Pilates for Swimmers- How to Improve Swimming Performance

Pilates, Posture, Swimming, Blog, / By Koh Peh Chia

Have you ever found yourself swimming diagonally, getting neck or back strain after swimming? If so, you’re not alone. This might because the balance of your stroke is just a little off. In fact, Pilates method might be the perfect cross-training exercise for professional and recreational swimmers with several benefits.

In this article, we look into the importance of Pilates for swimmers and how Pilates improve swimming performance.

How My Body Works During Swimming?

Swimming is the sports that is performed in the prone position. It requires precise rhythm and coordination between the arms, legs, upper and lower torso. In swimming, every movement you perform originates from the core, such as kicking, pulling, rotating, and even stroking.

A high performance swimmer requires strong global mobilising muscles and good stabilizing muscles. Without this internal stability, your larger muscle groups have to work harder. This inefficient swimming pattern can slow you down, or, even lead to muscle pulls and tears or injuries.

Common Swimming Injuries

Below are the common swimmers conditions which can potentially cause permanent damage:

Perform Better? Swim faster? Do Pilates!

Practicing Pilates can help you effectively get rid of the above troubles. As previous article about the benefits of pilates, we know that it helps to promote relaxation, breathing, build core strength, flexibility and coordination.


For swimmers who practise Pilates, they get many benefits as below:

  • Become a more mindful swimmer– power up your strokes withproper breathing and core control.
  • Prevent overused injuries neutralize the imbalanced muslces around the body.
  • Improve body alignment and streamline position with stronger and more flexible spine.
  • Build speed– leverage your larger muscles to move underwater quicly
  • Boost recovery– stretch out overused muscle, prepare for next swim.

A strong core is essential for swimming and often overlooked in training. Thus, this is where Pilates comes in. We hope this article has been useful for you. Should you have any questions, as always, our therapists will be more than happy to help you here. Do check out our other blog posts on various topics. Below is a pilates exercise demonstrated by our therapist, Peh Chia, which is an excellent workout for swimmers. If you are interested in other useful tips and simple exercises, check out our YouTube channel.