Flexibility for Swimming: Are you stretching enough?

May 5, 2014 admin


A RHP Physiotherapy Swimming Screening checks flexibility in all of the key areas for a fluid stroke and compares them to known desirable ranges. The screening can highlight which areas could be affecting technique or causing your injury problems. Screenings can be done on an individual basis in the clinic or for groups at your club pool.


Want to Improve Your Streamline Position?


  • The better your streamline position, the faster you will travel through the water.
  • To test your streamline ability, perform those 2 simple tests.

1. Standing streamline

  • stand side-on to a mirror and put your arms up into the streamline position
  • Looking from the side, draw an imaginary line from the point of your elbow, through the middle of your shoulder, down the side of your chest and through the middle of your hip.
  • This line should be vertical and straight!!

2. Combined Elevation Test (CET)

  • Lie face down on a bed (Your chin on the end of the bed and arms over the end).
  • Keeping your arms straight with thumbs touching together, lift your arms up as high as you can (i.e. towards streamline position), keeping your chin on the bed.
  • Have someone look at you from side on. Have them draw an imaginary line along the middle of your upper arm (humerus bone) to your shoulder and compare this with a horizontal line drawn along the side of your chest.
  • The line along your arm should be horizontal or above the horizontal line.
  • If your standing streamline is not vertical or your CET is not horizontal, try the stretches below or call Red Hill Physiotherapy on 3856 5566 to find out how we can help.

To help improve your flexibility in these areas you need to focus on stretching the front part of your ankle, the front of the hip and thigh, the upper abs and back, and the pec and lat muscles.

To improve swimming performance and reduce injury risk it is important to stretch for 15-20 minutes at least 3-4 times per week and before and after training sessions. Take care when stretching your muscles. You should hold a COMFORTABLE STRETCH for 30 seconds and repeat 2 times on each side. You should feel NO PAIN with normal stretching.Pain means you are causing damage to your muscles.

Discontinue if you experience pain in the shoulders or spine.Clunking in the shoulder indicates a problem and requires professional attention. Please Contact Us should you experience such discomfort.