All the best tips and tricks to warm up before dipping into cold water
Before beginning an open water swim, it is imperative that your body commences preparatory measures, which from the outset allows you to swim with more strength and your limbs won’t feel like dead weights in the water. Warming up is one of the best things you can do before a swim, allowing the blood to flow freely around the body and encourage circulation. The transition from warm-up to swim should be as continuous as possible to avoid the body cooling down and achieve optimum performance with heated muscles.
Warm-ups prepare the body mentally and physically to decrease the risk of injury by transporting oxygen filled blood to the muscles. This blood flow allows your swimming technique to feel more natural. If you are preparing for an event or taking part in training at Vigour Events, you will soon learn that cold muscles do not respond well to rapid movement- those arm weights will begin to surface again.
At Vigour Events, you have a few minutes to get into the water before events start. Always plan for at least 5 minutes, which will allow the body to become accustomed, in this time learn to just be in the cold water. After you have warmed-up allow your body to acclimatise, place yourself calmly and smoothly into the water to stabilise your breathing. Cold water can be shocking especially on the face. As a defence mechanism, your muscles will begin to tighten in response to the cold water, relax as this defeats the purpose of your warm-up. Each time you take part in outdoor swimming, find a routine that works for you and enables you to acclimatise quickly. By doing this will ensure that you are prepared for the event and you are comfortable in the water.
Warm-up Without Water
Due to the nature of open water swimming, relying on a water-based warm-up may not be sufficient in preparing your body for getting into the water or warming-up for an event. It takes a lot longer for your muscles to warm up in the cold water. You can do some basic stretches and activities to quicken your heart rate and encourage blood flow to your muscles.
Begin by doing arm swings forwards and backwards for up to ten times to loosen up your arms and shoulders. You can also go a light jog beforehand. Jog only until you feel warm not sweaty or fatigued.
Once the heart rate has increased and your body feels warm, it is vital to stretch and loosen up the muscles. Stretching is an integral part of your swimming programme and improves your flexibility. Swimming utilises all the muscles in your body and you must stretch all the major muscle groups before you swim. Hold these stretches for 10-15 seconds.
Remember to stretch after you have completed your swim. After you have been swimming outside in a cold loch, no doubt you will want to have a hot shower. Whilst you are there, stretch and hold for 30-40 seconds to release waste build up in the muscles and increase post exercise flexibility.
It is no secret that practice makes perfect. The best thing to do to prepare for an event at Vigour Events is to swim as often as you can. Warm up and swim regularly to reap the benefits that outdoor swimming offers.
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