Get your technique right
Avoiding shoulder injuries is important for swimmers
WHAT A SPLASH Follow the right technique
The life of a competitive swimmer is hard on the shoulders. How hard? It is not uncommon for a swimmer's shoulders to turn over a million times in a week of training. Shoulder pain is common among swimmers, but there are no easy solutions.
Good swimming technique, physical conditioning, and core strength take the load off the shoulders to a great extent, but hey, a million rotations per week is still a big deal for a shoulder joint.
The following exercises help build up the shoulder muscles and reduce the risk of injury. But they should be done after and not before a swimming session.
Shoulder elevation: Hold a one-kg dumbbell in your hands. Stand erect, with your arms hanging down about 30 degree forward. Slowly lift the weight to shoulder height, keeping your elbow fixed straight. Breathe out on the way up. Then lower your arms slowly to starting position. Repeat until your muscles are fatigued. Rest a few minutes and do a couple more sets of this exercise, with a few minutes of rest in between sets.
The push-up: The push-up is an underrated exercise that deserves more respect and practice. It works the shoulders, the triceps, and the chest muscles, depending on how far apart you place your palms.
Seated push-up: This is a great workout for the triceps and the shoulder muscles. Sit in a sturdy chair, with your palms on the armrest placed slightly ahead of shoulders. Lift yourself up with your arms, straightening your elbows, while keeping your back and knees straight. Do it until you are fatigued. Repeat for two sets.
Rowing: Use the rowing bar in the gym or simply pull on an elastic cord. Slowly pull back till your shoulder blades bunch together. Repeat until fatigued. Do three sets.
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