Top Tips To Avoid Swimming Injury

swimming injury swindon

This guide has come about after 12 years of treating a wide variety of swimmers – from those of a recreational standard to those competing at a National level. It is hoped that by sharing with you our experience you won’t make the same mistakes that countless other swimmers have. If you do have a specific issue then these exercises WILL help you. However, if you’d like to get back in the pool quicker and with less effort on your part then give us a call now on 01793 613352 to find out how we can help you.

Disclaimer: The exercises below are meant for general education and demonstration purposes and may not be specific for your condition. If you feel any pain or discomfort then stop immediately and ensure you get proper medical advice. We cannot accept any liability for injury that may occur from your use of these exercises.

Pec stretch Sports Physio Swindon
  • 1. Pec Stretch

    Find the end of a wall and stand to the side of it. From this position place the arm you want to stretch against the wall in what I like to call a “half surrender” position. By this I mean place your palm flat on the wall, upper arm should be horizontal from the shoulder and the elbow should be at ninety degrees so your forearm is facing straight up the wall.  Slowly lunge forward to get a stretch along your chest. Take this stretch to comfort not pain. Hold this stretch for about a minute each side and repeat. This one is great to do before and after any training session.

Swimming Swindon Rotator Cuff Stretch
  • 2. Rotator Cuff Stretch

    Following on from the pectoral stretch this is one for people who found they had discomfort at the back of their shoulder when attempting the pectoral stretch. This one stretches the small rotator cuff muscles that we mentioned. As shown in the picture lift your arm up to shoulder level and then with the other hand pull the arm across your body. You should feel the stretch around the shoulder blade area and / or onto the top of the back of your arm. Hold this stretch for a minute either side and repeat. Another great one to do before and after training. If you get pain whilst doing this stretch or feel it at the front of the shoulder instead then leave this one out.

Lat Stretch Sports Physio RSI
  • 3. Lats

    These muscles along with the pectoral muscles are the ones that generate all the power in all swimming strokes. Equally they contribute to the round shouldered posture that can lead injury. As shown in the picture stand next to a wall with the side you are trying to stretch next to the wall. Grab onto the edge of the wall with your hand just above the level of the shoulder. Stick your backside out behind you with your head down until you start to feel a stretch – somewhere around the back of your armpit or somewhere in your back. To increase the stretch rotate your torso in towards the wall. Hold each side for one minute.

Back Pain Swindon Lumbar Extension Stretch
  • 4. Lumbar Extension

    This stretch is to ensure that your shoulders have enough room to function as powerfully as possible. Ideally this should be performed over the back of a Swiss Ball but if you don’t have one you can use the back of the sofa or edge of a bed. Simply arch backwards over the Swiss ball (or whatever you are using) and let the arms and legs hang in a relaxed fashion. You should feel a stretch through your stomach. You may get a sensation in your back also. So long as this is not painful carry on. Hold for a minimum of one minute. Longer if you can cope with all the blood rushing to your head!

Back Pain Swindon Half Moon Stretch
  • 5. Half Moon

    Particularly good for all you front crawlers out there! The amount of rotation from the front crawl stroke can cause a tightening in the oblique muscles causing biomechanical knock on to the shoulder joint and into the legs. To avoid this simply standing up straight in a streamline position as if you were in the water. From this position bend over to the side as shown – making a half moon shape. You may feel the stretch anywhere along the outside of your body. If you feel a compressive sensation on the side to which you bending then try the other way first and see if that eases the compression. Hold each stretch for a minute on each side.

Neck Stretch Sports Physio RSI
  • 6. Traps

    Two stretches in one. These are the muscles that hurt after a really tough session! The muscles along the top of your shoulders. To stretch put the same side hand that you are trying to stretch behind your back at belt level (in the picture shown the right hand). With your free hand (left in the picture) pull your head gently to the opposite side (left) you should feel the stretch along the top of your shoulder (right). You can also pull the head slightly forward at the same time. This will stretch a slightly different muscle. Experiment with the direction of the pull and see what works best for you.

Swimming Swindon Plank Shoulder Taps
  • 7. Plank Shoulder Taps

    This is a great exercise to not only challenge your core stability, but also your strength and stability around your shoulders. Set up in a straight arm plank position with your back straight (make sure your hips don’t drop down). Whilst trying to maintain a completely stable position bring one hand off the floor and touch the opposite shoulder. Alternate each side, trying to avoid shifting your whole body to either side. Moving your feet out wider and hands closer together tend to make this exercise easier. We suggest that you should repeat as many reps as you need to feel some fatigue set in.

Swimming Swindon Lower Traps Strength
  • 8. Lower Traps

    Lie on the floor with arm out stretched. Hand a little wider than shoulder width. Engage your core a little and simply lift one arm off the floor a few inches as shown. You can hold in this position for 30 seconds or do repetitions up to a maximum of about 30. You should feel this working muscles in your back about halfway down. A little lower than the last exercise. If you feel the exercise at the top of your shoulders then relax your shoulders and try again.

If having done these exercises you have realised you have more pain than you thought, or you’ve been putting off getting an old injury or ache seen to then give us a call now. At Swindon Sports Therapy we’ll show you how you can not only enjoy swimming pain free but improve your performance with absolutely no effort on your part!

Call 01793 613352 now to find out how we can help you feel great about your swimming. You can be sure you’ll be getting the best and most effective treatment possible from Swindon Sports Therapy.

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