Warm up Exercises for Swimming

Please ensure you have a safe space when exercising at home. Leave enough space around you and remove any objects which may create hazards. To avoid injury, do not undertake any exercise that causes discomfort or undue stress to any area of the body.


Download our activity sheet to print and easily follow along at home.

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Why it’s important to warm up

It’s important for more advanced swimmers to not only practice swimming technique, but also complete some exercises to improve their physical fitness.

Aside from improving general health and fitness, warming up with dry land exercises also helps swimmers before training in the water as it increases blood flow in muscles, which helps to prevent injury.



Suitable for children aged 10+ years

Below are some simple exercises from Swimming Australia for children aged 10 years and up to complement their swimming skills practice.

Start with 10 repetitions of each exercise, increasing by small increments over time – to a maximum of 20. Make sure anytime you perform the exercises you are performing them correctly and without discomfort to avoid injury.

When doing these exercises, remember to breathe. Don’t hold your breath!

While these exercises are designed for warming up before training sessions, they can also be done at home to maintain fitness.

1. Skipping

  • Use the skipping rope for 5 – 10 minutes
  • Equipment: Skipping rope


2. Half squats

  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart
  • Keep your arms out in front, a tall back and put your weight on your heels
  • Squat down till your thighs are horizontal


3. Two arm push

  • Attach the band securely to something around shoulder height
  • Step away to tension the band with hands at shoulder levels
  • Press both arms forward, keeping your hands at shoulder level, making sure you keep a strong core position
    Equipment: Resistance band


4. Two arm rows

  • Attach the band securely to something around shoulder height
  • Step away to tension the band with hands at shoulder levels
  • Pull your arms back from a fully extended position to where your elbows are at 90°, making sure you keep a strong core position


5. Front plank

  • While lying horizontal on the ground, have your shoulders and elbows at a 90° angle, with your forearms on the ground
  • Push up onto your toes
  • Hold your position for 30 seconds, ensuring you maintain a flat body, with your head and neck in a neutral position in line with the body


6. Cobra to Child 

  • Begin by lying flat on your front with your hands flat on the ground, in line with your shoulders and your elbows pointed upward
  • Gently lift your head and slowly push your upper body into an extended position
  • Move your upper body back so your bottom is on your heels, keeping your hands in place and dropping your chest between your shoulders
  • Return slowly to the original position


Benefits of warm up exercises

  • Improving fitness
  • Increasing blood flow
  • Preventing injury
  • Helps to prepare swimmers mentally for a strong training session



1. Full squats

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart
  • Keep arms out in front, a tall back, and weight on the heels
  • Squat down as far as you can, maintaining a strong back position
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