Pre-Swim Mobility Routine

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Pre-Swim Mobility Routine

Post by cottmiler on Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:02 pm

In my quest for effortless swimming I devised a pre-swim mobility routine just to loosen up beforehand. It is NOT a full blown stretch routine nor strength session. It takes 5 to 10 minutes. Just hold positions for a few seconds.

1. YTWL
2. The W bit but with torso twist
3. Clasp hands behind back, press shoulder blades together
4. Tricep stretch
5. Arm across chest
6. Arm circles forward, backward
7. Cross legs and reach to toe
8. Lunge with back foot flat, not on toe.
9. Cobra
10 Child and corpse

I also devised a pre-tennis routine and a pre-running routine.

So instead of a massive all over body stretch session daily for which I don't have time, I just do a few minutes of specific mobility routine before I go for a swim or tennis or run.

Doing a little bit daily is better than nothing.

The idea came to me because I hurt my back the other day doing a too vigorous tennis coaching session. To sort that out I needed a specific bad back routine which was most beneficial. That routine no. 4 had to be done in addition to the 3 routines above since I did not wish to stop doing anything.





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Re: Pre-Swim Mobility Routine

Post by Mike A on Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:28 pm

Glad to see I'm not the only one doing the old YTWL! I also do arm circles (forwards and backwards, starting small and getting larger), and a chest/back stretch, where you start with arms straight out in front, palms together, then swing one arm back behind you (in the horizontal plane, level with the shoulder) whilst keeping the other forward. I do five facing forwards, and five rotating the torso. Three sets of those for each arm. I sometimes also do a "draw the sword, raise it above your head" type thing, which is a bit like SolarEnergy's old "start the lawnmower" stretch. For long cold-water swims, I also do hamstring stretches, as they supposedly help to prevent cramp. I really ought to start doing "cat to cow" as well - a physio recommended it for my tight hip flexors.
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Re: Pre-Swim Mobility Routine

Post by Mike A on Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:59 pm

The two stretches I referred to are apparently called "trunk claps" and "sword draws". Details here:
how-to-warm-up-on-land-for-swimming
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Re: Pre-Swim Mobility Routine

Post by cottmiler on Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:37 am

I was doing my pre-swim mobility routine just now and I seem to have developed quite a respectable amount of torso twist!

When we discussed torso twist recently, I had hardly any. I don't quite understand it.

I've also been doing pre-tennis, pre-run and bad back routines as well.

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Re: Pre-Swim Mobility Routine

Post by Sprinter on Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:16 am

I have heard several times warnings that at least certain stretches before swimming are harmful, since they weaken something (don't remember -- the tendons?). So before swimming the recommendation was to mostly do activation exercises like shoulder rotations, some core stuff etc. Definitely I remember the opinion at various camps and clinics, that hard-core stretching shouldn't be done before the swimming.

I have never felt anything due to stuff done before swimming (GIVEN that I can spend at least 10min of my swimming with warm-up). It also feels unnatural to me. So I just do at most 60s arm rotations (various), and then warm-up. But I do stretching, rotator-cuff stuff etc. after the swimming. The final stretching under the shower. Altogether at least 20 min. To me that is much more natural: at the beginning of a swimming session I want to get into the water.

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Re: Pre-Swim Mobility Routine

Post by nightcrawler on Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:00 am

Do these exercises help swim faster? I have been doing these(and also more) for a year, there has been no remarkable change neither in my speed nor in my technique. silent

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Re: Pre-Swim Mobility Routine

Post by Mike A on Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:48 pm

I think they're more about preventing injury than enhancing performance per se. I tend to swim early in the morning, and often have quite stiff joints when I wake up, so stretching and mobilisation helps to get synovial fluid into the joints and warm up the muscles. If you have time, a dozen slow lengths at the start of your swim session is probably just as good. For many of us though, we have very limited time in the pool, so want to make the most of it. I must admit, I usually find time for some slow lengths of crawl, breaststroke and backstroke at the end of my sessions, just to stretch everything out a bit.
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