Stretching Exercises for Swimmers

Stretching exercises for swimmers should address pain from delayed onset muscle soreness and muscle imbalances. Care should be taken, however to avoid over stretching the joint capsule leading to hypermobility and impingement. Stretches should be included for the pectoral muscles, neck muscles. and latisimus dorsi.

 

Stretching Exercises for Swimmers: Posterior Shoulder Stretch

  1. Stand or sit with chest up and head in neutral position.
  2. Bring your right elbow up and pull it over to the left at shoulder level with the left hand.
  3. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat on the other side.
 exercises for swimmers

Stretching Exercises for Swimmers: Tricep Stretch

  1. Standing or sitting raise your right hand up over your head.
  2. Bend the right elbow and grasp the right elbow with your left hand.
  3. Pull your right elbow to the left overhead.
  4. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat on the other side.
exercises for swimmers

Stretching Exercises for Swimmers: Mid Pectoralis Muscle Stretch

  1. Stand with your right side facing a wall or door frame.
  2. Put your right hand up on the wall, thumb facing up, at shoulder level.
  3. Slowly rotate your trunk to the left until a stretch is felt.
  4. Hold this for 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat this on the left.
exercises for swimmers

Stretching Exercises for Swimmers: Lower Pectoralis Muscle Stretch

  1. Stand with your right side facing a wall or door frame.
  2. Put your right hand up on the wall overhead, thumb facing up.
  3. Slowly rotate your trunk to the left until stretch is felt.
  4. Hold this for 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat this on the left side.
exercises for swimmers

Stretching Exercises for Swimmers: Latissimus Dorsi Stretch

  1. Stand facing a wall or pole about three feet back.
  2. Put both hands on the wall as high as you can reach, one hand on the other.
  3. Step back with one foot.
  4. Let your chest sag toward the floor while maintaining your hand position.
  5. Hold this for 30 seconds.
exercises for swimmers

Stretching Exercises for Swimmers: Upper Pec and Anterior Deltoid Stretch

  1. Stand tall with your chest up.
  2. Reach behind and grasp both hands behind you.
  3. Pull your shoulders back and shoulder blades together.
  4. Lift your hands away from you with arms straight.
  5. Hold this for 30 seconds.
exercises for swimmers

Stretching Exercises for Swimmers: Quadricep Stretch

  1. Standing, grasp your right ankle with your right or left hand behind you.
  2. Pull your foot up and your knee back.
  3. Hold this for 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat this on the left side.
exercises for swimmers

Hamstring Stretch in Standing

  1. Stand and face a chair or table.
  2. Put your foot up on the chair.
  3. Keep your chest up and back straight.
  4. Bend forward at the hips until you feel a stretch in the back of your thigh.
  5. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
  6. Repeat on the other side.
exercises for swimmers

Calf Stretches

  1. Stand about three feet from a a wall and put your right foot behind you ensuring your toes are facing forward.
  2. Keep your heel on the ground and lean forward with your right knee straight.
  3. Rotating the toes in and out slightly will target the medial and lateral parts of this muscle separately.
  4. Hold this for 30 seconds.
  1. Stand away from a wall and put your right foot behind you and be sure your toes are facing forward.
  2. Lean forward at the ankle while bending the right knee and keeping your heel on the ground.
  3. Because the knee is flexed, tension is taken off the gastrocnemius and placed on the soleus.
  4. Hold this for 30 seconds.

Repeat both of the above on the left side.

swimming stretches
stretches for swimmers

Hip Flexors Stretch

  1. To stretch the right hip flexors kneel on your right knee and put your left foot in front of you such that your left hip and knee are about 90 degrees.
  2. Put a noodle or board on the floor for your knee if you find this uncomfortable.
  3. Put your right hand on your right hip and push your right hip forward so that it is in front of your right knee.
  4. Keep your chest up and don’t bend forward at the hips.
  5. Hold this for 30 seconds.
  6. Repeat this on the left side.
stretches for swimmers

Long Hip Adductors

  1. Kneel onto your left leg or simply squat down on the left.
  2. Place your right foot in front of you to assume the lunge position.
  3.  Slide your right foot out to the side and place both hands on the floor in front of you.
  4. Try to straighten the right knee and lean your body forward while relaxing your hips.
  5. Rocking the hips forward and back will  change the pull slightly to get all long adductors.
  6. Hold this for 30 seconds.
  7. Repeat this on the other side.
swimmers stretches

Short Hip Adductors

  1. The quickest way to stretch the short adductors is to stretch them both at the same time in sitting.
  2. Sit on the floor with feet together, knees bent.
  3. Gently apply pressure to  your thighs as you lift your chest up and bend forward at your hips.
  4. Try to maintain a neutral pelvic position. (Don’t bend at the waist and don’t let your tailbone roll under)
  5. Hold this for 30 seconds.
stretching for swimmers

Neck Stretches

  1. Sit or stand with your chest up and looking straight ahead.
  2. Gently push your chin back while looking straight ahead(so that you have a double chin)
  3. Keep your head upright, don’t look up or down. Keep eyes facing forward.
  4. While holding your chin back with one hand, use your other hand to reach over the top of your head.
  5. Stabilize your chin back as you gently pull the top of your head forward. This is a tilting motion.
  6. Hold this for 30 seconds.
  1. Sit or stand with your chest up and looking straight ahead.
  2. Reach over your head with your right hand.
  3. Gently pull your head over to the right side.
  4. Hold this for 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat this on the other side.
  6. If you feel pain or pinching on the right side doing this, stop. Your are no longer stretching but stressing joints. See your physical therapist.
  1. Sit or stand with your chest up and looking straight ahead.
  2. Look over your right shoulder.
  3. Gently apply overpressure to your jaw to assist in this movement.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds.
  5. If you experience any pain in the neck or jaw, stop and consult your physical therapist.

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