Most people tend to underestimate the importance of warming up before swimming lessons. The truth is, good warm up exercises are fundamental to your swimming experience. Although it is tempting to jump right into the pool and just start swimming, there are many reasons to spend time warming up before you take the plunge. In this post, I will explain the importance of a dynamic warm up and provide AquaMobile’s best warm up exercises for swimmers.
What is a dynamic warm up?
A dynamic warm up is 5-10 minutes of gentle cardio exercises. It should also incorporate dynamic stretches, which requires your body to move as you stretch. The best warm up exercises for swimmers will increase blood flow to your muscles and raise your body temperature. That being said, static stretches, which requires holding a stretch for 10 or more seconds while motionless, should not be incorporated into your warm up routine. In fact, many studies and experts have concluded that dynamic stretching is the better alternative.
Many of us believe that warm up exercises are merely a safety precaution, but that is definitely not the case. A good warm up routine will provide many benefits that extend beyond injury prevention.
Benefits of a dynamic warmup
1. Prepare for the additional workload to come
Warming up delivers oxygen and nutrients to your muscles. In addition, it will increase blood flow to your working muscles, which keeps you from getting out of breath too early.
2. Allow you to work out longer and harder
Warming up avoids a rapid change in blood pressure and increases your blood temperature. It prepares your heart gradually for increased activity.
3. Loosen up your joints
Warming up reduces the chance of injuries by allowing your muscles and joints to move through a greater range of motion easily
4. Improves your coordination and reaction times
Warming up primes your nerve-to-muscle pathways to be ready for swimming, thereby improving your performance.
How do I properly warm up before swimming?
The amount of time you warm up should depend on the intensity of your swim session. For example, your warm up should be longer if you plan to swim sprints. Keep in mind that the best warm up exercises for swimmers should be done outside of slippery areas (i.e. anywhere near the swimming pool) and should be done wearing proper athletic shoes.
Above all, listen to your body. I find that I need 10-15 minutes of warm up time before I feel ready to jump in the swimming pool, whereas others find that 5 minutes is enough
Here are the best warm up exercises for swimmers!
- Jumping Jacks – Start standing with your legs together and your arms on your side. Jump up and raise your arms up high, separating your feet. Jump again and return your legs and arms into the original position. Keep up for about 1 minutes.
- Butt Kicks – Kick your legs up to your butt as you jog a lap around the area. Keep up for about 2 minutes
- Jump Rope – Grab a rope and jump rope for 2 minutes. Focus on an even pace and small jumps, not large jumps.
- Arm Circles – Raise your arms to shoulder length. Move your hands in circles for about 2 minutes.
- High knees – Kick your knees up towards your torso as you jog for about 2 minutes.
- Lunges – This is a wonderful way to incorporate dynamic stretching into your routine. Start standing up straight. Take a step forward with one leg and lower your hips until both legs are at 90 degree angles. Make sure the knee in front is directly above your ankle, and the knee at the back isn’t touching the ground. Take the knee at the back forward and return to neutral standing position. Repeat 10 times each leg.