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Stretching For Swimmers

Stretching For Swimmers

Stretching before a workout will do your body wonders with any physical activity. Although swimming is a low-impact sport, there is still risk to injury for those who hit the pool regularly. Having a good stretching routine to help improve your range of motion and your training longevity is beneficial. Whether swimming is a hobby or a full-time job, a few minutes of stretching can keep the body healthy.

 

Does Stretching Matter?

Many of us are already busy, thinking about daily tasks during our swim workout, so surely there’s no time to stretch?

A good training session should be focused. Making every rep count is a solid training mindset that works well in any competitive sport. If you are thinking that adding 10-15 minutes of stretching to your workout is a “waste of time”, this will cause a recipe for disaster. Try to think of stretching as a vital part of your swim workout routine. Simply put, stretching is as important as swimming.

Stretching regularly will keep your muscles lean, long, and flexible, helping to prevent injury. Unstretched and cold muscles are more likely to become injured. Injured muscles are not strong enough to support the joints, which can lead to joint injury. This is a much more serious injury that is harder to treat.

If you find your muscles are still tight and you are dealing with unwanted pain even after regular stretching, speak to your physician. 

 

Child’s Pose

1. Kneel on the floor with your knees together and your big toes touching each other.

2. Stretch your hands as far as you can across the mat.

3. Push your shoulders into the ground to feel the stretch.

This relaxing yoga stretch can help with back pain and shoulder pain, as it targets the lower back and shoulders. 

 

Tricep Extension

1. Take one arm and bend it down toward your back.

2. Use the opposite arm to grab your elbow.

3. Pull down on your elbow to activate the stretch

The tricep extension is perfect for freestyle swimmers hoping to improve their freestyle catch. As with any isolation exercise, you will also inevitably activate other muscle groups.

 

Quadricep Pull

1. Stand up straight and bend your left leg at the knee.

2. Grab your left foot with one or both hands.

3. Pull your foot into your back.

4. Repeat with your right leg.

Competitive swimmers will have mastered this stretch over many years. For the beginners out there, don’t feel you have to use both hands to grab your foot. Feel free to grab something solid nearby with your other hand. 

 

Toe Touches

1. Stand straight, placing your feet together.

2. Bend down, attempting to touch your toes without bending your knees.

This classic hamstring stretch is always quick to reveal tight muscles. It’s a satisfying stretch over time. 

 

Cobra Pose

1. Put yourself in a high plank position.

2. Then, sink your hips into the floor, and push out your chest.

This pose puts quite a bit of strain on your wrists. To alleviate this, you can plank off your fists rather than your palms. he cobra pose stretches the spine and can even strengthen the muscles that support your head and neck.

 

Remember that stretching is just as important as the benefits you reap from your workout, such as strength gains and beating your PR. It’s all about longevity, so you can swim tomorrow and in 10 years from now.

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