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bowyer954
March 4th, 2012, 11:05 AM
Just got back from the Greensboro meet and it brought back memories from previous Nationals. With so many swimmers attempting to warm-up in a fairly restricted area how do you do it? Are there any good dry land warm-up exercises that can simulate the pool action. I know this will be a problem at the nationals and am looking for some good advice.

coachkopie
March 4th, 2012, 11:58 AM
almost any actions that wake up the body, get O2 and Blood flowing and that are safe will help but i urge you to carefully slide into a lane and swim and enjoy the draft you get off of other swimmers and if someone needs to pass, they can do so safely if you hug the outside of the lane and they are careful. move and enjoy. and arrive early to get oriented and comfortable with the setting and available water space. enjoy and seize the moments.

Jazz Hands
March 4th, 2012, 12:36 PM
Great question. My goal would be to loosen up the joints that are most important for swimming and those that tend to feel the stiffest. A big part of my warm-up involves making sure my ankles are loose, since this makes the kick more efficient. So definitely do some toe raises, ankles rotations, and light ankle extension stretching. Backward arm circles loosen the shoulders. I always do some pec minor stretches before I swim, as well. And then maybe just some lightly weighted movement: body-weight squats, jumps, push-ups, etc. If you can plan ahead for this, bring stretch cords and do some simulated butterfly pulls.

Another part of the warm-up is studying the pool dimensions and materials. If you can't practice in your actual competition lane, take a very close look at the markings on the bottom and the changes in the depth. Maybe even feel the wall and the starting blocks and see how slippery they are. I came into a meet late today and was surprised by how slippery the wall was during my race. You don't want that.

Debugger
March 4th, 2012, 01:33 PM
This might be helpful. Brendan Hansen's thoughts about warm up during crowded meets - Brendan Hansen - How to Warm Up! - YouTube

EJB190
March 4th, 2012, 05:13 PM
If you're talking about where to physically do the workouts, I've always found back hallways to be great places. More room, no people.

knelson
March 4th, 2012, 10:58 PM
I know this will be a problem at the nationals and am looking for some good advice.

My advice is to skip the morning warmup at Nationals. I never do it unless I'm in the first event. Just get up, get your body moving, and then show up to the pool later and swim in the warmup pool instead.

gaash
March 5th, 2012, 08:47 AM
I just dont warm up more than maybe a lap but then again I don't have cardio to swim more than a 50 anyway. However, I think there will be much more research coming out on how people warm up way too much in the first place. In just about all sports not just swimming.

ElaineK
March 5th, 2012, 01:48 PM
My advice is to skip the morning warmup at Nationals. I never do it unless I'm in the first event. Just get up, get your body moving, and then show up to the pool later and swim in the warmup pool instead.

I agree! I used to go to the morning warmup, so I could get a couple of starts off the blocks, however, it wasn't worth it. The downside for me doing this at Mesa was spending too much time in the heat poolside or sitting around on the gym floor, trying to escape the heat. I did better at Auburn when I missed the morning warm-ups and block starts, and arrived later to the pool. I must add, though, that the air conditions at the Auburn pool were excellent. :applaud:

ElaineK
March 5th, 2012, 02:02 PM
I just dont warm up more than maybe a lap but then again I don't have cardio to swim more than a 50 anyway. However, I think there will be much more research coming out on how people warm up way too much in the first place. In just about all sports not just swimming.

It really depends on your age and event. The older I get, the longer warm-up I need. And, I need a longer warm-up if my first event is the 200 breaststroke, as opposed to the 50 breaststroke. If I attempt the 200 breaststroke when I am not warmed up enough, it's much more painful and slower on the back half. :cane:

I am no expert, but I agree with Brendan Hansen that it is important to get your heart rate up to the 150-160 range before a race. I watched that video yesterday and made adjustments to my warm-up, swimming it at a faster pace than usual. I definitely swam faster in my speed workout than I had last Monday, doing the same workout. Thanks, Debugger, for posting Brendan's video. That little nugget of information was very helpful! :applaud:

bowyer954
March 5th, 2012, 03:37 PM
Thanks, I like the exercises you described. The main reason I went to the Greensboro meet was to do exactly what you discussed--feel the pool!

