Because swimming is an exercise that involves the full-body, the stretches that should be performed before getting into the water involve diverse muscles. Remember that some people use the same stretches by different names, and pay attention to how stretches are performed more than to what they are called when warming up with new people. The following are three key stretches for a complete start to a key swimming warm-up.
Get your body warmed up by adding arm swings to a routine of stretching. While other stretches are held in a static fashion, this warmup is a series of motions that are repeated. This one helps to open up the chest while loosening up the arms. To perform arm swings, first, stand straight. Begin with the arms held outward to the sides. Bring them inward, crossing them before the front. Then quickly pull the arms back apart, going as far as they will go. Continue these motions for a complete minute. Repeat the move at least three times to get the best out of arm swings.
This move, as the name suggests, stretches out the triceps. It is also helpful for warming up the surrounding muscles, including the shoulders and lats. This muscle group is used with every stroke taken in the water. For the performance of a tricep extension, take one arm, bending it behind the back. Place the other arm’s hand on the elbow of the first. Pull down upon the elbow so the tricep stretches. Hold this position for ten seconds, then switch arms. Six times or more is the target number of repetitions for this stretch.
Add a quad pull into the swimming warm-up so you can gain a leg up when it comes to the competition. A strong swimming performance relies on a strong kick and this move is helpful for getting your legs ready to see action. To complete a quad pull, stand up straight to begin and then bend one knee. Grab the foot that is raised by the bending of the leg with the hands. Hold that foot so it is parallel with the back. Maintain this stretch for ten seconds before switching sides.
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Ever heard of the adage “No pain, no gain”? In some cases, having pain or soreness while working out is not necessarily a good thing to have. You could be doing more harm than good. So, should you be working out when sore? Find out the answer to this common question by reading on.
Should I rest when sore or continue to work out?
If you have sore muscles from working out, especially if you’re new to exercising, you’re probably contemplating if you should continue with your workout regimen or take a few days off. This solely depends on a couple of things.
- Are you an athlete or active person?
- Are you brand new to working out or starting a new routine that is working new muscles?
If you’re an athlete or are constantly active, chances are your soreness is something of the norm. But if you are new to working out or working muscles that haven’t been used vigorously in a while, take caution. In either case, overworking your muscles, in general, can lead to injuries so be wary.
Instead of working out while sore, use recovery days to do stretching, walking, light Yoga, or other non-strenuous activities in order to provide benefits to your sore muscles. The decision to continue should always depend on the seriousness of the soreness you may be experiencing at that particular moment.
Understanding the good pain from the bad
When it comes to the pain you get from working out it is usually related to soreness or injury. Sometimes it is very hard to differentiate between the two. And sometimes the two are related.
If the pain you have is increasing it doesn’t necessarily correlate to you having an injury. But increasing pain or soreness does mean you should not exercise until things get better. If you continue to experience increased soreness or pain, then you could have an injury and you should then seek medical help. Muscle soreness will always dissipate over time, but an injury won’t if you continue to agitate it.
Rest is never a bad thing
In the end, taking a break from working out is never a bad idea. Working out when sore is alright under the right circumstances, but it’s always better to let your body recover from a hard workout instead of pushing through the pain another day. Taking a day off won’t affect your progress, and you and your body will be thankful for it in the long run.
Too many people wait for the new year to arrive before they tackle their health and fitness goals. The fact is, the best time to start working towards your goals is always now (whenever that is)!
Plus, if you start a new routine in the fall, rather than in the new year, you will experience some fantastic benefits. Here are some reasons why fall is the perfect time to work towards your health and fitness goals.
The weather is perfect for outdoor activities
While exercising outdoors in the summer heat is often challenging and uncomfortable, autumn provides the perfect weather for outdoor exercise. In most places, the air starts to get a bit crisp in the fall, which is ideal for running, cycling, or an outdoor fitness class. Also, the declining temperatures throughout the season will prepare you for winter if you choose to continue your outdoors routine.
You will feel better for the holidays
If you get started on your health and fitness goals at the beginning of fall, you will be seeing results by the time the holidays roll around. For example, if one of your goals is weight loss, you should have shed a few pounds by Christmas. That means that you’ll feel more comfortable and confident as you enjoy time with friends and family. Plus, getting started now will guarantee that you also have more energy and overall feel better!
You will get strong habits in place
The holiday season is notorious for holiday parties filled with sweet treats. As a result, most people put on some weight over the holidays. The worst part is that it takes most people five months to lose the excess weight gained from their Christmas indulgences. If you start working on your health goals in the fall, you will have strong habits in place, and you will be less likely to put on weight over the holiday season. Of course, you can enjoy some treats, but if you maintain your exercise routine and eat healthy foods most of the time, the treats won’t affect you nearly as much.
You get a headstart on the new year
Even if the winter holidays throw you off track, the new year provides a new opportunity to recommit to your goals and healthy habits. If you maintain your routines through the end of the year, the new year is your chance to level up. You could try a new, more difficult workout or tighten up your nutrition even more. Or perhaps you’d like to commit to a new fitness challenge like a marathon or IronMan race.
You have four great reasons to start working towards your health and fitness goals now, so why not get started today?
About Nicholas Fainlight
Swimming was not always his favorite sport. In fact, he started off with baseball. When he was young, he would always stay in the batting cages working to tweak his technique.He believes that baseball is a great way to focus yourself. Playing baseball and working on tuning his technique was extremely important to Fainlight. It allowed him to control his mind and keep it in tune with his body.
It was this precision and fine-tuning that allowed Nicholas Fainlight to fall in love with swimming as well. He got involved with swimming when he was a freshman in high school. He had been playing football, but had grown tired of it and wanted to change things up. His advisor suggested that he try out water polo since he had good arms from playing baseball. Fainlight took up the sport and it immediately clicked. Once the water polo season ended, he noticed that most of the water polo team stayed in the water by participating in the swim team during swim season. He figured he’d join in and do swimming as well. He did not yet know how important swimming would be to him.
The swim team was a close-knit group of guys that were like a family. They all worked hard and supported each other, pushing each other to succeed. Fainlight realized what a beautiful sport swimming is and it got him through high school.
Nicholas Fainlight loves everything about swimming. He loves how smooth and fluid it is. Just like baseball, swimming allows you to keep your body and mind in sync with one another. Swimming is a personal sport but a team sport at the same time. Fainlight loves being in the water and thinking about how to be as streamlined as possible. The smallest technical things can make or break a swimmer, and he is fascinated by this. Swimming is a sport that pushes you to work harder to be faster than the person next to you. Fainlight likes to use this drive to get better throughout all aspects of his life.
Sports are very important to one’s development, as Nicholas Fainlight learned in a class about associating, leading, and serving. In this class, he learned that athletics allows a kid to learn at an early age whether he or she is a leading personality or an aiding personality. Sports allow kids to build camaraderie at a young age and also build respect for adults. When a young person joins a sports team, he or she is given people to look up to and a team to go to for support. Athletic kids can also learn that there is not one way to do things right.
Nicholas Fainlight believes that the most important thing to get out of athletics is confidence. As a young child, he was quiet and shy, but he was able to relax once he got into baseball. From then on, he enjoyed sports as a way to stay active and to be around people. He remains passionate about swimming and also golf as a hobby.