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4 Upper Body Stretches to Do Before You Swim

By Brandi Swieter 

Swimming involves the use of many muscles within the body. The arms and shoulders especially get targeted, with them working overtime with each stroke taken through the water. Performing some upper body stretches before swimming will help to increase flexibility in the arms and better prepare them for the workload that’s to come. It’s the best way to prevent injury and keep the body strong with every stroke.

Posterior Shoulder Stretch

The shoulders are the main spot on swimmers to see injuries. Perform a posterior shoulder stretch to help prevent this from happening. This stretch involves grabbing the right elbow and bringing the arm back toward the opposite shoulder. Hold it in place for 30 seconds. Repeat with the opposite side to get an even stretch for each shoulder.

Tricep Stretch

Lift the right arm and grab the left elbow as you bend the left arm backward. The left elbow should then be pointing upward with the right hand placed underneath it. Both arms should now be over the head and the stretch should be felt in each tricep. Repeat on the opposite side for a better stretch for the other arm.

Mid Pectoralis Muscle Stretch

The mid pectoralis muscle sits within the middle of the chest. To stretch it and get a better range of motion while swimming, stand away from a wall. Put the right hand onto the wall so that it is held at shoulder-level, with the thumb pointing upward and the fingers pointing outward. Carefully rotate the body in the opposite direction to feel a stretch in part of the chest. Hold and repeat.

Upper Pec and Anterior Deltoid Stretch

To stretch out the upper pecs and part of the shoulder, reach both arms behind the back as you stand tall. Clasp the hands together and pinch the shoulder blades together. Try to straighten out the arms behind you to feel a better stretch. If it hurts, lower the arm slightly to a more comfortable position.

Perform these stretches before every swim to loosen up the arms and shoulders and prevent injury. The arm muscles get used regularly, and overuse can quickly lead to injury if people have not properly stretched and prepared their bodies for the vigorous workout that swimming can sometimes be. Those who do experience pain can visit The Joint Chiropractic to seek relief.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Wyckoff, N.J.

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