Swimming is the perfect exercise for many reasons. For one, it’s gentle on joints and muscles, which is why it’s generally approved by doctors when other sports are not. But a lack of flexibility can hinder your swimming, killing your performance and enjoyment of the sport.
Here are some reasons to incorporate flexibility training into your swimming routine so you can swim harder, faster, and longer!
If you just can’t seem to improve your personal record, a lack of flexibility could be to blame.
Poor swimming performance is often caused by lack of flexibility due to a limited range of motion in the shoulder and ankle joints.
As muscles are stretched through exercise, the individual fibers lengthen. Longer muscle fibers create more force when contracted, so flexibility training will make you a faster swimmer.
Highly flexible swimmers create less turbulence in the water, which in turn makes them faster swimmers. Splashing around creating waves will slow you down, as will moving your body from side to side. Flexibility training helps you to become more aerodynamic and fluid in the water so you can swim more smoothly and efficiently.
Photo credit Freedigitalphotos.net
Although swimming is usually approved for those with joint problems, it’s still possible to get sore or even injured.
Flexibility training is the best way to avoid injury which can include torn muscles and aching shoulder joints—a common ailment among swimmers with poor flexibility.
Healthy, flexible joints—especially in the shoulders, ankles, and spine—will relieve the muscles from pulling all the weight, which in turn lets you utilize your time in the pool more effectively.
When joints are stiff, the muscles have to work harder which in turn creates fatigue. Valuable energy is used up which causes tiredness much sooner than you’d like. What you planned to be a 30-minute swim session is suddenly cut in half.
The best way to increase your endurance so you can swim harder, faster, and longer is to increase your flexibility. This can be achieved through activities such as water aerobics, yoga, and general stretching and flexing for 10 to 15 minutes prior to swimming.
Before long, you’ll see the results of flexibility training for yourself as your swimming improves. And while you stretch, be sure to use Underwater Audio’s waterproof iPod to keep you motivated and pumped for an awesome swimming workout!
Have you seen an improvement in your swimming by adding in flexibility training?
Have any tips on how to improve flexibility?
Share in the comments below!