5 Warm-up Exercises to Try Before Your Next Swim

Author: Coach Dan Daly

What is a good warm-up, and why is it so important for optimizing function and athletic performance?

A good warm-up does five important things:

  1. It warms up the body’s systems and increases the blood flow to the muscles;
  2. It will tap into your available range of motion and mobility;
  3. Warm-ups primes the nervous system to get things fired up. Warming up properly raises body temperature;
  4. The movements in the warm-up should mimic the activities you’re going to do in the workout.
  5. Adequate warm-up reduces the risk of injury and also can minimize muscle soreness

A thorough warm-up can be completed efficiently in 5 to 10 minutes before strenuous workouts. Since swimming requires large muscles, it’s important to keep the heart rate low and use efficient movements to avoid fatigue.   Warming up for 5 minutes increases blood flow to reach the muscles involved in the activity, which delivers the important fuel substrates required for energy production.  You’ll have a better outcome from your main workout sets.

Perform these 5 warm-up exercises before your next swim

5 Warmup Exercises Before your next Swim

Here are two other warm-up routines to do for variety:

Coach Tim Crowley’s warm-up exercises using the Vasa SwimErg:

Pilates-inspired mat warm-up with Cheryl Alden, PT:

Reminder: take a few minutes to warm down after rigorous training because

  • Warming down (aka cool-down) gradually allows the body to recover to a pre-exercise heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature.
  • It also reduces stress on the heart and muscles.
  • The risk of injuries is lower.

About Coach Dan Daly

Dan Daly is a well-respected coach, and we are privileged to have him as a vital part of the Vasa community.  He has contributed useful dryland for swimmers’ workout and technique videos, which you can find in our Video Library.

Swim Power Strength and Endurance workoutDaly Daly, CSCS
Dryland Strength & Conditioning Coach


Related Posts


How to Increase Speed with Leg Strength and Explosive Power

Most swimmers (triathletes and surfers, too) want and need to increase leg strength to develop lower body muscle mass, build explosive vertical jumping power, or rehabilitate from leg injuries.  Swimmers can gain “free speed” with explosive starts and push-offs with every turn at the walls. Dryland strength training for the lower body will improve swimming […]

Integrating Anterior Core Strength with Vasa SwimErg Training

Author: Tim Crowley As a longtime coach, I have found the Vasa SwimErg, a swimming ergometer, is one of the most efficient swim training and technique tools available. It allows athletes to maximize their swim training time with real-time data such as power output, stroke rate, force, and other metrics.  As a swimmer develops a […]

How to Use Setbacks to Swim Stronger

Setbacks are opportunities to use creativity, grit, and determination to swim stronger. It takes a special person to turn adversity into successful learning and improvements.  There are many forms of setbacks, whether they be an injury, illness, limited pool availability, race cancellations, and more. Over the years, we’ve been fortunate that Vasa athletes and coaches […]

How to Integrate Hip Rotation Into Freestyle Swimming on the Vasa SwimErg

Does the lack of a rotating bench on a Vasa Trainer or Vasa Swim Ergometer limit your ability to learn proper freestyle body rotation in the water? A lot of swimmers have way too much rotation in their stroke. Rotation and roll are different. When you roll, you aren’t really lengthening your body, you are […]