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.
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.
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.
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.
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.