It is crucial that certain muscles work effectively and strongly to stabilise the shoulder joint during a swimming session. As well as a general strength program on day to day basis it is my tip to activate the muscles prior to a good swimming session. This will wake up these muscles and create a more stable environment for the shoulder which will lead to a healthier joint and improve overall performance. Give these few exercises a go before your next swim:
1. Theraband stop signs, elevation and reach: 2 x 8 reps
2. 3 phase prone arm lifts: 1 set each x 8 reps x 3 second holds
3. Single arm elevated row: 2 sets x 8 reps
Working on keeping shoulders relaxed, set down and back
Squeeze lower part of shoulder blade at end of range
Engaging posterior cuff and lower traps
There are many different variations and exercises out there that you can adapt to fit into a pre-swim activation session but these are some of my favourite and certainly are functional. Because it is only an activation phase the recommended sets/reps are a bit lower than conventional exercise prescription. However, these are great exercises to do regularly and in that circumstance you can bump the sets/reps up.
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