A List of 8 Crucial Stretches Every Swimmer Should Do

Ready to Level Up Your Swimming? Here Are Eight Stretches for Swimmers

From an early age, swimmers are reminded of the importance of stretching. Just like eating vegetables, we know it’s healthy and good for us, but we resist it because we already spend a lot of time at the pool. However, stretching before swimming can make your swims more effective, improve your technique, and reduce the risk of injury. Fortunately, there are time-effective ways to increase mobility and performance without adding extra time to your training day.

Essential Stretches for Swimmers

In this guide, we will cover eight specific stretches that will help swimmers perform at their peak in the water. These stretches include arm swings, leg swings, ankle circles, quadruped T-spine rotation, low back crossover, kneeling hip flex stretch, doorway pec stretch, and lat stretch. Each stretch has its own benefits for swimmers and can be easily incorporated into your routine.

1. Arm Swings

Arm swings are a form of dynamic stretching that improve range of motion, increase blood flow, and activate the targeted muscle groups in the upper body. Studies have shown that dynamic stretches are more effective than static stretches at boosting muscle activation and improving performance. Arm swings are great for shaking loose stiffness, promoting blood flow, and increasing range of motion. Some arm swings to consider incorporating into your routine are cross-body arm swings and overhead arm swings.

2. Leg Swings

Leg swings are another form of dynamic stretching that are perfect for swimmers. They can be done before swim workouts, after long periods of sitting, or after a tough swim workout to reduce soreness. Leg swings have been shown to significantly increase knee range of motion, jumping performance, and overall agility. Front-to-back leg swings and side-to-side leg swings are two leg swing variations that swimmers can benefit from.

3. Ankle Circles

Ankle flexibility is crucial for swimmers to kick efficiently. Studies have shown that swimmers with better ankle flexibility kick faster and swim faster. Ankle circles are a simple and effective way to increase ankle flexibility. By sitting or standing and drawing circles with your foot, you can improve ankle plantar flexion and enhance your kicking ability.

4. Quadruped T-Spine Rotation

Swimmers often experience stiffness and tension in their upper back, neck, and shoulders due to the muscle mass in their shoulders. The quadruped T-spine rotation is an effective stretch for relieving this tension. By getting on all fours and rotating your upper body, you can push back stiffness and improve range of motion in your shoulders.

5. Trunk Rotation with Leg Crossover

Swimmers, especially freestylers and backstrokers, need full access to rotational power from their core and hips. Stiff hips and lower back can hinder this rotational power. The trunk rotation with leg crossover stretch helps to open up the hips and lower back, allowing for better rotational movement in the water.

Incorporating these stretches into your routine can help improve your range of motion, increase power, and enhance your swimming performance. Whether you do them before or after your swim, taking the time to stretch will benefit you in the long run. So, dive in and start incorporating these stretches into your swimming routine today!

Original Story at swimswam.com – 2023-12-16 11:05:32

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