Someone has rightly said that there are two types of swimmers in the world, one, who have shoulder problems and others who will soon develop these problems. Swimming is indeed full of challenges and while it helps you possess a healthy body, it brings certain problems too. This is because swimming is an exercise, which in spite of being low-impact in nature requires all of your muscles to work together. If you have been receiving swim lessons in West Des Moines for quite some time now, you must be aware that swimming causes a lot of stress on your shoulders. Developing shoulder muscle pain is quite common among swimmers and there is nothing much to worry about it. However, shoulder pain is irritating and it disturbs your practice when it gets intense.
The good news is that there are certain workouts, medications and physiotherapies that help in reducing the pain, often curing them completely. However, what most people don’t know is that “Swimmer Shoulder”, as the problem is popularly called, is often caused by months of wrong technique used while practicing a particular swim stroke. Yes, that’s right. The root cause of the problem lies in the swimmer’s style itself and, therefore, can be prevented altogether with slight corrections. While swimming coaches are the best people to guide you in the right direction, here is a list of tips on using the right technique and avoiding any negative effect of swimming on your shoulders.
Rotate Your Body Symmetrically
Developing an ideal symmetrical body rotation and breathing bilaterally to the sides are something you should learn right from the beginning of your swimming practice sessions. If you can master this technique, you will eliminate the very chances of injuring your shoulder.
So, what happens when you swim with a flat body with limited rotation? Now, reduced rotation along the long axis of the spine necessitates your arms to swing around the side way too much, especially during the recovery phase. This swinging triggers many more internal rotations at the shoulder joints resulting in impingement and issues in the rotator cuff. Keeping your body symmetrical removes such undesirable chances.
Enter the Pool with a Flat Hand
A lot of the pain and injuries in your shoulder result from an over use of the shoulders when you swim. Using any particular joint or muscle more than its capacity is bound to cause trouble. And the posture of your hands when you enter the pool is an essential determinant of how much you use your shoulders. When you enter with your hand pitched outwards with your thumb pointed forward, you expose yourself to excessive internal rotation inside the water. This can lead to acute pain in the shoulders. On the contrary, when you change the technique to place your hands flat, straight and with your finger tip first, your shoulders rotate much less, thereby, reducing chances of pain and injury
Keep Your Shoulders Back, Chest Forward
Several swimmers give less emphasis on the upper body posture while swimming. Putting your shoulders first makes you run the risk of exerting too much pressure on your shoulders. Swimmers using their shoulders to move forward also get tired easily. Though different swim strokes and styles require different body postures, the ideal way of swimming is keeping your shoulders back and chest forward. Years of consistent practice and guidance from an expert swimmer come together to help you master this technique and have that perfect body posture.
Catch and Pull with a High Elbow
The way you catch and pull inside the waters can be found out consciously through video analysis only. Now, if you pull through the waters with a dropped elbow or even a very straight arm, your shoulder gets the maximum pressure because it is being pushed down. The right way is to develop a high elbow catch and pull technique. This technique and body posture ensures that the larger and definitely the more powerful muscles of the upper back and the chest are used instead of the shoulder. The more you catch and pull this way, the lesser will be the pain as well as the exhaustion.
Follow these techniques to keep your shoulders fit and healthy even when you are an active swimmer.