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3 Simple Stretches to Do Before You Swim

By Brandi Swieter 

Most people jump right in the water without a second thought. Adults and children alike should really be stretching before they swim if they want to make the most of the activity. Swimming provides a great workout. It targets all muscle groups within the body and offers a low-impact option that nearly anyone can do. Stretching beforehand is crucial to prevent injury. With these three simple stretches to do before swimming, every swimmer can benefit.

Pretzel Stretch

The pretzel stretch targets your glutes, which get worked out well during swimming. Most people wouldn’t think about their backside while swimming, but after kicking over and over again through the water, swimmers will start to realize their butts do get targeted. The pretzel stretch will help to stretch out this area. Start by sitting on the ground and placing one foot on the ground with the other resting on its side on the thigh so the knee is bent. Push the knee away from the body so you feel the stretch. If it’s difficult to feel, the foot remaining on the floor may be too far away. Bring it in closer to the bottom before continuing to push the knee. Repeat on the other side.


The butterfly is one of the easiest stretches with a big impact. Because the legs get worked out during swimming, it’s important to target this area during stretching. Sit on the floor with the feet pressed together and knees extended toward either side. Either hold the feet only for a small stretch, or press down on the knees slightly for a deeper stretch.

Wall Press

The shoulders get used a lot in swimming, and are often a spot for injury. Using the wall press will help target the front of the shoulders that often don’t get stretched and worked enough. Stand facing away from the wall and reach backward to place the palm of the hand against it. The thumb should be pointing upward. Put a slight bend in the elbow and turn the body away in the opposite direction. Repeat with the other arm. You will feel a pull in the shoulders during this stretch.

Try these three stretches or others for improved flexibility before a swim. Any swimmers that do experience pain still or develop an injury should seek the help of a chiropractor immediately. The Joint Chiropractic has doctors available to help discover the problem and work to find a solution.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Gilbert, Ariz.

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