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Stronger Shoulders for Swimmers

James N. Johnson, MD
Jason Gauvin, PT, ATC
Michael Fredericson, MD

THE PHYSICIAN AND SPORTSMEDICINE - VOL 31 - NO. 1 - JANUARY 2003


Strong shoulders are essential for competitive swimmers, who make as many as 1 million shoulder rotations per week while training. It's no surprise that shoulder pain is common, but four simple exercises can help you prevent much of the discomfort. Please check with your doctor before beginning these exercises if you are currently injured.

These exercises (figures 1 through 4) should be done after swimming or in a separate session. Doing them just before swim training may actually increase your risk of injury by stressing fatigued muscles while swimming.

Total-body conditioning, muscle strength, and endurance are essential for success in competitive swimming. Good core strength, a sleek position in the water, and strong shoulders should lead to faster times and fewer injuries. Be sure to discuss any questions or concerns about training with your coach or team doctor.

Remember: This information is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. Before starting an exercise program, consult a physician.

© 2003, by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Permission to photocopy is granted for educational purposes.

FAST FACTS

1. Do the exercises shown after swimming, not right before. And if you have an injury, talk to your doctor before doing any exercises.

2. Stronger shoulders are only part of the equation. Talk to your coach or team doctor about proper swim technique, too.


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