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:
- It warms up the body’s systems and increases the blood flow to the muscles;
- It will tap into your available range of motion and mobility;
- Warm-ups primes the nervous system to get things fired up. Warming up properly raises body temperature;
- The movements in the warm-up should mimic the activities you’re going to do in the workout.
- 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
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.
Daly Daly, CSCS
Dryland Strength & Conditioning Coach