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4 Post-Swim Stretching Exercises

2016/7/21 10:44:59

You've cranked out a mile in the pool and you're ready to head in. Before you wrap up your workout, make sure to get a post-swim stretch in.

A proper stretching routine will keep you limber and improve your swimming performance. Here are a few of the best, most effective, swimming stretches.

Streamline Stretch

The streamline stretch helps your shoulders and upper back, both of which are heavily engaged during swimming. This stretch can be done either lying down or standing straight up.

More: How to Fix 4 Common Swimming Injuries

Lift your arms over your head. Place your right hand on top of your left, so your body is in the streamline position you use in the water. Push up through your shoulders and back, reaching higher and engaging your shoulders and back.

For an additional stretch, lean your torso and arms to each side and hold for 15 seconds. You will feel this in your obliques and upper and mid back. This stretch is great to alleviate tightness in the back and shoulders, and will help make you more flexible for flip turns or wall turns.

Hamstring Stretch

Your upper body is used to pull you forward in swimming, but your legs also play a crucial backup role by keeping you afloat, propelling ahead and swimming straight. You don't want your main kicking muscles, the hamstrings, to be tight.

More: How to Recover From a Hamstring Strain

To stretch your hamstrings while standing, kick your right leg slightly in front of you and rest on your right heel, bend into the stretch slightly with your left leg, hands on your hips. Sit deeper for a deeper stretch. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds and switch legs.

Shoulder Savior

If you're new to swimming, or you've just had a killer workout, chances are your shoulders are going to be sore. This is because they're heavily engaged in each stroke and do a lot more work than they would in a dry-land workout.

More: Exercises to Prevent Swimmer's Shoulder

To stretch your posterior cuff, or the back part of your shoulder, simply reach your right arm across your chest and grab the elbow of it with your left hand, stretching and pulling the arm across the chest according to the depth of the stretch you feel.

Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.

To stretch the front of your shoulders, grab your hands behind your back and reach your arms up towards the ceiling. Hinge at the waist for more range of movement. Hold this for 30 seconds, going deeper into the stretch by lifting your arms higher as comfortable.

More: 3 Corrective Shoulder Exercises

Little Muscles Need Love Too

Triceps are those little muscles many of us try to work out in the gym to ensure we don't get "wings" as we age. Swimming is a great workout to target the triceps, so reward them by stretching them out once the workout is over.

To stretch your triceps, place your left hand on your left shoulder blade, and grab your left elbow with your right hand. Pull your elbow down and across your chest gently until your feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.

More: 4 Ways to Improve Your Swim Technique

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