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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