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5 Dynamic Warm-Up Stretches For Swimming

Amy Woods Fitness Dynamic warm-up stretches for swimmers run Tri bike magazine

Athletes know how important it is to warm up before we start our training. Whether your are cycling or running your know that you need to warm-up, but triathletes often forget to properly warm up before we swim. You’ve seen this before where the person stands on the pool deck and swings their arms up and down or side to side, but did you know that there are lots of other dynamic exercises to get your whole body warmed up, help you stay injury free and activate your muscles.  The following 5 warm-up stretches for swimmers will activate your shoulders, thoracic spine, core, hips, legs and calves.  No need for any equipment; this routine can be completed on the pool deck in just a few minutes!

5 Dynamic Warm-Up Stretches For Swimmers

Goal Post Squeeze – shoulders, upper back

Holding your arms out the side like a goal post, move your arms back a little bit and squeeze your shoulder blades together.  Hold for a few seconds and release.  Repeat 5-8 times.

Downward Dog – shoulders, arms, calves, ankles

Slowly lower yourself down, hinging at the waist and then walk your hands out until you are in an upside down V (downward dog position).  While you press through the hands and shoulders, gently raise and lower your heels off the floor, warming up your calves and your ankles. Alternate for about 30 seconds.

Four Point Thoracic Twist – t-spine, shoulders, neck

Lower down to the floor on your hands and knees.  Put one hand behind your head and move your shoulder and elbow toward the opposite arm (the one holding you up) and then open back up and move your elbow toward the ceiling, making sure your head follows along with your elbow. Repeat 5-8 times on one side and then switch sides.

Cat-Cow – shoulders, core

Lower down to the floor, on your hands and knees. Arch your back and look up as you arch into “cow.”Your tailbone lifts up and your head looks up. Exhale as you do this.  Then inhale and come into “cat” position as your back rounds and you tuck your tailbone under. Head drops down. Repeat 5-8 times.

Dynamic Child’s Pose – shoulders, back, hips

By making this movement dynamic, and not static, you activate and warm your muscles. Sit back into child’s pose, knees bent under you and legs a bit wider than your hips, arms outstretched in front of you and eyes looking to the ground.  Gently come up onto all fours and then lower back down, like you are rocking back and forth.  Repeat 5-8 times.


For other post-swim stretches CLICK HERE to watch the video.

Amy Woods Fitness Ironman Physical Therapist

Amy Woods is a triathlete, Level 1 USAT Coach and fitness instructor who lives in Cape Cod, MA, with her husband, two teenage children, a poodle, and an old gray cat. She was a classroom teacher for 22 years and recently left the classroom to focus more on her family and her passion for all things fitness.

Amy teaches indoor cycling and strength classes in-person and virtually. She recently launched her own app (Amy Woods Fitness) and an on-demand video workout library, featuring everything from cycling and strength to yoga and barre. It’s a one-stop shop for fitness and includes other local instructors.

When Amy is not in the studio, you can probably find her swimming, biking, and running.  She is an Ironman All World Athlete, a Boston Marathon qualifier, and part of the I Race Like A Girl team and her local Cape Cod Triathlon team.