How To Warm Up Before Swimming

It is common knowledge, that it is important to warm up before exercising. However, often people are unaware how to safely warm up before swimming.


Why Is It Important?

When you swim, you are using a huge range of muscles. To avoid injuring these muscles, and to optimise your performance, it is recommended that you warm up effectively. Warming up, helps to oxygenate your body, ensuring there is enough oxygen present in the working muscles. This increases energy supply, meaning your muscles will work more effectively, resulting in a better performance from you.

It also increases your body temperature, which prevents injury in your muscles and tendons. Injury prevention allows your muscles to become stronger, as you can continue to train harder and for longer. A similar process works on your cardiovascular system during a warm up, allowing your heart rate to gradually increase, again, meaning you can work out for longer.

How To Warm Up

Gently swim or walk in the water for 5 minutes to warm your body up, this is especially important if the pool is cool. Once you feel warm and your heart rate has increased, you can introduce stretches. In between or during stretches, it is vital to maintain your body temperature. When present in water, your body temperature is likely to drop rapidly. Between stretches, spend 15-20 seconds jogging or swinging your arms or legs to prevent this drop in temperature.


Stretch near the side of the pool if possible, so that you can use the wall to aid your stretches. You will need to focus on stretching your arms and shoulders, legs, glutes and hips, as you use all of these muscles and joints, regardless of which stroke you adopt. Stretch as you would for any cardio workout, but remember to keep warm between each stretch.

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