Dry-land warm-up exercises before swimming

Dry-land warm-up exercises for beginner, intermediate and advanced swimmers.

Before we talk about the 18 exercises, it is important to know that our goal is to warm up 7-10 minutes before a workout with some stretches, especially stretches that will open your breath, and release stress and tension from work or life.

Most people don’t have time, they want to get maximum results in minimum time. So, if you are required to do a 30-minute warm-up, you probably will not do any warm-up at all, because it is not accessible to you, and requires a lot of effort before training. But if you do arrive a few minutes before the workout, and do the exercises in order, within 5 workouts you will feel a significant change in your ability, less muscle tightness, and you will also feel more balanced and with easier breathing.




  1. Foot roll forward and back

Form a slight 15-20 cm spread between the legs, hands on waist, and slowly shift the weight towards the toes and then toward the heels. Throughout the movement the head is aimed towards the sky.

30 seconds

  1. Foot roll in and out

Form a slight 15-20 cm spread between the legs, hands on waist, the vertex to the sky, and transfer weight outward and inward. Actually, lean on the outside of the foot and then the inside.

30 seconds

  1. Knees in and out

Form a 30 cm spread between the legs, hands over the knees, holding the legs, and form circles with the knees, about 10 circles in and 10 out.

30 seconds

  1. Pelvic rotations

Hands on the waist, about 30 cm between the legs. Beginning in small circles and slowly moving to larger circles. It is important to do the movement slowly to maintain the lower back.

30 seconds to a minute

  1. Stretching a hand to the side with a heel lift

Standing comfortably with a spread between the legs of about 40 cm, stretch the left hand slowly to the right side, when at the end of the stretch the left heel rises as part of the movement. Perform the same stretch to the other side. After 2-3 times slowly on each side, the movement is performed in a more rhythmic way, with faster transitions between the sides.

30 seconds to a minute

  1. Shoulder back turns with stretching at the end

Stand straight with a slight spread between the legs and rotate the shoulders backwards, palms loose at the waist. After 10 seconds, hook your thumbs behind your back, with the back of the hand touching the buttocks, and open the chest, bringing the shoulders closer, for 5 seconds. Repeat within the time frame.

30 seconds to a minute

  1. Arrow Stretch + Reverse Arrow

Place your palms one on top of the other in front of you, the upper hand thumb wrapped the lower palm, and stretch toward the sky. After 7-10 seconds shake your shoulders, intertwine your fingers, turn your palms toward the sky and stretch upwards. Shake your shoulders and stretch your arms again with an arrow and so on.

30 seconds to a minute


Postural warm-up exercises

  1. Lifting leg forward and back in motion and end in arrow

Standing upright with your head aimed toward the sky, move your leg back and forth in pendulum motion. Start low, and as you feel more stable, increase the range of motion of the hip as long as you keep your head upright and straight. After about 10-15 seconds, stretch your arms in an arrow for 3 seconds and switch legs.

30 seconds to a minute

  1. Pelvic rotations

Make circles with one knee starting at the pelvis: bend the knee, lift it to 90 degrees and bring the knee to the side within a comfortable range of motion, place the working leg back next to the standing leg and repeat. Slowly try to increase the range of motion of the pelvis. After you have done about 7-10 circles, do the same from the inside out, and when you finish working on one leg, do the same for the other leg.

30 seconds to a minute

  1. Stork Leg – Yoga Stand

Place one foot on the inside of the other thigh, with the knee facing out. Once you feel stable, open the thorax, begin to breathe deeply and slowly, and bring your hands to the “Namaste” position – palms together next to the sternum.

30 seconds to a minute

  1. Yoga stand, changing hands

Stand in yoga position (like in the previous exercise) with your arms tight to your sides. Slowly bring one hand forward and the other hand back, wait between 1 to 3 seconds and switch hands, with the transition between hands done slowly, keeping steady and head aimed towards the sky. After 15 or 30 seconds switch legs.

30 seconds to a minute

  1. Yoga stand, hands next to the body and up

Stand in yoga position, with your arms tight to your sides. After you feel stable, raise hands to 90 degrees and form a “T” shape. After feeling stable again, raise hands up.

At the end of 15 seconds or half a minute (half the time you have allocated for exercise) switch legs.

30 seconds to a minute


Stretching and chest opening


  1. Forward arm rotations, “butterfly” with knees bending

Maintain a 20 cm spread between the legs, hands beside the thighs. Rotate your arms upwards & forward and back down (like doing a butterfly stroke). Each time the hands move downward, bend your knees, and each time the hands are raised, straighten your knees. As the pace of arm work increases, the body creates a kind of light levitation toward the sky, the heels actually lifting off the ground to almost a jump.

30 seconds

  1. Chest opening, thumbs attached at back, without lifting hands

Hook your thumbs behind your back, with the back of the hand touching the buttocks. Straighten your hands and lock your elbows without detaching your hands from the buttocks. Throughout the stretch open the chest and bring the shoulder blades together. After 7 seconds shake your shoulders and stretch again.

30 seconds

  1. Lifting hands behind your back

One hand holding the other behind your back, keeping your back upright, raise your hands to the maximum possible without pain. Do the stretch for 7 seconds, shake your hands and perform again, only this time the second hand grabs the first hand behind your back.

30 seconds.

  1. 8 Fingers arrow

Arrow 8 is an arrow toward the sky, except that instead of putting one hand on top of the other, you hook your thumbs together and stretch toward the sky, where instead of 10 fingers, 8 fingers stretch upward.

Do the stretch for 7 seconds, 3 seconds shaking, and again the same stretch.

30 seconds

  1. Arrow 8 with fingers open

Stretch in an arrow 8, just like the previous exercise, only this time the fingers stretch outward, just like an opening of a flower.

30 seconds

  1. Arrow Jumps / Squat

Jump upwards about 5-10 times. Each time take your hands back (behind your thighs), take a swing, send your arms high and jump. As you jump, bring your hands quickly into an arrow and go down into a squat. Perform again. In the first few times, the movement is slow and the jump is not high, and as you feel comfortable, you can make 10 quick jumps.

30 seconds


In summary, there are many types of warm-up exercises, and you should find what is right for you according to your swimming training. It is important to set a goal that will be easy and simple to accomplish, such as 5-10 minutes of stretches, rather than deciding on 30 minutes of stretching, which you are unlikely to get to do. In this way, you will also be able to swim faster and, importantly, maintain your joints and prevent unnecessary injuries.

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