If you want to be the best, you need to train like the best. Here is a link to a great self-help article on the strength and flexibility exercises that Olympians use. In trying to understand these exercises, I did an image search so that you can see what the article is trying to describe.
Carrie Gaerte is a physical therapist and athletic trainer for USA Gymnastics, and she recommends the seated spinal stretch, the reclined half-pigeon and the achilles extension.
Water polo athletes, Kami Craig, Courtney Mathewson and KK Clark build their strength and endurance with these routines: the leveled plank, the dumbbell step up, and the step jump.
The coach of gold-medal winning wrestler, Helen Maroulis, recommends push ups, the dumbbell row and the pause squat in Maroulis’ training regimen.
I lived in Bangkok and Singapore for over 13 years, where it is summer year round, and the temperatures are commonly in the low to mid 30’s Celsius (high 80’s Fahrenheit), and sometimes high 30’s Celsius (100+ Fahrenheit). And for every single one of those years, I had a nice big swimming pool within 10 meters of my apartment.
Jumping into the pool was an absolute delight!
But not for high-performance swimmers, athletes who have trained by jumping into water 12 degrees (20 Fahrenheit) colder than their body temperature, since they were kids. The bracing shock apparently never goes away.
“The worst part about being a swimmer? Jumping in the pool.”
“Jumping into the water when It’s 6am in the winter – it is the last thing you want to do.”
“It’s the worst part of any swimmer’s day.”
Click on the above picture or go to this link and see grown men and women revert back into little kids just thinking about it.