This week we’re at the Eileen Daily Leisure Pool and Fitness Centre up in North Burnaby which is just off of Willingdon Ave. We’re here today for a little work out swim in their pool. Although it’s a relatively smaller pool, the actual pool and pool area are pretty nice and quite clean. The best part is that it’s not super busy in the water lanes, so it’s a good time to do some laps. Since they are 25 metre lengths, I do 8 lengths or 200 metres for at least 5 sets.
After my swim work-out, whether it’s a light, moderate or a heavy one, these are 3 really simple stretches and exercises that I do to stay flexible, strong and injury free!
Rectus Femoris Stretch
Prepare a nice cushion for your left knee to be on and a step stool to place the top of the foot on to have greater knee flexion. This will isolate the muscle stretch. Keep your posture nice and tall and imagine there’s a string pulling your whole spine upwards from your pelvis, right up your entire back and neck and up to the top of your head. Then engage your inner core muscles tight below your belly button and keep your low back flat and contract your left butt muscles. Next, bend the right knee forward and keep your posture nice and tall without leaning backwards. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times for each side.
This stretch will help open up the latissimus dorsi muscles. Start by holding onto a bar or pole that is anchored down or a door frame at shoulder height with your right hand. Then, step your opposite foot slightly forward and your right foot back. As you bend your right knee down, lean your body weight backwards and feel the stretch into your lat muscle. Hold it for 30 seconds, doing 3 sets on each side. This is a muscle that becomes overly developed and tight in swimming! It can cause non optimal movement patterns in the shoulder which can then lead to varying degrees of shoulder dysfunctions.
Core Strengthening Ball Walk-Outs
Start by pulling in your inner core by making your waistline skinnier below the belly button. Then roll out into a plank position on the ball in full control with a flat spine. Lift one leg off of the ball with full control while keeping your hips level with each other. Try to keep you toes pointed to the floor as much as possible and lead with your heal. Do 3 sets of 5 repetitions holding for 5 seconds on each side to start. Then progress to 3 sets of 5-10 repetitions holding for 10 seconds when stronger. Plank walk-outs on a ball is great for strengthening your core in coordination with strengthening your posterior hip and gluteal muscles.