warm-up

All swimmers should have a set warm up, which they should be familiar with.

Often, at club galas, the lanes are overcrowded and there isn’t much time to warm up.  However, at open meets and larger competitions, swimmers should get at least 30 mins warm up time.  This should be used wisely.

Here is an example of a productive warm up:

15 min     Stretch (to maximise the joints range of motion)
400m       Front Crawl (to generally warm up the muscles)
200m       Kick/The competing stroke (to warm up the legs)
200m       Drills/The competing stroke (to get the stroke efficient and feeling good)
2 x 25m   Off blocks 90% effort (to practice race pace and sharpen up)
25m         Off blocks 100% effort, timed (to sharpen up)

Stretching

ARMS AND SHOULDERS

POSITION: Stand with the back straight and feet shoulder width apart. Extend the arms outward to shoulder height.
ACTION: Rotate the shoulders forward, and make a large circular motion with the arms. Repeat the action in the opposite direction. Do this three times in each direction.

 

HIPS

POSITION: Stand in the same manner as the neck rotation.
ACTION: Rotate the hips clockwise while keeping the back straight. Repeat the action in a counterclockwise direction. Do this three times in each direction.

 

KNEES AND ANKLES

POSITION: Stand with the feet together, and bend at the waist with knees slightly bent.
ACTION: Place the hands above the knees, and rotate the legs in a clockwise direction. Repeat the action in a counterclockwise direction. Do this three times in each direction.

 

NECK AND SHOULDER STRETCH

This stretches the sternocleidomastoid , pectoralismajor, and deltoid muscles.
POSITION: Stand with the feet shoulder width apart and the arms behind the body.
ACTION: Grasp the left wrist with the right hand. Pull the left arm down and to the right. Tilt the head to the right. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds. Repeat the action with the right wrist, pulling the right arm down and to the left. Tilt the head to the left.

 

ABDOMINAL STRETCH

This stretches the abdominals, obliques, latissimus dorsi, and biceps.
POSITION: Stand and extend the arms upward and over the head. Interlace the fingers with the palms turned upward.
ACTION: Stretch the arms up and slightly back. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds.
VARIATION: This stretches the rectus abdominis muscles. Stretch to one side, then the other. Return to the starting position.

 

CHEST STRETCH

This stretches the pectoralis major, deltoids, and biceps muscle groups.
POSITION: Stand and interlace the fingers behind the back.
ACTION: Lift the arms behind the back so that they move outward and away from the body. Lean forward from the waist. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds. Bend the knees before moving to the upright position. Return to the starting position.

 

UPPER-BACK STRETCH

This stretches the lower trapezius and posterior deltoid muscles of the upper back.
POSITION: Stand with the arms extended to the front at shoulder height with the fingers interlaced and palms facing outward.
ACTION: Extend the arms and shoulders forward. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds. Return to the starting position.

OVERHEAD ARM PULL

This stretches the external and internal obliques, latissimus dorsi, and triceps.
POSITION: Stand with the feet shoulder width apart. Raise the right arm, bending the right elbow and touching the right hand to the back of the neck.
ACTION: Grab the right elbow with the left hand, and pull to the left. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds. Return to the starting position. Do the same stretch, and pull the left elbow with the right hand for 10 to 15 seconds.

 

THIGH STRETCH

This stretches the quadriceps and anterior tibialis.
POSITION: Stand. (For variation, lie on the stomach.)
ACTION: Bend the left leg up toward the buttocks. Grasp the toes of the left foot with the right hand, and pull the heel to the left buttock. Extend the left arm to the side for balance. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds. Return to the starting position. Bend the right leg, grasp the toes of the right foot with the left hand, and pull the heel to the right buttock. Extend the right arm for balance. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds. Return to the starting position.

 

HAMSTRING STRETCH (STANDING)

This stretches the hamstrings, erector spinae, and gluteal muscles.
POSITION: Stand with the knees slightly bent.
ACTION: Bend forward keeping the head up, and reach toward the toes. Straighten the legs, and hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds.

HAMSTRING STRETCH (SEATED)

In addition to the muscles mentioned in the standing hamstring stretch, this stretches the calf (gastrocnemius and soleus) muscles.
POSITION: Sit on the ground with both legs straight and extended forward with the feet upright about six inches apart. Put the hands on the ankles or toes.
ACTION: Bend from the hips, keeping the back and head in a comfortable, straight line. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds. (Variation for greater stretch: Stretch and pull back on the toes.)

GROIN STRETCH (STANDING)

This stretches the hip adductor muscles.
POSITION: Lunge slowly to the left while keeping the right leg straight, the right foot facing straight ahead and entirely on the floor.
ACTION: Lean over the left leg while stretching the right groin muscles. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds. Repeat with the opposite leg.

GROIN STRETCH (SEATED)

This stretches the hip adductor and erector spinae muscles.
POSITION: Sit on the ground with the soles together. Place the hands on or near the feet.
ACTION: Bend forward from the hips, keeping the head up. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds.

GROIN STRETCH (SEATED STRADDLE)

This stretches the hip adductor (on the insides of the upper leg), gluteals, erector spinae, and hamstring muscles.
POSITION: Sit on the ground with the legs straight and spread as far apart as possible.
ACTION: Bend forward at the hips, keep the head up, and reach toward the feet. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds.
VARIATION: Stretch to one side while trying to touch the toes. Next, stretch to the other side.

CALF STRETCH

This stretches the calf (gastrocnemius and soleus) muscles.
POSITION: Stand straight with the feet together, arms extended downward, elbows locked, palms facing backward, fingers extended and joined, and head and eyes facing front.
ACTION: Move the right foot to the rear about two feet, and place the ball of the foot on the ground. Slowly press the right heel to the ground. Slowly bend the left knee while while pushing the hips forward and arching the back slightly. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds. Return to the starting position. Repeat with the left foot. Return to the starting position.

CALF STRETCH (VARIATION: TOE PULL)

This stretches the calf (gastrocnemius) and to a lesser extent the hamstrings, gluteus maximus, and erector spinae muscles.
POSITION: Stand with the feet shoulder width apart and the left foot slightly forward.
ACTION: Bend forward at the waist. Slightly bend the right knee, and fully extend the left leg. Reach down and pull the toes of the left foot toward the left shin. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds. Return to the starting position. In a similar manner, pull the toes of the right foot toward the right shin, and hold for 10 to 15 seconds.

 

HIP AND BACK STRETCH (SEATED)

This stretches the hip abductors, erector spinae, latissimus dorsi, and oblique muscle groups.
POSITION: Sit on the ground with the right leg forward and straight. Cross the left leg over the right while sitting erect. Keep the heels of both feet in contact with the ground.
ACTION: Slowly rotate the upper body to the left and look over the left shoulder. Reach across the left leg with the right arm, and push the left leg to your right. Use the left hand for support by placing it on the ground. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds. Repeat this stretch for the other side by crossing and turning in the opposite direction.

HIP AND BACK STRETCH (LYING DOWN)

This stretches the gluteal and erector spinae muscles.
POSITION: Lie on the back with the arms straight beside the body. Keep the legs straight and the knees and feet together.
ACTION 1: Bring the left leg straight back toward the head, leaving the right leg in the starting position. Bring the head and arms up. Grab the bent left leg below the knee, and pull it gradually to the chest. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds. Gradually return to the starting position. Repeat these motions with the opposite leg.
ACTION 2: Pull both knees to the chest. Pull the head up to the knees. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds. Return to the starting position.