On Saturday 23rd October, Altaira held a personal development day for the junior performance swimmers (aged 10-16) from Payneham Swimming Club. Altaira are proud sponsors of the Payneham Swimming Club, which is one of the oldest swimming clubs in South Australia, and our director, Jelena Giro, is the President. The day was held in our brand-new Allied Health and Wellness Centre and was the first of many exciting things to come for the new space.
The day started with a two-hour interactive session with our Allied Health and Wellness Operations Manager, Michael, discussing the importance of pre and post training stretching and exercise and getting the kids up to practice with him. He shared his wealth of knowledge about injury prevention and how the team can look after themselves in the water and outside of it!
Then we were lucky enough to have former dual-Olympian Sally Hunter join us and share her stories, challenges and advice. Sally made her first Australian team at 21 and is a World Championship silver medallist and Commonwealth Games silver medallist. She thanks swimming for making her a more, confident, more resilient, more balanced and happier person.
Since retiring, she became an author, coach at Marion Swimming Club, board member at Swimming SA, mother and business owner. Sally mentioned that she’s often felt more nervous as a coach because of the belief and want she has for her swimmers to do well, a belief the swimmer may not have within themselves. What an inspiration for the group to hear from someone who has achieved so much.
The team was treated with nutritious snacks and lunch, as well as a goodie bag to take home. The bag included an information sheet with the strengthening and exercises they should do, an Altaira branded mug, hat, pen, notepad, massage ball and resistance band. It was a great day full of learning and supporting these hardworking superstars. Keep your eyes peeled, you might see them on the TV competing one day!
For any of those swimmers out there, make sure you do your pre and post swimming stretching and exercises to ensure your body’s best performance and recovery! Warm-up stretching loosens the muscles, increases flexibility and mobility, and gets blood flowing through the body. We’ve included some below for you to try! Different exercises will be more relevant to different body types, strokes and injury profile – feel free to select those which suit you best.
Scapular 5 x 5 (Y-U-T-W-I)
Start on your knees with a band attached to a low anchor point (e.g. under knees or the bottom of a door).
Keeping your shoulder blades down and back, raise both arms up in a Y, first. Second, move the arms directly into a U. Third, into a T. Fourth, into a W. And finally, into an I.
Reverse diagonal flyes
Hold the band with both hand, palms down, at shoulder-height. Pull your left hand up at an angle toward the ceiling while you pull your right hand down toward your right hip.
Return to the centre and repeat in the other direction.
Band overhead shrug
Start in a half-kneeling position and squeeze the glute on the rear leg to get an active stretch on the side of the hip.
Keep your wrist neutral and push your hand up toward the ceiling, elevating your shoulder.
Low row with band
While sitting in a chair, attach a band in front of you.
Hold both ends of the band and pull towards you, squeezing the shoulder blades together.
Lie on your stomach, face down with your arms overhead in a Y shape with thumbs pointing upward. Lift your elbows and hands off the ground, while pulling your shoulder blades down and back. Hold for 2-6 seconds.
Let your arms down slowly. Then lower your arms to shoulder level, making a T shape. With the thumb facing upwards, lift the arms off the ground.
Then move your arms by your sides with palms facing up. Slowly lift your arms off the floor.
For more of a challenge, lift thighs and feet at the same time (so that only stomach and hips are touching the ground)
Lie down on your back with your legs and shoulders lifted just off the floor.
Place both your hands underneath your buttocks.
Kick your legs in a small range of motion, making a “flutter kick motion”.
For more of a challenge, lift your head and neck off the floor.
Repeat this motion for up to 30 seconds.
Active double-leg lowering
Lie on your back with both legs up toward the ceiling.
Lower both legs toward the floor while keeping your lower back flat on the floor and knees straight.
Bring the legs to the lowest point where you can still maintain the lower back flat on the floor and then return to the starting position.
Modified side plank
Place your knees in line with your torso with your top leg straight.
Raise the top leg up and back at a diagonal while rotating the leg out to face the toes toward the ceiling to emphasize the contraction of the buttock muscles.
Keep your pelvis/torso stable, preventing pelvic twist or sag.
Lie on your back with your arms out in a “T” position and your legs straight on the floor.
Lift one leg up as high as you can. Then cross it over your body toward the floor.
Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
Thread the needle
Start in a four point position with your hands directly under the shoulders and the knees under the hips. Keep your chin in, back straight and shoulders back.
With one arm reach under the other as far as possible rotating and rounding your upper back. Bring your arm back and reach back in the opposite direction as far as possible.
Keep your elbow bent to 90 degrees and look at your moving hand at all times.
Repeat on the other side.
Triceps and lats stretch
Start on your knees in front of a chair or bench.
Put your elbows on the chair. Flex the elbows to bring the hands behind your head, then drop your chest and push the hips back slightly to stretch the tricep and latissimus dorsi muscles. Make sure your elbows stay bent as much as possible.
Hold the position.
Posterior cuff stretch
Stand straight and bring one arm in front of your body at shoulder height.
Use the opposite arm to lightly push on your elbow to accentuate the stretch.
Hold the position when you feel a comfortable stretch behind the
shoulder. Do not rotate the trunk.
If you would like to book a consult with our expert team of physiotherapists, to improve your mobility and strength paired with your training, call (08) 8344 6400.