Stretching for Swimming
Stretching drills to carry out prior to swimming with Nick Croft
A dry land warm up and light stretch is important to make sure you swim well in training and racing. The photo’s show a few basic dry land swim stretches relevant for triathlon / open water swimming that can be done pre swim and gym sessions. Before those stretch’s are done do a light warm up by doing some double arm ‘windmills’ x 20 or 30 going in forward direction and then reverse. This gets a little blood flowing in the upper body before we start the stretching. Hold the stretch’s for 25-30seconds each and as you can see doing a stretch on each side of the body to balance yourself out is needed.
Flexibility is a crucial component in swimming so if you find yourself very inflexible, doing these regularly will help get you supple. Making sure you also limit yourself from doing all your swimming freestyle as this will also assist in becoming very tight in the shoulders and deltoid muscles in the front of the upper arms. Include backstroke into your swimming which helps to even out the freestyle muscles.
Get into the habit of getting to the pool early enough to give yourself at least 5-10minutes to go through this set routine to start your pre session warm up on the dry land. Make sure you carry this over to the water and use the first 15-20minutes of your session to warm up well before the hard stuff starts. All of this needs to be applied as well on race day also. Many age groupers neglect the proper warm up and suffer because of it. A minimum of 10 minutes in the water is needed to get the upper body and swim muscles ready for the fast start that is just around the the corner.
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