What to Do Before, During, and After Swimming
By Brandi Swieter
Swimming helps the body immensely, providing a low-impact workout that gets all the muscle groups working. Although the activity is beneficial, too many people don’t utilize it fully. Many are unaware of what they should be doing before and after swimming, and even how best to handle it during. Knowing what to do in terms of the best stretches and proper techniques will help people make the most of the workout option all summer long.
Before Your Swim
Stretching before a swim can help prevent injury. It increases flexibility within the body and helps to get blood and oxygen flowing to the muscles that will be used during swimming. The hips, legs, and glutes need the most attention, as these are the areas that work the most when swimmers kick to move themselves through the water. The shoulders should also get worked out. This is one of the most commonly injured areas for frequent swimmers.
During Your Swim
Swimmers need to be very mindful of their form. If the body is out of alignment or people are not using their full range of motion, there is a greater chance for injury during swimming. Once people become tired they tend to use weaker motions and movements. They appear sloppy in what they’re doing and can easily become disjointed. Taking a break when fatigue sets in is the far better option than trying to push through. Break regularly during a swim, especially if any pain or cramping sets in.
After Your Swim
Stretching after a swim is also necessary. Too many people simply get up and out of the pool without ever stretching out their body to help the recovery process. Even taking a cool-down lap around the pool at a slow pace will help the muscles worked, ensuring they go from a fast-paced to workout, to a slow-paced cooldown, before doing a few stretches and stopping. An abrupt stop would do more harm.
Try swimming with these things in mind to make the most of the workout. Safely stretching beforehand will help get the body prepared. Stretching afterward will help it recover. Use proper techniques during the swim for the most optimized workout one can have in the water. Anyone who experiences cramps or pain during their swim should seek the assistance of a doctor at The Joint Chiropractic to alleviate pain and improve range of motion for next time.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Anderson, S.C.