Pilates Mat Warm-Up For Better Swim Training

Pilates-inspired Mat Warm-Up For Better Swim Training

Warm-up Exercises:

#1.  Quadruped thoracic rotation (3-5 reps.)

a. Add leg extension
Hands and knees position, hands under shoulders, knees under hips.  Spine long and neutral. One hand behind head. Inhale. Exhale to rotate upper body towards stabilizing arm on the floor. Inhale to rotate towards the ceiling.
Add opposite leg extension: Exhale rotate to stabilizing arm, the leg is long and the foot is on floor. Inhale to extend the hip and rotate towards the ceiling. 

#2.  Swimming prep in quadruped (5-8 reps.)
Hands and knees position as above. On the exhale, reach one arm and opposite leg long. Inhale as you return to start. Keep spine long and neutral. Don’t extend your arm and leg so high that your spine extends.  Reach your arm and leg to the opposite sides of the room and not up.  

#3. Swimmers 100

Lay supine on the bench. Upper body flexed off the mat, arms in a streamlined position.  Low back imprinted (lengthened towards mat). Legs reaching on long diagonal as low as you can maintain spinal imprint. Inhale for 5 counts, exhale for 5 counts as you flutter kick your legs. 10 sets.
Keep low back towards mat maintaining tension in core not feeling low back tightness.  Lift legs at a higher diagonal if you begin to lose imprint.

#4.  Lateral flexion with added swim legs

Side-lying position: hips and shoulders stacked, spine long and neutral.
Begin with side bends only: on exhale, stabilize the bottom shoulder, laterally flex upper body off the mat, lifting legs.
Add swim legs: stay in lateral flexion. Inhale: move legs forward and back as you inhale for 5 counts. Exhale: Continue with leg movement as you rotate your head towards the mat. 5 sets.

Next Step: Be sure to check out the Pilates-inspired workout on the Vasa Trainer Pro for swimmers, triathletes, surfers, and more.

pilates workout for swimmers

Cheryl Alden, PT, an accomplished open water swimmer & triathlete,  holds a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy (cum laude) from the University of Vermont.  For many years, her focus as a physical therapist was outpatient orthopedics. Cheryl continues to expand her knowledge in the field of physical therapy and applies it to her current position as owner of Symmetry Pilates Center. Cheryl has been a fitness instructor for over 20 years teaching various types of group exercise classes and now focuses primarily on STOTT PILATES® and TRX.