3 pre-swim mobility exercises by Australian Swimming Champion Cate Campbell

Dryland training
Written by: Arena at 12 March '21 0
You are reading: 3 pre-swim mobility exercises by Australian Swimming Champion Cate Campbell

Australian swimming champion Cate Campbell shares with us her favourite pre-swim mobility exercises.

The following drills focus on thoracic mobility – which is the most important thing she focuses on in her pre-swim routine.

The ‘Starfish Barbie’

“This drill focuses on thoracic rotation. I like to call it the “Starfish Barbie”.”


Top tips:

  • try and bend from the hips.
  • if your hip flexors and/or hamstrings are tight (mine always are) your quads might want to switch on, try and keep them relaxed.
  • Inhale on the first rotation and exhale to come back to the centre.
  • It should feel like you have a broomstick running across your shoulders and down your arms keeping them straight at all times.
  • If you can’t reach your foot, just lean as far down your leg as you can.


Do about 8-10 rotations in total or until you feel like the movement is a bit easier.


Thread the needle into the rabbit hole.

“In this exercise I am kneeling on all fours, I lift one hand up to the ceiling then slide it through along the ground across my body. I do this a few times, then a thread my arm in between my legs, grab hold of my opposite ankle for a big side stretch.”


Top tips:

  • Inhale to reach your arm up to the ceiling and exhale to slide it across the floor.
  • To get a deeper stretch its okay to bend your supporting arm and allow your head to rest on the floor during the rotations.
  • When you thread the needle in between your legs, grab on to your opposite ankle and try and pull it back towards you. Stay in this position for 2 breaths.


Cat-Cow yoga pose

“This is a very well known yoga sequence which I love. It helps loosen up my upper thoracic and gets my shoulder blades moving smoothly across my back.”


Top Tips:

  • When you arch into the ‘cat’ pose, feel like to are pushing the ground away from you. You should feel pressure through your hands and knees.
  • Stay in the ‘cat’ pose for a full breath cycle, this will stretch you intercostal muscles (the muscles in between your ribs)
  • When you curl up into ‘cat’ pose, let your shoulders shrug gently towards your ears, and when you curl down into ‘cow’ pose gently draw your shoulders down towards your feet. This helps your shoulder blades to move smoothly across your back.


What’s your favourite pre-swim routine?

Articles you may also like…

The importance of work “out of the pool”

The 3 secrets to achieving exceptional goals!

Discover the arena Sports Tops collection

Discover the arena Sports Bottom Collection


Written by: