Stretching is a very important part of your swimming routine. It helps athleticism, increases flexibility and guards against the risk of injury. As swimming is an all-body workout, try to stretch all of the major muscle groups before you swim.
A few things to remember when stretching:
• Stretch when muscles are warmed-up.
• Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds.
• Do not bounce.
• Do not stretch to the point of feeling pain, otherwise you risk tearing a muscle.
• Do not hold your breath. Take deep breaths and relax.
Stretching at the end of a workout is just as important. At the end of a swimming training session the body is much stiffer, there is lactic acid buildup in the muscle and pressure on the joints. As the body is warmed up it is therefore easier to stretch before the workout. When the motion range increases our swimming strokes become longer, our buoyancy is better, and most importantly – we prevent shoulders and back injuries.
Here are some good stretches to help your swimming muscles: