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Check out how the best in the world stretch for swimming

January 20th, 2007

I just finished watching the Canada West Championships in Calgary tonight.  There was some amazing swimming going on – outstanding swimming by UofC’s own (2000 olympian and current Medical student) Alexandra Lys, and Chad Hankewich had particularly impressive performances.  Way to go Dinos! 

This swimming inspired me to post some photos of some of the best swimmers in the world showing their pre-competition warm up stretching.

The following photo is Inge de-Bruijn (Olympic Champ), check out the flexibility in her posterior capsules of both her shoulders (back of shoulder joint).   I always swim faster when I work at a stretch similar to this. 

Inge de-bruijn stretching

Grant Hackett stretching
Check out Grant Hackett (Olympic Champ),…when he lifts his arm over his head, you can’t see his shoulder blade popping out to the side. This shows how flexible his shoulder joint is (with lots of freedom between his arm and shoulder blade).
  Michael Phelps stretching
Micheal Phelps (Olympic Champ) is shown here with superb anterior (front) shoulder flexibility.

Here’s Natalie Coughlin,…hamstring flexibility is important for swimming as it is with running and cycling. 

Natalie Coughlin stretching

Ian Thorpe, Olympic Champ (below) stretching his posterior deltoids and shoulder capsule. 

Ian Thorpe stretching 

Flexibility is crucial in minimizing wasted internal work.  Within reason, if you feel loose, the smoother movements can be performed, with less antagonistic resistance.  I’m a big fan of stretching in preparation for swimming.

SC