Warming up, An Essential step In Swimming And Lifeguard Training

July 15, 2021

The warm-up is the transition phase between a period of rest and a period of effort. It allows the swimmer to prepare physically but also mentally for the swimming and lifeguard recertification sessions. Find out what are the different types of warm-up, what are its effects on your body, how to warm-up well before a classic training and a competition.

The different types of warm-up

·         Mental warm-up: it is in fact the mental preparation of the swimmer. He imagines the exercises, he puts himself in a situation so as to concentrate on his training. Although it is rarely practiced on a daily basis, mental warm-up is widely practiced during competitions.

·      Passive warm-up: it is in fact to raise the body temperature without doing any physical exercise. It can be done through a hot shower, sauna, massage, infrared, or sun exposure for example. It must be accompanied by an active warm-up to be effective.

·       Active warm-up: this is a series of physical exercises that act on cardiac activity, muscles, and joints. It consists of dry heating (out of the water) and heating in the water.

·       Dry heating: It allows the swimmer to raise their body temperature, improve their physical performance and increase their muscle flexibility by 80%.

·       Warming up in water: Immerse yourself in the water immediately after the dry warm-up to prevent your body temperature from dropping down. The duration of the warm-up in the water depends on the length and intensity of the session. Allow between 15 and 20 minutes of warm-up in the water for a one-hour session or swim about 600 meters.

The effects of warming up in swimming And lifeguard class

Warming up in swimming and lifeguard class has many benefits for the swimmer and allows him to:

·         Soften the joints

Warming up before swimming and lifeguard recertification session is more than recommended to soften the joints in the knees, ankles, and shoulders because the swimmer uses them a lot to perform the breaststroke chisel, wave, or kick.

·         Reduce the risk of injury

The warm-up is also used to prepare your muscles for the effort in a progressive way. It is necessary to wake up your muscles gently and to increase your body temperature little by little. This way, your muscles are better supplied with water and the risk of injury is reduced.

·         Increase heart rate

Warming up is also to gradually increase the heart rate because the heart is a muscle. It needs to be gently worked on for at least 10 to 15 minutes to be able to hold on to the length. The more prepared your heart will be for the effort, the longer you will be able to swim.

·         Increase performance

If you warm up properly and prepare your body for the effort, your training will be much more effective. With a good warm-up, you can swim long distances or swim in intervals for example. You can also work on your swimming speed or do sprints.

·         Find support

Warming up allows you to take your bearings in the water. During the warm-up, you find your support in the hands, arms and legs. Some educational practice is recommended during the warm-up.

·         Contribute to a good recovery

A good warm-up allows your body to recover better after the session. If your muscle is well prepared for the effort, it will be less traumatized, aches and cramps will be less present or even absent and recovery will be faster.

How to warm up in swimming and lifeguard recertification sessions?

Dry heating

1.       Rotate your arms forward for 20 seconds and then backward for 20 seconds.

2.       Perform wide rotational movements of the pelvis for 15 seconds

3.       Bust upright, rotate your head clockwise, and then counterclockwise.

4.       Grab a towel with both hands and swing it back and forth over your head in a swinging motion while keeping your arms straight.

5.       Sitting on your heels, feet in plantar flexion, gradually bring your body weight back.

WARM-UP in water

1.       Start with a series of 200 m crawl to find your support and work your castings well.

2.       Then move on to a series of 100 m educational by swimming the caught front crawl (keep one arm stretched forward while the other performs the movement in front crawl then alternate) or in “brushed” crawl (your fingers brush against the front crawl). water surface when the arm comes out of the water)

3.       Consider alternating swims especially if you plan to swim them during the body of the session. Swim a 3 x 100m alternating strokes (or 4 x 100m for those who have mastered the butterfly)

4.       Do a series of 100 m front crawl breathing every 3, 5, and 7 movements.

5.       Finish with 2 x 50 m front crawl or back crawl by accelerating over the last 25 m.

Warming up before a competition

Before a competition, you can add to your dry warm-up:

·         5 push-ups

·         15 seconds of ventral sheathing: resting on your forearms and tiptoes, lift your hips so that they are aligned with the rest of your body

·         15 seconds of rib sheathing: forearms and side of feet flat on the ground, lift your hips to align your body.

·         15 seconds of back sheathing: lying on your back, bend your legs, and lift your hips while contracting your glutes.

·         5 squats: feet and legs parallel, lower yourself by pushing your butt back


To warm up in the water before a swimming competition, it is advisable to add a few series of 50 m by accelerating before and after the turn or over the last 15 m. Add butterfly lengths if you have entered a butterfly race. Finally, do not forget to make a few turns and a few diving starts to take your marks in the pool.

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