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Why Swimmers Need to Stretch Before and After

By Brandi Swieter 

Too many people jump right into a pool or lake without ever stretching their bodies. While it’s fine to skip stretching if people are simply wading into the water, those who plan on swimming and really working out their bodies need a proper stretch routine before and after. Stretching helps in many ways.

Better Flexibility

Working out requires a flexible body that is able to move and bend the way it needs. Swimming is essentially a workout, and requires the same attention to flexibility. A stiff body will not be able to move well in the water, so stretching allows for improvement that will have the body bending and moving as needed. It’s important to stretch the lower half of the body in particular because swimmers need to kick their legs and use their lower half to move through the water.

Decrease in Chance for Injury

There is a major chance for injury when people swim. Some people believe that because the water adds buoyancy and makes it low-impact, they won’t feel pain or get hurt while swimming. The muscles are still being utilized and can therefore experience injury and pain the same as if people were working out on land. To decrease the chance for injury, people need to properly stretch their muscles and have them as prepared as possible for all the movement that will be done in the water.

Better Cardiovascular Benefits

The lungs working hard as the body moves provides aerobic exercise that is extremely beneficial to the heart. If people simply get into the water and start working hard, however, the lungs will struggle. Better cardiovascular benefits come from starting out slowly and increasing the workload over time. This means breathing deeply while stretching to start with before getting into a fast-paced workout in the pool.

Preparedness for the Next Swim

It’s never too early to prepare for the next swim. It’s possible to do so by stretching immediately following a swim session. The muscles will then recover faster, making the body ready sooner to swim again. Everyone who comes out of the water should perform at least a few stretches to benefit their bodies.

Stretch the body well before and after a swimming workout to ensure better flexibility, a decrease in the chance for injury, better cardiovascular benefits, and preparedness for the next swim. Any swimmer who fails to stretch and ends up with an injury or some sort of pain because of it can visit The Joint Chiropractic for some relief.

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

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