Stretching is extremely important for swimmers. Swimming is an intensive workout that requires most of your body’s muscles to propel itself through the water. Over-exertion raises the risk of injury, but your muscles are not properly stretched. Stretching provides release to the key muscle components swimming uses, that’s why its recommended that you hold each stretch for 30 seconds. Injuries are preventable if you follow our deep stretching for swimmers routine:
Stretching Arms and Shoulders
Swimmers have incredible upper-body strength that allows them to seamlessly glide through the water and control direction. However, each lap taken raises risk for injury. This why it’s the most important muscles group stretches for swimmers.
Cross the right hand over your left shoulder while putting the opposite arm hanging behind the back. The elbow should be aligned with the back of your head. With your free hand, grab the elbow and push the hanging arm down. You should feel the stretch on the outside shoulder muscle that surrounds the rotator cuff.
Stretch both arms out to the side with palms up. Next, slowly start rotating them forward simultaneously. Do this for 10 seconds then open the rotation to medium circles. Do this for 10 seconds, and finish off with another 10 seconds of big circles. Repeat this stretch with the arms rotating backwards.
Grab your right arm and hold it across your chest with fingers pointing out and palms down. Hold your right arm in place with the left forearm for 30 secs. Repeat the stretch with the other arm.
Stretching Legs and Glutes
A swimmer’s legs provide the power needed to propel through the water and must continuously kick to stay afloat. This is can be a serious strain on your legs and behind so be sure to get a deep stretch from your calves up to the hips.
Place one foot in front of you and ease into a lunge position with the knee on the ground. Lean forward into the stretch with the leg at a 90-degree angle. Make sure the hips are open and aligned with the shoulders.
Sit down and lean back with both legs out straight. Keep the right leg flat on the ground and cross the left leg over the opposite knee. With the opposite hand, pull the foot towards the chest. This stretch should be felt in the left buttocks. Repeat the stretch with the opposite leg.
Sit on the ground with the bottom of both feet touching and the knees facing outwards. Lean forward into the stretch with the elbows gently pushing the legs down. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.