Chris Stevenson
March 5th, 2012, 04:40 PM
However, I think there will be much more research coming out on how people warm up way too much in the first place. In just about all sports not just swimming.

First of all, "way too much" implies that more than a certain amount is detrimental to performance. That will depend on effort level, of course. For example, my personal preference is -- once I feel warmed up and ready -- to stay in the water until the last moment possible. The reasons are mostly psychological: the water supports my weight, it is relaxing to float or swim easy while thinking about my race.

In terms of research, I don't have time to look at it now, but there is this:

http://acumen.lib.ua.edu/content/u0015/0000001/0000077/u0015_0000001_0000077.pdf

It is sprint-focused (and for college swimmers) so the effects for older folk and longer distances isn't considered.

My *personal* experience -- I'm not willing to generalize -- is that I need more warmup for longer pool events than sprints. If I haven't warmed up sufficiently for (say) a 200 then the "burn" comes earlier and hurts more than with a good warmup. 50s, on the other hand, don't hurt much either way. YMMV of course.

I like the idea of using stretch cords when pool space is limited. I once heard Rich Abrahams say that he likes vertical kicking when space is limited; this is an interesting idea for me because my legs sometimes need more "waking up" than the rest of me and if they start burning too early the results are rarely pretty.

arthur
March 5th, 2012, 05:17 PM
First of all, "way too much" implies that more than a certain amount is detrimental to performance. That will depend on effort level, of course. For example, my personal preference is -- once I feel warmed up and ready -- to stay in the water until the last moment possible. The reasons are mostly psychological: the water supports my weight, it is relaxing to float or swim easy while thinking about my race.

In terms of research, I don't have time to look at it now, but there is this:

http://acumen.lib.ua.edu/content/u0015/0000001/0000077/u0015_0000001_0000077.pdf

It is sprint-focused (and for college swimmers) so the effects for older folk and longer distances isn't considered.

My *personal* experience -- I'm not willing to generalize -- is that I need more warmup for longer pool events than sprints. If I haven't warmed up sufficiently for (say) a 200 then the "burn" comes earlier and hurts more than with a good warmup. 50s, on the other hand, don't hurt much either way. YMMV of course.

I like the idea of using stretch cords when pool space is limited. I once heard Rich Abrahams say that he likes vertical kicking when space is limited; this is an interesting idea for me because my legs sometimes need more "waking up" than the rest of me and if they start burning too early the results are rarely pretty.
That is an interesting study but I think it is a bit flawed. They only had 3 minutes between warmup and the time trial. The short warmup was 50y at 40% and then 50y at 90%. 3 minutes after a 90% swim I don't think is enough time to fully recover. That is probably why the short warmup was slower than the normal warmup and even slightly slower than no warmup at all. The study does still prove that a normal warmup is better than no warmup.

gaash
March 6th, 2012, 01:52 PM
That is an interesting study but I think it is a bit flawed. They only had 3 minutes between warmup and the time trial. The short warmup was 50y at 40% and then 50y at 90%. 3 minutes after a 90% swim I don't think is enough time to fully recover. That is probably why the short warmup was slower than the normal warmup and even slightly slower than no warmup at all. The study does still prove that a normal warmup is better than no warmup.

I think people confuse 'feeling better' with 'performing better' If I had to guess, what element of warm up that hurts the most is higher intensity in warm up which utilizes large muscles which wear out very quickly. Then again, this is just my theory not based on much other than physiologically it doesn't make much sense that warmup or any activity which burns through fast immediately available energy sources, spends muscle energy, etc. etc. is beneficial to performing optimally.