The last thing you want to do after a few taxing laps of the pool (or sea, if you're really fancy/brave) is clamber out and do some swimming stretches. You probably want to get dry and warm, and head to the café for a massive sarnie to quell that post-swim hunger. But make time for a simple stretch routine and you’ll avoid injury and keep your limbs all flexible.
- A proper stretching routine will keep you limber and improve your swimming performance
- Swimming.org suggests try doing your swimming stretches in a warm shower, holding each stretch for 30 - 40 seconds to help clear waste products from the muscles, improve post-exercise flexibility and stimulate the muscle receptors that promote relaxation
- No matter what stroke you swim, you can’t avoid using your arms and shoulders so it's important to focus on them while stretching
- Equally as your legs propel you through the water you will be relying on your leg and bum muscles a lot so you need to make sure you spend time stretching them out after a swim
- Doing the right swimming stretches will make sure your body is ready and can help improve your swimming technique
We’re not going to lie, it’s ultra-cheesy, but this Aussie video gives a thorough run-down of swimming stretches. It’s best performed on dry land, so try and find a quiet spot by the side of the pool or in the changing rooms. Wet suits optional.
Swimming Stretches, Swimming Stretching Routine, Best Flexibility Program for Swimmers by StretchCoach
If you don't fancy getting out of the pool (and don’t mind looking a little ‘unusual’), then grab a float and follow this aquatic routine.
Deep Water Stretches by Connie Jasinskas
Finally, it's probably best to avoid the overtly sexual thrusting of this guy at your local pool. Especially if you're wearing very tight budgie smugglers...