Our physiotherapists at ProActive Rehab are here to help you properly prepare for the upcoming outdoor swim season. If you are looking for injury prevention tips, tricks and exercises or if you need help recovering from an injury so that you can get back in the water, we are here for you!
When it comes to swimming, having strong but flexible shoulder and back muscles are essential. The following exercises can be done a couple times a week to strengthen the shoulders and improve your flexibility which should help prevent injury. They should be pain free and should be discontinued if they cause any concerning discomfort. Exercise #1 uses theraband to strengthen your shoulder external rotators. Slow and with control you externally rotate the band away from your body. Keep your shoulders back and your wrist in a neutral position. These are small endurance muscles – so light resistance and high repetitions (ex. 3×15 reps) is a good place to start. Exercise #2, the wall angel, is meant to strengthen your postural muscles and stretch the muscles through the chest. Standing flat with your shoulders, low back and head against a wall, slowly raise your arms through a snow angel motion. Slowly return to the starting position and then repeat. The slower you go, the more you will get out of this exercise. Go until fatigue (it may only be 3-5 reps initially). As you get stronger, your endurance should improve and you can increase your repetitions. Exercise #3 uses a foam roller to improve the mobility of your thoracic spine (mid back). With your buttocks on the ground and your hands supporting your head, extend slowly over the foam roller, feeling the stretch through your mid back. If it feels good, hold for 5-10s and then repeat 5-10x.
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Please take care to not work through pain and discontinue any exercise if you are unsure if you are doing it properly. Should you have any questions about these exercises or would like further guidance on treating or preventing swimming injuries please give us a call at 705-788-1480 or visit us at proactiverehab.com. Therabands and foam rollers are conveniently available for sale at our clinic.