Just like any other aquatic athlete, water polo players benefit from adding dryland exercises to their training regimen. Not only does it offer specific physical benefits, but dryland training is a great way to add variety to practices during preseason conditioning or as an alternative workout during crowded pool hours. Most water polo dryland equipment is designed for conditioning, but some pieces can also be used during rehab for injured athletes, to increase flexibility, or as part of a warm up. This guide explains the most common dryland tools for water polo.
Water polo dryland tools tend to be easy to transport, affordable, and versatile. One of the most popular dryland training tools that meets these requirements are stretch bands. Made of stretchy rubber tubing or straps — with handles at each end — bands can be wrapped around poles, anchored with feet, or used with a partner. The resistance training that stretch bands offer also mimics the movements aquatic athletes make in the water, which makes them ideal for water polo players and swimmers who want to target the muscle groups they use the most.
Another common dryland training tool for water polo players is medicine balls. These can be thrown or bounced — while alone or with a partner(s) — to simulate water polo movements. Medicine balls come in varying weights, which means that teams with younger children or beginning water polo players can use lighter medicine balls for their athletes and avoid injury.
Lastly, rebound nets make it possible to practice shooting and throwing out of the water. Players can work on their technique and endurance simultaneously, while a coach observes their form. Rebound nets are nets set at an angle on the ground that allows players to practice shooting and receiving technique out of the water, and without ruining the grip of a ball against a rough wall.
Dryland Training Tools are a Good Investment
Dryland training tools are an easy, affordable way to get the most out of any practice or pool space. Teams with limited time in the water or no access to a gym can still reap the benefits of out-of-water training by using stretch cords, medicine balls, and rebound nets. These pieces of equipment also make it easier for players to warm up during away games or tournaments where space is often limited. Dryland training tools help water polo players take their game to the next level!