You should consider a proper warm-up as a vital piece of your swimming training. Whether before the main set of your training session, a vital heat at your race, or a big triathlon, your body needs to be prepared for athletic performance. Not only will this practice prepare your body for activity, but a good warm-up also has benefits like reducing injury potential, improving athletic performance, and preparing your mind for training.
After reading this article, you’ll understand why you should have a good warm-up routine and the benefits you’ll gain from a proper warm-up. After that, we will provide you with stretches you can use before swimming, as well as some good swimming warm-up sets to get your body loosened up and your blood flowing.
Warming up before physical activity has many benefits that you don’t want to miss out on. Giving yourself enough time to prepare your body to train or compete can help you avoid injury and improve physical performance. Plus, the time spent warming up will allow you to mentally focus on your coming race or training.
The last thing you want as an athlete is to sustain an injury that disrupts your swimming program. Luckily, there are measures you can take to reduce your risk of injury. Along with proper recovery practices like stretching and rest, a good swim warm-up can go a long way toward keeping your body healthy and injury-free.
Warming up increases blood flow to your muscles, stretches your muscles, and loosens up your joints. These effects will reduce your risk of muscle-related injuries because they will be warmer and more limber before you begin intense physical activity.
According to a WebMD, 79% of studies observed by a group of researchers found that warm-ups improve athletic performance. The article explains that warm-ups that are too short, performed improperly, are too tiring, or are carried out too far removed from the athletic event are ineffective.
So long as you perform a warm-up that is adequate for yourself as a swimmer, you will likely experience a boost in your athletic performance. Your muscles will be warm and full of oxygen-rich blood, allowing them to function optimally and improving their strength and endurance.
For many of us, swimming acts as a break from regular life and is an almost therapeutic escape from our day-to-day concerns. However, sometimes it is hard to get your mind off specific circumstances and obligations from your daily life, but when you are training or racing, it is essential to focus on the task at hand, and the warm-up is a great time to get your mindset right.
While you stretch and go through your swimming warm-up sets, practice focusing on your mind-body connection. Think about the mechanics of your stroke, and get yourself in the mindset you need to be in to have a high-energy training session or race. After your warm-up, not only will your body be ready, but your mind will be primed as well.
There should be two main sections of your pre-swim routine. The first will be a dryland warm-up in the form of stretches performed before you enter the water. The second will be a series of swimming drills that combine to make a swimming warm-up set.
Below, we have included lists of stretches and swimming drills to try out before your next training session or competition.
You want your body temperature and the blood flow to your muscles to increase before you hop into a pool that is not so warm. Getting into the water too soon can cause your muscles to become cold and less limber, which at worst can cause injury and, at best, will limit your athletic performance.
A dryland warm-up is as important on the pool deck as it is if you are swimming or competing in a triathlon or another open-water event. Often, the water temperature can be somewhat cold in open-water conditions and, for triathletes, a proper warm-up on land is a must.
Here are some dryland stretches you can do:
Now that your body is warm and stretched out, you are ready to jump into the pool to complete the next part of your swimming warm-up set. The goal is to gradually increase your heart rate and thereby increase warmth and blood flow to your muscles.
If you are a beginner in the world of swimming and some of these sets seem challenging to accomplish, you can complete the swim sets below as your main set while you focus on developing perfect technique and work toward increasing your ability to swim greater yardage. Just don’t forget to stretch before you begin!
Now that you know the benefits a proper warm-up can bring to your swimming program, it’s time to head to the pool and give some of the above swimming warm-up sets a try. After a good warm-up, you’ll be ready to perform your best and swim hard while keeping your muscles healthy. Remember to stretch before you dive into your set!