4 Stretches That Promote Flexibility for Swimming
By Brandi Swieter
Being flexible enough to move through the water with ease is a goal all swimmers should have. People want to be able to swim and exercise well without fear of injury. Shoulder injuries are especially common in swimming and watersports because the arms and shoulders get used when performing various stroke styles. Four stretches in particular work to promote flexibility for swimming that will help combat this problem.
Posterior Shoulder Stretch
A simple stretch to do before swimming is the posterior shoulder stretch. Simply stand in place and use the left hand to grab the right elbow and pull it toward the left shoulder. Leave it in this position for a good 30 seconds before relaxing the arm and switching to the opposite side.
Latissimus Dorsi Stretch
The lower back needs to get worked out as well to prevent pain in this area. The latissimus dorsi stretch helps with this. Stand approximately three feet away from a wall and reach forward until both hands are touching, one above the other. Place the right leg back a step and hold the position for 30 seconds. Go back into standing position before trying the stretch again with the opposite foot stepped back this time.
Since the legs get worked out as well when swimming, it’s important to stretch out the lower body. The quadricep stretch is easy yet effective. Stand on one foot and hold your balance as you grab the opposite ankle with the corresponding hand. The leg needs to be held back so the front of the thigh feels a tug for this stretch.
Just as the shoulders and arms can get injured, the neck can develop pain as well when overworked. Stretch the neck before swimming by grabbing the head with the right hand and carefully tugging it to the right side as far as possible to feel a stretch without feeling pain. Hold for 30 seconds before using the left hand and stretching the neck to the left. Another option is to turn the head to the right and use a hand to apply slight pressure to the jaw to push it inward just a little bit. Repeat on the opposite side for an even stretch.
Any swimmers who experience an injury during their workout can visit The Joint Chiropractic for guidance on what to do next. They may have some helpful pointers for relieving pain and getting the injured muscles healed quickly for continued use.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in St. Petersburg, Fla.