It is a well-known fact that swimming is a healthy sport. Very true. Having said that, you need to bear in mind an array of niggles affecting your tendons and joints caused by either excessive exertion or prolonged exertion. One of the main injuries a swimmer can suffer is so-called “swimmer’s shoulder”.
Before taking a closer look at this issue, let’s take a look at the facts and figures:
This means a good swimmer makes approximately 1000 rotations of each arm (5 x 200) every day making a total of 6000 rotations-a-week (over 6 training sessions-a-week) and approximately 288,000 rotations-a-year (training 48 weeks-a-year)
An incredible number of arm movements!
This explains why about 50% of swimmers suffer from shoulder problems at least once during their sports careers.
This certainly should not be taken lightly for 3 reasons:
1. your shoulders provide power to your swim stroke
2. shoulder injuries prevent you from training
3. shoulder pain and injuries affect biomechanics
So what is “swimmer’s shoulder” exactly?
It is an inflammation due to rotator cuff tendonitis that affects both competitive and amateur swimmers alike caused by heavy, excessive and/or incorrect daily training loads. Injury and inflammation to the tendons of these muscles occur frequently in sports that involve repeatedly raising your arms above your head (such as the freestyle, backstroke and butterfly swim strokes).
This means it is vitally important to prevent this problem from arising, and there are three basic principles to be carefully observed to prevent this from happening:
1. muscle length, .i.e. stretching exercises
2. muscle strength, i.e. proper physical training
3. muscle timing, i.e. making sure you take enough time to recover properly
Here are some simple exercises you can perform before entering the water that will help prevent shoulder problems.
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