Arizona Sports Physio
Contact InformationIan Chapple, Physical Therapist
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Swimming Injury Prevention
Prevention of Swimming Injuries
Swimming injuries are often classified as overuse injuries due to the repetitive nature of the sport. Of these injuries, the shoulder injury is the most prevalent. Instead of solely working with the shoulder, our focus will apply a whole body approach for the prevention/intervention of shoulder injuries in swimmers. The whole body approach is important as we will simulate how the body works while swimming.
Motion in the human body occurs in three directions.
These motions include:
- forward to backwards
- side to side
- rotation (an important motion for swimming)
These motions occur in multiple muscle groups and multiple joints all working in unison to maintain the most effective body position while swimming. Optimal body position minimizes drag and improves efficiency in the water. Thus, we will apply our knowledge about the optimal body position in the water to our dry-land training.
Because the body works as a unit, optional shoulder motion begins with optimal whole-body motion.
Dry Land Sample Program
Primary stretching philosophy.
To obtain optimal shoulder flexibility you must first have optimal flexibility in your core (hips and torso) and shoulder blades.
How can a restriction in your torso affect the way your shoulder functions?
|Good rotation to the Right||Poor rotation to the Left||Left recovery stroke|
Because there is a restriction in the motion of the torso when turning to the left, the shoulder will have to over-stretch (over-work) during the recovery stroke.
Now let's look at a sequence of stretches/exercises for a person with a hip restriction which is affecting the shoulder.
Once again, we will not single out the shoulder, instead we will strengthen the shoulder in all three motions along with the rest of the body. A key area of the body that takes the stress off the shoulders is the core. The core of a swimmer's body includes the abdominals, hip flexors, and gluts. Below are some ideas of combining shoulder strengthening with core strengthening.
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