All of our swimmers will know that before every lesson we like to do a “warm up” with some stretching. Swimming, like any other form of exercise, can result in injury and being prepared for the workout that your body is going to go through is important. It’s even more important for swimming because of the great range of muscles you will be using when you’re in the water. Unprepared muscles don’t perform as well as muscles which have been warmed up ahead of exercising. Here’s our top reasons why you should stretch before swimming.
It Increases Flexibility
When you start your lesson or swim session with some stretching exercises you increase your flexibility. This means that the range of motions that you can do with ease will improve and this will make your swimming more efficient. When you don’t stretch beforehand your muscles and joints remain stiff and that lessens your ability to use them to their full potential.
Decreases chances of injury
Stretching warms up your muscles and it keeps them healthy, strong and flexible. This makes your body more resistant to injury because you can move more flexibly and your muscles can extend all the way more easily. That makes them less likely to get damaged from a sudden stretch or an exertion during swimming or any other exercise. Also, the initial warming up gets blood to your muscles and joints preparing them for exercise and making sure they have the resources you need to actually carry out the movements we’re going to ask you to do during your lesson.
It improves your posture
Our lives are often spent sitting down or generally having a bad posture. This often leads to bad back or discomfort. Stretching is a great way to generally improve that. It strengthens your muscles and encourages proper body alignment. This is an important aspect of stretching especially for children as it teaches them healthy habits.
It starts your breathing
A good warm up and stretch will help prepare your lungs and heart for exercise by lightly easing you into it. This will make exercise overall feel less strenuous and less of a shock to your system. By warming up before your swimming lesson you extend the amount of time your heart and lungs are working for, maximising the cardio-vascular benefits of your lesson.
So that’s why we don’t skip warm ups. They’re an essential part of all your swimming lessons that help prepare you for the exercise ahead, help prevent injury and maximise the benefits of your time with us!