Want to Swim Faster?

Posted on February 14, 2010

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As we move closer to some of our first half of the year big competitions, preparation becomes a major key to success!  Great athletes set themselves apart from the average athletes through preparation….You absolutely have to work on it!

One thing I want to emphasize in this particular blog is stretching. Stretching is every bit as vital to a swimmer’s performance as strength and conditioning is. Just take a look at Dara Torres’s stretching regimen as featured in an earlier blog.   Stretching has been her “secret weapon” for years, and has kept her on top of the world’s competition for decades now.

As I started researching “stretching for swimmers” I realized that views and opinions have changed slightly since I was a young guppy. Some of the stretches we have been doing for years are wrong, at least for the health of our glenohumeral joint.   Uh, our what???

George Edleman, who wrote a great article for USA Swimming, talks about the good and bad with stretching shoulders and also points out some of the good stretching you can do. He emphasizes that being flexible increases the capacity to build more muscle, reduces injury and keeps you more efficient in the water!  It is real easy to see, when you go to the meets, the most flexible swimmers are also normally the quickest.

His complete article is here:

Shoulder Stretching for Competitive Swimmers

Helpful or Harmful?

Legs

For some leg stretches, I found some easy ones on fogdog.com by World Class Triathlete Paula Newby-Fraser. We normally sit for hours on bleachers at swim meets (parents too), so you may want to look into these types of stretches.

Your Swimming Assignment:

Start incorporating your stretches right now. Tonight before you go to bed, take fifteen minutes to stretch both your upper body and lower body.  Stretch a couple times daily for a couple weeks and see if you feel better in the water and on land!

So for a meet preparation for the first half of the year, get ready! Find yourself a ritual with stretching and develop a plan for success!  Let us know how you feel in a couple weeks!

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Posted in: Tips