Swimming offers great exercise, but it’s important to prepare your body before the workout begins. Stretching before and after your swim relieves pressure on the joints and muscles. Whether you’re training for competition or preparing for next season, use these swimming tips for at least five minutes of stretching to protect your body.
5 Swimming Tips for Proper Stretching
1. Child’s Pose
This stretch targets your lower back and hip muscles. Kneel and touch your calves together. Lean forward, reaching for the floor in front of you, until your forehead is touching the ground. Hold the pose for 30 seconds, and repeat.
2. Wall Leans
These stretches target your calf muscles and can help prevent leg cramps while swimming. Place your hands on a wall in front of you, keeping them shoulder-width apart. Lean forward, placing your right foot as far back as it can reach without difficulty and bending your left knee for support. Hold this position for several seconds, switch leg positions, and then repeat.
3. Elbow Pulls
You will use your triceps, lats, and other shoulder muscles while swimming, so prepare them with some elbow pulls. Put your right hand behind your head, pointing your elbow toward the sky. Pull your right elbow inward with your left hand. Hold for fifteen seconds and switch arms. You could also clasp hands behind your back and pull.
4. Back Arm Stretch
Stand straight with your hands behind your back. Wrap one hand around the other and slowly lift both arms to a 90-degree angle if possible.
Hold for 10 seconds, then shake your arms and repeat the stretch.
5. Toe Stretches
Standing in the pool, place one foot forward so that your toes are pressed upward against the wall. Lean slightly forward until you feel your calf and toe muscles stretch. Hold for 10 seconds, and then repeat with the other foot.
If you need additional swimming tips, the experts at Technique Swim Academy in Boston, MA, can train you to stretch properly before and after a workout. In addition to their swimming lessons with experienced coaches, they offer camps for competitive swimmers ages 7 to 16. Call (617) 484-0550 or visit them online today to sign your child up for this once-in-a-lifetime experience full of stroke correction, technique review, nutrition advice, and other swimming tips.