Best stretches pre and post swim. We thought it would never get here, but the long awaited summer has finally come and what does that mean? We are spending glorious carefree days at the lake or beach. Who doesn’t look forward to running joyfully into a body of water to cool down on a hot summer day? Just like with any sport, it’s a good idea to be prepared. So, before you go splashing into the water for a long swim, take a moment to do these moves to lessen any soreness you might feel later on.
BEST STRETCHES PRE AND POST SWIM
Crossover stretch. This is an easy one and can be done either seated or standing. Keeping your shoulders lengthening down your back, simply pull one arm across your chest. Gently hold it there with your other arm for about 30 seconds, then switch. You should feel this on the back of your shoulder.
Triceps. Take one arm over your head and bend your elbow reaching your finger tips toward your shoulder blades. With the other hand, gently press on your elbow. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side. If you are tight in the shoulder and pectoral area then this stretch can also be done holding a strap behind your back.
Wall extension one arm. Standing sideways to a wall, place your arm lengthwise across the wall behind you, palm facing the wall. Keeping your body straight and hip touching the wall, slowly rotate away from it. To increase the stretch, simply place your arm higher on the wall. Tip: keep your shoulder touching the wall so that there is no pressure on your elbow. Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides.
Cobra. Do this stretch lying on your stomach or standing. Reach behind your back and clasp your hand together. Make sure that your abdominal muscles are engaged while you gently press your arms away from you while opening your chest. Hold for 30 seconds.
Butterfly. Sitting on the floor (or on a block) with the soles of your feet together, using your elbows gently press your knees down. If you can, lean forward. Breathe and hold for 20 seconds.
Head to knee. This one can be done standing with one foot on a chair or sitting. Stretch one leg out in front of you and bend forward until your head touches your knee. Of course, while that’s the goal, lean as far as you can trying to keep your upper body straight and relaxed. For those of you who are more advanced, stretch both your legs out at the same time. Tip: For an added calf stretch, flex your toes toward you. Breathe and hold for 20 seconds on each leg.
Straddle. This is a variant on the above stretch. Same rules apply, but your leg is now out to the side and you will lean sideways over the leg and then forward toward the floor. You can also do this with your legs open to a v- position on the floor.
Cross-over. Lying on your back with your right leg straight on the floor, take your left leg and cross it over your body, gently pressing your thigh down toward the floor. Repeat on the other side. Hold each side for 20 seconds. This stretch can also be done in a seated position.
The most important thing is to have fun this summer. So take a few minutes to warm up and stretch before jumping in the lake, pool or ocean and always remember to stay safe!
Do you stretch before or after going for a swim?
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