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What is the best way to stretch my shoulders before I swim?

Swimming relies heavily on the musculature of your shoulder, so it is very important to warm up and stretch before performing intense swim sets. There are a number of muscles in the shoulder complex. As such one stretch will not reach all involved muscles, however, a few key stretches will adequately prepare you for your swim workouts. Start with the cross arm shoulder stretch. To perform this activity stand up tall, feet shoulder width or slightly wider, abs engaged to protect your low back and bring your right arm up to shoulder level. Extend your right elbow straight and hook your left arm around your right arm just above your right elbow. Pull the extended right arm towards your body using the strength in your left arm. Avoid twisting your upper body and instead keep your shoulders squared straight with your hips. Hold the stretch for five seconds and then release and shake out your right arm to bring rich oxygenated blood back to your shoulder area. Repeat at least five times for your right arm and then switch to your left arm, holding the stretch for five seconds, shaking out the arm and then repeating for five times. This stretch will target your deltoid muscle, your triceps, your rhomboids and some of the smaller rotator cuff muscles around your scapula. You should feel looser in your shoulder joint once you have completed the stretching sequence.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.