Anyone who has ever
thought that swimmers have it easy, has never been to an outddor
meet in February.
This weekend I was asked
by more than one swimmer, "Should I warm-up?".
Here is a bit of
information from an article by Oliver Poirier Leroy:
Warming up gets your body
to swim fast in a few different ways:
1. It raises core and
body temperature. Heightened body temperature decreases
the viscous resistance of muscles and joints, making your arms and
legs more pliable and increase range of motion.
2. Fires up your
nervous system. This is where you regain
your feel for the water,
and also primes the fast twitch stuff (hence why coach has you do a
couple sprints towards the end of your meet warm-up). Warming up
has been shown to improve nerve conduction rate and also speeds up
metabolic reactions (phosphate degradation in
3. Warms up your
lungs. Ever noticed that when you first get in the
water you can barely hold your breath long enough to do more than a
dolphin kicks off each
wall? And that by the end of warm-up you can destroy your walls no
problem? Your warm-up also acts as a respiratory warm-up, helping
you avoid gasping for breath like an amateur during your races
later in the session.
4. Increases oxygen
delivery. Oxygen is the fuel of our swimming . We can
only go so long without oxygen before our performance declines and
we eventually, like, die and stuff. A nice little warm-up has been
shown to increase oxygen delivery to muscles.