Swimming uses almost all of our muscles, which makes it a full-body workout. Sore muscles after swimming can be avoided by stretching before and after swimming. In the last post, we discussed the importance of swimmers warming up before working out and provided a routine.
So now let’s talk about what to do after going for a swim. Here are AquaMobile’s favourite post-swim stretches!
Why are post-swim stretching exercises for swimmers important?
We use all of our muscles intensely when we hop into the pool. When we leave the water, our muscles are left in a warm contracted state. Leaving this untreated can make them feel sore and stiff later in the day. So it’s important to relax and rest your muscles to their natural position. This can be done by stretching for 10-20 minutes after each session.
What are the benefits of stretching exercises after each swim lesson?
- Flexibility: The length of a muscle increases over time. This can reduce muscle tension and increase your range of motion.
- Muscle Repair: Stretching helps your muscles heal in time for your next water workout. This also prevents future injury.
- Lower Heart Rates: With a lower heart rate, your blood can circulate much easier. You also cool off quickly after exercising.
- Stimulates Muscles: Your muscles relax after working out, which in turn lets you recover that much faster.
What are the best post-swim stretching exercises?
While swimming, we use our arms, backs and shoulders to keep our bodies above the water. Our legs act as our propellers to push us forward. This is why we should focus on stretching these groups of muscles after swimming.
Arm Stretching Exercises
This is an area that can be difficult to stretch. By using each part of the arm, you can build muscle evenly. You will also have a much stronger stroke when you get back in the pool.
- Face a wall, while placing your inner palm, inner elbow and shoulder against it.
- Turn your body slowly until you feel the stretch on your arms and your chest.
- Breath evenly and count to 10.
- Repeat the process using your other arm.
The area around the armpit gets the most action while swimming. Some of the muscles that this stretch works include the triceps, laterals and many more.
- Touch the top of the spine near the back of your neck using your left palm, while pointing your elbow upwards.
- Pull your left hand towards the right using your right hand.
- Breathe evenly and count to 10.
- Do this again for the other arm.
Shoulder Stretching Exercises
When swimming, you use most of the muscles in your body. To move your arms, you need strong shoulders. This exercise helps strengthen this important part of your upper body.
- Place your left hand horizontally across your chest. Your inner elbow should be touching your chest.
- Hold your left hand in place using your right one.
- Gently twist your body until you feel your shoulder stretch.
- Breathe evenly and count to 10.
- Keep going while alternating between arms.
Leg Stretching Exercises
Jumping in the pool and swimming can be hard on the muscles. So remember to loosen them up after training for your next big race.
- Stand with your legs apart and reach behind your back.
- Hold your right hand with your left hand.
- Bend at the hips until your hamstrings feel stretched. Keep the legs and arms straight when interlaced.
- Breathe evenly and count to 8.
- Continue to exercise.
Back Stretching Exercises
This stretch can have its name taken literally. When you reach forward, you are elongating the muscles in your spine.
- Sit down with your legs apart.
- Bend your down while tucking your chin in.
- Reach with your arms as far as you can.