Stretches to Increase a Swimmer’s Flexibility

Increasing flexibility is an important component of a swimmer’s training regime. A wide range of motion is needed for swimmers to achieve optimal power and speed. Flexibility is often overlooked in swimming, but it is an important step to prevent injuries. Focusing on areas such as the shoulders and hips keeps you in the water longer. Here are some stretches that increase flexibility so you can swim forever.


Arm and Shoulder Stretches

You can’t avoid using your arms and shoulders when swimming. That’s why it’s important to pay special attention to areas such as the armpits and front shoulder to avoid injuries.


Elbow Pull

  1. Place your right hand behind your shoulder, pointing your elbow straight up.
  2. Place your left hand on your right elbow.
  3. Pull your right elbow inward with your left hand.
  4. Switch arms and repeat.


Wall Press

  1. Place your right palm on a wall at shoulder height with your thumb facing up.
  2. Bend your right elbow a little bit.
  3. Twist your body away from the wall to your left.
  4. Switch arms and repeat.


Leg and Groin Stretches

Leg injuries are common in swimming, and groin injuries are especially common in the breaststroke. Make sure to stretch out your inner thighs and groin area really well.


Wall Lean

  1. Place both hands on a wall at shoulder height and shoulder-width apart. While facing toward it, lean against the wall.
  2. Place your right foot back as far as you can.
  3. Place right heel on the ground while keeping your leg straight.
  4. Switch legs and repeat.


Butterfly Stretch

  1. Sit up straight on the floor.
  2. Bend your knees and relax your claves against the floor.
  3. Press your feet together.
  4. Hold your feet. For a deeper stretch, press your knees down.


Hip Stretches

The lower back and hips can feel particularly tight after practice. Try these yoga poses to loosen things up.

Child’s Pose

  1. Sit with your shins underneath you.
  2. Touch your legs together.
  3. Sit with your thighs on your calves.
  4. Lean over so your stomach touches your legs.
  5. Lay your forehead on the ground.
  6. Stretch your arms out with your palms facing downward.
  7. Hold for a couple of minutes.


Wide Angle Seated Forward Bend

  1. Sit with you legs spread out comfortably as wide as you can with your chest open and back straight.
  2. Lean forward with your arms and palms down on the floor.
  3. Hold for a minute.


Stretching before and after practice only takes a few minutes. It will loosen your muscles and help your body repair after practice or a meet. Contact the Vereen Center today for more ways to increase flexibility and improve performance.