunge and leg extension, so be sure to incorporate those into your training as well.
Perfect your swimming for water polo success. Because water polo requires quick bursts of speed, interval training can be beneficial. The website Swim By The Sea recommends incorporating 12.5 meter sprints into workouts. Swim By The Sea specifically mentions freestyle and egg beater kicks, but it may be beneficial to incorporate other strokes into your workout for variety and to challenge all of your muscles. A demonstration video of the egg beater kick can be found in the Resources section.rnrnBased upon Swim By The Sea's recommendations for sprints and the use of freestyle and the egg beater kick, you may find this workout beneficial: 50-meter freestyle; 12.5-meter sprint; 20 seconds egg beater kick; 50-meter freestyle; 12.5-meter sprint; 15 seconds egg beater kick; 25-meter freestyle; 12.5 meter sprint; 10 seconds egg beater kick; 25 meter freestyle; 12.5 meter sprint. You can repeat this pattern as many times as desired.