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Pilates for swimmers

Updated: Aug 9, 2020

Pilates is the ideal form of cross-training for swimmers to allow undesired compensation to be corrected, giving the swimmer good postural and balanced muscles, flexibility and strength, coordination and good biomechanics. Pilates addresses the whole body and this will improve awareness, breathe, balance, control, and the ability to centre and concentrate while moving efficiently through the flow of water.


Although, swimming has a low incidence of serious injuries due to a lack of force or strain on the muscles. Injuries tend to arise from over-use or over-training. Injuries tend to occur in the shoulder, neck, lower back and knees. Doing specific exercises to maintain swimming strength is critical in injury prevention. Being in water adds another dimension as the athlete is moving through an unstable environment. A stable trunk maximises efficient power from the limbs while force is generated to move through the water (and possibly a current and wind).


A strong core will allow good form and efficiency as the swimmer fatigues while swimming.

When swimming different strokes, different main muscle focuses vary. However, all stokes make use of the following muscles: Core abdominal and upper (trapezius & levator scapulae), and lower (erector spine & paraspinal) back muscles, Deltoid (shoulder) muscles, Rotator cuff muscles, Forearm muscles, Gluteals, hamstrings, and hip flexors, Plantar flexors, Pectoral and latissimus dorsi muscles, Hip mobility, Good movement patterns mean efficiency, speed and a healthy balanced body. Pilates will allow the swimmer to incrementally improve performance. Let's start moving...



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