The Best Ways to Recover After a Swim

The Best Ways to Recover After a Swim

Each swimmer is familiar with the sensation of their sore body following a challenging practice. Ensuring proper recovery of your body prior to the next session is crucial in order to avoid injuries and the accumulation of lactic acid in the muscles. Below are the most effective methods for post-practice recovery.


Sleep- It's crucial to get a solid 8 hours of sleep to help your body heal and stay healthy. Along with that, having a consistent sleep schedule is key. Try to hit the hay at the same time each night and rise at the same time each morning. This routine will help your body recognize when it's time to recharge, making the recovery process smoother.


Hydration - Though it is not noticeable in the water, swimmers sweat whilst in the water. This means that the body will become dehydrated and a lot of swimmers don’t drink enough water or electrolytes to help replenish their body.Water is the best thing you can give your body, but you can also have electrolyte drinks or recovery drinks. There are also hydration tabs and energy gels that you can use to help recover.


Stretching - It's crucial to warm up your body before and after swimming, just like in any other sport. Stretching is essential to get your muscles and joints ready for the workout and to cool them down afterwards. Give static stretching a try - it's best done when your body is at rest and helps elongate the muscles.


Power naps - Lots of teams schedule two practices in a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, leaving swimmers with just a short break in between. A quick power nap is a great way to recharge before hitting the pool again. Power naps typically last between 25 minutes to an hour, so make sure not to nap too little or too long. If you can, squeeze in a power nap before practice and you'll feel refreshed when you wake up.


Cooling down - Swimmers always hate cooling down because all they want is to leave and go home. However, little do they realize that this is actually the crucial part of their training, second only to warming up. Cooling down serves as an active recovery, relieving tension and re-energizing the body by getting the blood flowing again. Remember to always include a 400 free swim after each practice session to properly cool down and aid in the body's recovery.


Fueling the body - Swimmers should fuel their body right after or within thirty minutes after practice. The most common thing to have after practice is a protein drink, but you can also have fruit or greek yoghurt to help replenish the body. Learn more about what to eat after a swim here.


Massages and Ice baths- Sports massages are a fantastic way to release tension in your body and improve blood circulation. On the other hand, ice baths are incredibly beneficial after a strenuous workout. They can accelerate your recovery, ease muscle pain and stiffness, and even aid in muscle repair.


Compression clothing - Compression clothing is the latest wear for swimmers. Many other athletes from different sports wear compression clothing because it helps lower heart rate. It is believed to be the most effective when worn recovery between prelims and finals and swim meets. We have compression clothing available at ProSwimwear.


Foam Rollers - Using a foam roller can help get out the knots that may have developed during practice or dryland training. This helps to bring circulation back to the body, and your range of motions. Try to foam roll either before or after practice. Foam rollers available here.


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