What does cool down mean in swimming?

Cool down (or warm-down) is an easy swim exercise, down after an intense swimming activity to allow your body to go gradually into resting state.

Swimming cooldown is as important as warmup and should be done by every swimmer. Swimming cool down is an essential part of workout as well as any swim competition. The main purpose of swimming cool down is to allow your body to gradually recover to rest state and allow your body to proceed with less harm done.

Cool down (warm-down) after swimming practice?

To warm down after your swim practice or swim exercise, means to swim at a lower pace and heart rate. That's the most common way most swimmers cool down, especially if there is more swim practice left.

Meaning that both after a harder set or whole swim practice, you should not immediately leave water, you should continue to swim allowing your system to slow down gradually.

Cool down (warm down) after a swimming race?

You can simply continue to swim after you finished your swimming race in the middle of swim competition. That's why swimmers have to come up with other ways to cool down after they are done with their distance.

What is the meaning of swimming cool down?

The core reason why swimmers have to cool down is because that's how we help our bodies to recover with less harm and faster. Here's a few things that swim cool down does:

  • Lowers swimmers body temperature
  • Allows swimmer to start resting phase
  • Removes metabolic waste from your body (muscle pain)
  • Resets mental state of swimmers
  • Helps to repair muscles
  • Helps to recover swimmer nervous system
  • Other health benefits

When do you need to do swimming cool down?

Anytime you have a big increase in body temperature or heart rate. In other words, anytime you are pushing your limits in any way. This means warm down exercise is mandatory after any set, longer exercise or swim race.

Just as it is unhealthy to run fast and immediately stop, it's the same problem with swimming. Cool down every time you are swimming faster, stronger or more. That's that!

Why is swimming cool down important?

Your body turns on many different regulatory systems during any type of exercise. It's best if you help your body to shut them down gradually and in the right way. That's where cool down importance comes in.

If you cool down after swim set or race, you will have less muscle pain. That's one of the core reasons coaches force athletes to cool down every time they swim fast. To maintain better and more reliable sport shape.

Body Healing

To avoid muscle tissue breakdown, swimmers must do proper cooldown after any intense swimming session. Cool down, rest and nutrition can prevent muscle tissue damages as well as help in any repair process.

Nervous System Recovery

Nervous system recovery is needed for many different reasons and cooling down helps with it. One of the most important reason for high tier swim athletes is reaction time, which is based on your nervous system.

Calm Your Mind


Different cool down swimming exercise examples


1. Slow Down Swimming Cool Down


2. Stretching after Swimming Cool Down


Stretch your arms


Stretch your legs


Stretch your back


3. Drink and Repair After Cool Down


4. Leg and Arm Swings in The Shower Cool Down (If You Can't Swim)


5. Massage After Swimming Cool Down


6. Sleep Cool Down? Yes!


What happens if you don't cool down after swim practice or swim race?


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