An excellent all-round aerobic and muscle conditioning sport, especially suited for rehabilitation and weight loss due to the buoyancy given by the water.
Serious swimmers will benefit from a well structured weight / body conditioning program that is designed suitably for both the chosen stroke and also distance. It's important to make sure that the weights used and exercises undertaken enable a symmetrical shape and avoid excessive size, which can often lead to a restriction in movement, resulting in poor stroke technique.
Aim for either high reps (15+) with low / medium size weights ideally for 1-2 sets, to build good muscular endurance, followed by 1 set using a heavier weight, for 6-10 reps to build strength (not size), or the reps outlined below.
Training with weights 2-3 times a week, will give you good results, concentrate on the upper body for two sessions, the lower body for one session. Always remember to have a minimum of a days rest between weight training sessions.
A well-structured stretching program should become an essential part of any serious swimmers training routine. As with all stretching, the muscles will need to be warmed, ideally with a combination of passive (warm shower) and active aerobic warm-up.
Read the notes on Strength Training, for guidelines when choosing desired weights and repetitions. The following page has a suitable upper body workout. You do not need to do all of the exercises, however aim to increase the number of different exercises you do each week.