Land Training and General Conditioning
Land Training and General Conditioning is a catch all for non sport specific training plans and advice. So anything that isn't covered expressly under Swim, Ride or Run training. The following articles cover things like flexibility, strength programmes and Heart Rate training.
General Flexibility and Warm up Tips – (For Beginners)
Before starting any exercise session, it is essential to warm up. There are two main reasons for this; first, warming up can make sports injuries less likely; second, the body works more efficiently when warm and sports performance may actually improve. A good warm-up will have physiological, mechanical and psychological effects, it gets you ready to Swim!
Types of warm up
A warm up can be passive with the body heated from the outside or active i.e. using exercise to form a rise in temperature internally. An example of a passive warm up is to have a sauna or a hot shower. An active warm up can be achieved through light jogging or Swimming, both types can be effective, but are appropriate in different situations. See the article 'Understanding flexibility for swimming performance' below for a more in depth discussion.
An active warm up is the type normally used before exercise or Swimming, while the passive warm up is useful when lightly stretching a muscle that has been tightened from previous Swimming Session. The use of external heat can also reduce pain and muscle spasm, helping the muscle to relax and allowing the stretch to be taken further.
However a light mobility warm up of joints and ligaments combined with a light passive warm up could well be the better option.
- A warm up will reduce the strain placed on the heart by vigorous exercise.
- A good warm up enables the body to reach a ‘steady state ‘ of energy production gradually, and makes tissues more pliable and ready to exercise.
A good Swim warm up should include:
Gentle exercise for the whole body, such as light Swimming, that gets faster every 1-2 minutes. This gradually increases the heart rate, breathing and blood supply to the muscles. It warms up muscles and can help you prepare for your first big HR Increase. There is a light, pre swim stretch programme described here.
- Additional light mobility exercises such as arm swings, and leg swings can also be of benefit to your Swimming warm up.
- Very light stretching can also be done, however try to avoid long stretching as this should be done after a Swim, slowly bringing your muscles back to a normal state.