Competitive swimmers are injured

Protect your shoulders!

Swimming is undoubtedly a healthy sport. However, you should also bear in mind that your tendons and joints will be affected by excessive stress. This can happen, for example, when you overexert yourself or exercise too long. One of the most common injuries experienced by swimmers is the so-called "swimmer's shoulder".

Before we take a closer look at this problem, let's take a look at the facts and figures:

  • A good swimmer needs about 10 strokes to swim 25 m (5 strokes with each arm)
  • He manages an average of around 200 lanes per day (around 5000 m).

This means that a good swimmer can do up to 1000 rotations a day with each arm (5 x 200), which equates to 6000 rotations per week (with six training sessions per week) and around 288,000 rotations per year (48 weeks of training per year).

An immense number of arm movements.

This explains why around 50% of swimmers experience shoulder problems at least once during their athletic careers.

These should not be underestimated for the following reasons:

1. The strength for your arm pulls comes from your shoulders
2. Shoulder injuries keep you from exercising
3. Shoulder pain and injuries affect biomechanics

So what exactly is a "float shoulder"?

It is a tendinitis of the rotator cuff that affects both competitive swimmers and amateurs and is caused by heavy, excessive or incorrect training loads. Injury and inflammation of the tendons often occurs in disciplines that require repeated raising of the arms above the head, such as freestyle, backstroke, and butterfly style.

It is therefore particularly important to nip these problems in the bud. Three basic rules should therefore be carefully observed:

1. Muscle stretching, i.e. stretching exercises before the training session
2. Muscle strengthening through appropriate physical training
3. rainings planning, i.e. ensuring enough time for recovery phases

Here are some simple exercises you can do before jumping in the water. They will help you prevent shoulder problems:

Exercise 1: Stand up straight. Position your arm, bent at a 90 ° angle alongside your body, so that the back of your hand is facing outwards. Then slowly move your hands towards your stomach. Repeat this twelve times for each arm for a total of three units. Variation: Try the same exercise with a tight theraband.

Exercise 2: Stand so that your arms, bent at 90 degrees, are against your sides so that your palms are facing inward. Hold a tight thera band between your hands. Now stretch the Theraband outwards with slow movements. Repeat this twelve times for a total of three units.

Exercise 3: Stand with your arms on your sides and slowly lift them outward to shoulder height and then lower them back down. Repeat this twelve times for a total of three units. Variation: Start in the same position and lift your arms forward - do not go above shoulder height.

Exercise 4: Sit with your torso straight and slowly pull a Thera band (attached across from you) towards you. Make sure your elbows are touching your sides and don't go too far above shoulder height when pulling. Repeat this twelve times for a total of three units.


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