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Upper-Body & Core Workouts With Aspiring Paralympic Swimmer, Haven Shepherd & SPRI

Last summer, we caught up with Haven Shepherd as she continues to train for her shot at the 2021 Summer Paralympic team for swimming. At just 17 years old, Haven has already made a huge impact in the aquatics community. She inspires everyone she encounters with her positivity and seemingly boundless energy! Sporting her favorite JOLYN activewear, she shared some of her top exercises that target all of the muscles she works on strengthening for competitive swimming using SPRI workout equipment. Haven is lucky that during the pandemic she has been able to train privately in her local Crossfit gym, but all of these exercises can also be done easily at home, with the right equipment. You can find her workout regime below!

Workout # 1 - Upper Body BurnOut

4 Rounds

15 Banded Lat Pulldowns

45 second Handstand Hold

Banded Lat Pulldowns

  • It’s very important to engage the muscles between the shoulder blades for good back and shoulder health. Lat Pulldowns provide muscle mind connection to the Rhomboids. Upper back strength is critical for swimmers to help develop a powerful pull through the water. The SPRI resistance band set allows you to pick the resistance that works best with your level of strength. 

Handstand Holds

  • One of the best core stabilization exercises is the handstand hold. It requires stability in the shoulders, mobility in the thoracic spine, and also requires the person to stay tight in the abdominals and glutes for better positioning. Shoulder stability and strengthening is critical for swimmers for injury prevention, it is something all swimming should practice daily.

Workout # 2 - Upper Body and Core Stability Exercise


10 Pushups on Balance Ball

10 Kettlebell Swings

10 Weighted Roll-Ups

Kettlebell Swings

  • Hip hinging is one of the most difficult functions of body movement that people struggle with. Maintaining a tight back position and extending the hips into a neutral position while maintaining active midline and glute muscles. This exercise helps with balance, and training fast twitch muscles. I do this exercise to help strengthen all of the muscles I use on flip turns! (Haven is using the SPRI Kettlebell)

Pushups on the Balance Ball 

  • Pushups are still the king of pressing exercises. A great way to also make it a core stabilizing movement is by adding an unstable foundation under one hand, making the athlete focus on staying tight throughout the whole motion. The SPRI Xerdisc is the perfect workout tool to accomplish this type of movement. 

Weighted Roll-Ups

  • This exercise helps with both core strength, and upper back strength and posture. It’s so important to have a soft surface for this exercise to help support your spine, and the SPRI pad is perfect! Make sure to engage your core as you roll up, and keep your shoulders down, and not scrunched to your ears when you hit the top. Engage your upper back muscles to sit as high as you possibly can, while keeping your core tight. Make sure to slowly roll back down, engaging those core muscles again and not flopping onto the mat. 


Comment below with some of your favorite Upper-body and Core workouts! 💪

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