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Pre-Swim Muscle Activation

September 27, 2017


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

  • Working on keeping the shoulder set down and back

  • Engaging your rotator cuff



2. 3 phase prone arm lifts: 1 set each x 8 reps x 3 second holds

  • Working on keeping shoulders relaxed, set down and back

  • Engaging posterior cuff and lower traps


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.


If you have any niggling aches or pains and want to get checked out, book in to see one of our physios today - book online here or call us on (08) 9448 2994!



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