Swimming is an exceptional exercise because it works for every muscle group in your body. Every stroke involves such a wide range of motion. It’s important to learn the best stretches for swimmers before getting into the pool.
There are two types of stretches—dynamic and static. Dynamic stretches are active movements that get your blood circulating. These warm up your muscles before you move into static stretches.
Static stretches are held for up to 30 seconds at a time. They target specific muscle groups to help them become more flexible and increase their range of motion.
The best stretches for swimmers are a combination of dynamic and static stretches. In this article, we’ll look at the best dynamic stretches and static stretches for swimmers. We will recommend products that can enhance your pre-swim stretching routine.
Best Dynamic Stretches for Swimmers
Spend about 5 – 10 minutes doing dynamic stretches that loosen your joints and circulate blood flow. These moves will wake your body up and prepare it for all the activities you’re about to do.
Warm-up your shoulders, arms, quads, calves, and core with jumping jacks. If you don’t have a mat nearby, you can use a set of StrongTek’s Balance Pads to cushion your landings. (We recommend going with the XL size if you’ll be using them as a mat.)
Stand with your legs together and your arms down at your sides. Jump up, separating your feet and raising your arms over your head. Jump again, returning your legs and arms to the start position. Do this for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
These moves warm up your shoulder joints to prevent straining or injuring them. First, stand straight with your arms out at your sides. Then, start moving them in small forward circles, making the circles bigger as you go. Rest after about 30 seconds. Repeat as you move your arms backward. If you want to fire up your core, stand on the StrongTek Wooden Balance Board as you do your shoulder circles.
Stand straight with your legs together. Step forward with your right leg, then lower your hips until your legs are at a 90-degree angle.
Hold for a second, then move your left knee forward and return to standing. Repeat this 10 times on each leg.
Best Static Stretches for Swimmers
These stretches will ensure you’re adequately warmed up before you get in the water. We’ll work from head to toe.
Head and neck
Stand or sit comfortably with your head facing forward. Tilt your head gently toward your right shoulder until you feel a stretch. If you need extra weight, put the palm of your right hand on top of your head. Hold for about 10 seconds before moving to the other side. If you have a lot of neck tension, try the StrongTek Back Relaxer to align your spine and ease tension in your neck.
Stand in front of a wall. Place your right hand on it at around shoulder height, and bend your elbow slightly. Now, twist your body to the left, trying to face away from your right hand. You’ll feel a nice stretch in your shoulders and wrist. Hold for 10 seconds before switching sides.
Sit in a chair with your back straight. Bend your right knee and place it horizontally on your left. If you’re really tight, you might start to feel a good stretch here. If not, then lean forward until you feel the stretch. Hold for around 10 seconds before repeating on the left side.
Sit on the ground. Fold your left leg in toward your thigh, then place your right foot over your left leg. Twist your body toward your right hip as you try to look over your shoulder. Try not to lift your glutes off the ground. Hold for 10 seconds, then repeat on the other side. If you need some extra support, use StrongTek’s Balance Yoga Pad for cushioning.
Stand facing a wall. Bend your left leg and lunge your right leg behind you. Flex your right heel toward the ground to stretch your calf. For a deeper stretch, use a slant board, such as the StrongTek Plastic Portable Slant Board.
Take Your Stretching Equipment to Every Workout
At StrongTek, we’re big believers in making stretching easier for everyone. Our portable equipment can easily fit in your locker or swim bag, allowing you to get a great stretch before every workout.
Browse our catalog of products to find the ones that will help you improve flexibility and prevent any risk of injuries!