Both in the pool and out there is a tendency for athletes to 'just do what they've always done', or engage in an activity because they read about it as the latest fad or 'athletic move.' But I urge swimmers to take a step back and truly gauge how their work on land is benefiting (or even hindering) their in-pool work.
Just as you wouldn't want to waste time and effort in wet activities that don't ultimately promote more efficient, better-techniqued swimming, you don't want to engage in dryland activities just because it's what you think you should be doing because other athletes are doing it.
Take the latest World Record holder, Ippei Watanabe from Japan, for example. I recently had the chance to talk to his Japanese coach, Keisuke Okuno, about what the 19-year-old is doing out of the water to benefit his IN-water technique. Coach and athlete decided to focus on lower body work, such as squats, deadlifts & TRX moves that directly correlate to Watanabe's kicking action in the water. You can read specifics here.
Watanabe didn't just say, "I need to kick better so I'm going to lift lots and lots of weights and hope for the best." Instead, he and his coach developed an intricate plan that incorporates actions and moves that directly translate to what the swimmer wants to accomplish in the water.
Think about what you as a swimmer want to accomplish in the water. Then work with your team, your coach and/or a trainer on what dryland activites you can incorporate safely into your routine to directly support and complement those goals.