Shiverers Swimming Club

Shiverers – How To Go Faster And Avoid Injury

Hopefully you enjoyed our presentation at The King Alfred on Friday 13th February. We’re hoping that is why you’re reading this. Below are the exercises we covered to help you with your swimming training as a reminder. We’ve also included a few extra ones for that extra bit of help to achieve your swimming goals.

If you have any questions about any of the exercises. Or if you would like to know more about what you can do to make your body work more efficiently to go faster then please give us a call on  or drop us a mail at We’re always happy to talk bio-mechanics, training optimisation and helping you out with any injuries or niggles that may be affecting your training.

Happy swimming!

Swimming Posture
  • 1. Posture

    Our first bit of advice is probably the most important. Posture! If you get lazy or adopt unbalanced positions you will put muscles in short positions for long periods. Due to “Adaptive Shortening” the muscles then think this is the position that they need to be in all the time.

    The muscles stay short when you’re doing other things which causes at best a lack of efficiency and reduces the amount of power you are able to generate. At worst it can be the pre-cursor the injury due to the increased load put on structures elsewhere, most frequently in swimming, the shoulder.

    Simply put sit up straight, don’t be lazy and don’t slouch around – particularly if you play X-Box or Play Station! For a more detailed description on posture check out our previous blog here.

Swimming Stretch 1
  • 2. Lumbar Extension

    Swimming Stretch 1This stretch is the opposite of slouching! It should be performed pain free. If you do get any pain whilst attempting this give us a call and we’ll sort it out for you! It’s designed to stretch the muscles deeper even than our ‘core’ muscles. If these muscles are out of kilter then you’ll immediately lose efficiency and balance in the water and probably have a rubbish leg kick to boot!

    Ideally perform over a Swiss Ball but you can use a bed or sofa. For those people who don’t like the feeling of blood rushing to their head, or people who find discomfort in the back, supporting your head on a bed is a better option for you.

    As shown in the picture simply lie backwards over your chosen object and enjoy. It should feel pretty enjoyable and relieving and any stretch you feel through the front of your tummy is a bonus.

Back Pain Half Moon
  • 3. Half Moon

    This stretch makes use of the continuation of the lats (where we generate power from in swimming) into the obliques. If you can keep the obliques and lats loose then we well optimise the position of the shoulder joint and so too the power we can generate through the water.

    Simply stand and make like a half moon shape as shown in the picture. Hold this stretch for a minute at a time and do both sides of course. This is another nice one to do immediately after training. Especially if you’ve done a lot of Front Crawl and worked hard. When you’re blowing you’ll be more inclined to rotate more to breath heavier leaving your stroke a bit ragged and your obliques over worked.

Brighton Physiotherapy - Lats
  • 4. Lat Stretch

    This is the stretch that I get asked most questions asked about. When done correctly it feels great for all us swimmers. When not done right not much happens! Should be done for a minute on each side after every training session. Maybe twice through if you’ve worked really hard or done lots of Fly and Free.

    Start by finding yourself an edge of a wall or a door frame. Grab the edge of the door just above the level of your shoulders. Then stick your backside straight out behind you. You may start to feel a stretch already. From here rotate your torso underneath your body – think in the direction of sniffing your armpit! This rotation movement should increase the stretch anywhere along the back on that side and can go all the way to the crest of the hip.

Brighton Physiotherapist Pec Stretch
  • 5. Pec Stretch

    Another stretch to avoid that inefficient posture that us swimmers are prone to – the rounded shoulder look. Firstly it makes us look like monkeys (!), secondly it brings the shoulder into a position that makes the arm less powerful through the water.

    Find yourself a nice flat bit of wall. Approach it facing forwards and get really close, as you were about to kiss the wall. Bring one arm up so you look like you’re surrendering on one side with the elbow at 90 degrees. Now simply rotate away from the wall as shown in the picture until you feel a nice stretch. Never stretch to pain.

    As a variation you can reach your arm higher up the wall so the elbow would be approximately at 120 degrees to stretch slightly different muscles fibres. As with all of the stretches hold for about a minute at a time and repeat if necessary. You should feel this stretch across the front of the chest. If you feel it more around the back of the shoulder then try the next stretch first and go back and try again with this one.

Brighton Physio - RC
  • 6. Rotator Cuff Stretch

    This stretch is great if your shoulders are feeling tired and achey round the back. It’s usually a symptom of being tight elsewhere (pecs, lats, obliques) but sometimes it’s nice to stretch to make a session easier. As shown in the picture simply pull the arm across the chest, grabbing the arm above the elbow.

    You should feel this stretch towards the back of the shoulder. If you feel discomfort at the front of the shoulder when doing this try doing the pec stretch above first and then retry. Again hold the stretch for a minute on either side and not to the point of pain.

Brighton Hove Indian Rotation
  • 7. Indian Rotation

    Particularly good if you struggle to breath to one side on frontcrawl. This will normally be due to a lack of mobility in rotation on one side. Start with your arms across the chest as shown in the picture and rotate as far as you comfortably can to one side.

    From here bend to the side whilst still in that fully rotated position. Come out of the side bend and try to rotate a bit further. You should find it easier to get more rotation. Repeat three times on each side and repeat the whole thing more on the side that you struggle to breath to.

    That lot should keep you out of trouble and busy! If you do develop any issues or want to know a few short cuts to get even faster or just swim with less pain than give us a call on

    See you in the pool!