One great advantage of swimming over other sports is that it is non-weight bearing and therefore less likely to cause any injuries or damage to your body (except from getting bashed about in the surf from time to time!). However there is one risk with swimming (in particular swimming Freestyle), which is injuring your shoulders. ‘Swimmers shoulder’ is common amongst elite swimmers who train an extremely high number of kms per week. For example last year five-time Olympic champion Missy Franklin retired at the age of 23 due to chronic shoulder pain. Most of our swimmers aren’t swimming excessive kms per week but no matter what what kind of swimmer you are, everyone needs to be mindful that they are swimming in the correct way to protect their shoulders.
We encourage all of our swimmers to swim in the most natural, comfortable way. Swimmer’s shoulder is typically caused by the repetition of swimming freestyle. In freestyle forward momentum is mainly generated by the arms and shoulders rather than the legs. The main source of injury is in the “recovery stage” of the stroke as your arm comes over and re-enters the water. We encourage our swimmers to recover within your shoulders natural range of movement. We discourage swimming with a bent elbow recovery and over-extending once your hand enters the water as this grinds away at your acromioclavicular joint which can eventually lead to shoulder injuries.
We wish all our swimmers happy and healthy shoulders for as long as you are swimming!😃 Speak to us at your next session if you ever have any shoulder pain after you swim and we can help you out.