Some of the greatest swimmers in the world are getting ready to take the stage for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. It’s an excellent time to remember that with competitive swimming, injury prevention is an important part of any swimmer’s workout – whether going for the gold or just going for a swim.
The most common injuries for swimmers are shoulder injuries triggered by overuse or muscle imbalance – specifically posterior shoulder impingement which causes shoulder pain and limits the shoulder’s range of motion.
The best way to prevent shoulder injuries is to do two basic exercises before getting in the pool to stretch your shoulder and strengthen scapular stabilizer muscles: the prone row and the prone extension.
To begin, lie on your stomach with one arm hanging off the side of the bed and straight toward the floor. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and raise the arm with the elbow bent. Pause, and then slowly lower the arm to the starting position. Perform 2 or 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
To begin, lie on your stomach with the one arm hanging off the side of the bed. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and lift the arm backward toward your hip, keeping the elbow straight. Pause, and then slowly lower to the starting position. Perform 2 or 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
And as always – remember to practice proper stroke techniques when swimming to prevent injuries and to get the best results from exercising. It’s especially important to maintain your breathing on both sides as you swim to ensure you remain symmetrical in your muscle development.
By adding just a few stretches to the beginning of your swimming routine and using proper swimming techniques, you can prevent a severe shoulder injury. If, however, you find yourself experiencing shoulder pain, don’t hesitate to call us at Rehab Associates of Central Virginia. We’ll get you back in the pool in no time and ensure your recovery goes swimmingly.