The shoulders of synchronized swimmers work over time between perfecting our sculling and swimming strokes. Below are a few stretches to help loosen them up and keep them happy.


Arm Circles

Muscles Targeted: Shoulders

  • Stand up and extend your arms straight out by the sides. The arms should be parallel to the floor and perpendicular (90-degree angle) to your torso. This will be your starting position.
  • Slowly start to make circles of about 1 foot in diameter with each outstretched arm. Breathe normally as you perform the movement.
  • Continue the circular motion of the outstretched arms for about ten seconds. Then reverse the movement, going the opposite direction.
  • Tip: Ten second movements equal one set and each circle equals one repetition.
  • Ramp it Up: As you get stronger, you can use some light resistance with hand weights
  • Tone it Down: Do fewer reps and more sets
  • Click here for a video tutorial


Around the World

Muscles Targeted: Shoulders

  • Stand up straight with your legs together, holding a broomstick or stretching strap.
  • Hold the pole or strap behind your hips with a wider than shoulder width grip. Your palms should be down and your thumbs facing out.
  • Slowly lift your arms up behind your head. Don’t force it if it gets hard to lift further.
  • Complete 10 sets of 10 raises
  • Ramp it Up: Bring your hands closer to each other
  • Tone it Down: Move your hands further apart
  • Click here for a video tutorial


Standing Bicep Stretch

Muscles Targeted: Biceps

  • Clasp your hands behind your back with your palms together, straighten arms and then rotate them so your palms face downward.
  • Raise your arms up and hold until you feel a stretch in your biceps.
  • Hold for 15 seconds
  • Click here for a video tutorial

Shoulder Stretch

Muscles Targeted: Shoulders

  • Reach your left arm across your body and hold it straight. With your right hand, grasp your left elbow and pull it across your body towards your chest.
  • Hold for 30 seconds
  • Release and repeat on the other side
  • Click here for a video tutorial

Standing Tricep Stretch

Muscles Targeted: Triceps

  • Reach your hand behind your head, grasp your elbow and gently pull.
  • Hold for 10 to 20 seconds, then switch sides.
  • Ramp it Up: Reach your opposite hand behind your back and grab your hand
  • Click here for a video tutorial


Eagle Arm Pose

Muscles Targeted: Shoulders and upper back

  • Cross your right arm over your left arm and bend your elbows
  • Wrap your hands around each other and touch your palms together
  • Drop your elbows and keep your fingertips in line with your nose
  • Hold for 30 seconds
  • Ramp it up: touch your palms together
  • Tone it down: Grab a finger, or use a strap to intertwine hands
  • Click here for a video tutorial


Neck Stretch

Muscles Targeted: Neck and upper back

  • Start with your shoulders relaxed, gently tilt your head towards your shoulder.
  • Assist stretch with a gentle pull on the side of the head.
  • Ramp it Up: Turn your head and point your nose to the opposite shoulder to change the angle of the stretch
  • Tone it Down: Remove your hand
  • Click here for a video tutorial


For further stretching ideas, or to create a stretching program specifically for your body, ask your coach, trainer or doctor.


Please note these are general stretches and not meant to replace the advice of your doctor, trainer or coach.