Improve Your Swimming Performance With This Shoulder Tip
Hey, this is Doctor Steve Young from bodysolutions where total body fitness is governed by physical therapists. In this video we are going to talk about shoulder blade positioning or your posture in terms of swimming technique, swimming performance and shoulder safety.
You see wherever your shoulder blade sits that’s dictated by your posture. in terms of your mid back if your posture slouched, your shoulder blades tilts forward. If you have good upright posture your shoulder blade tilted straight.
How shoulder dictates your swimming technique
And how this effects your swimming stroke technique is that, if I have good posture you see I can lift my arm up, my shoulder goes all the way up. I can easily go all the way around.
Now what I am going to do on purpose slouch, if you notice when I go this is as far I can reach my arm. This is with good posture, this is with bad posture. And the reason you cannot lift your arm as high in a slouch position because this bone called acromion is forcing your shoulder down.
So when I come up, this is as far my arm can go because this bone is hitting this bone if I tilt my shoulder weight down it makes this bone which your arm right here took down as well.
Now the problem with this bad swimming technique is that every time you do this stroke with your shoulder blade not only your stroke distance decrease also there is a higher chance of injury. You see when you jam this bone against this bone there is few different soft tissues in between these bones. One of them will be your rotator cuff tendons, there is bursea, there is also the bicep tendon right here. Any one of this structures can be inflamed when you are in this improper posture.
Because you are kind of grinding your shoulder every time. It’s extremely important to be aware of your posture also in your exercise program designed to open up your shoulder blades. You see a lot of us get tightness in pec muscles right here, specially the pec minor which is under the pec major most people know it as the chest muscle.
Muscle that starts right here and connects to third, fourth and fifth rib. If this muscle gets right, it will pull your shoulder blades into a forward or anterior front tilted position. That’s the worst thing that you want as a swimmer.
A lot of swimmers do get that position. These muscles do get trained heavily and if you do not stretch it pulls your shoulder blade to the worst position possible. So how do you reverse that?
How to correct your shoulder posture for better performance
There is a few strategies on daily basis to improve your swimming technique. One way is to find a door away, keep your hands against it, and lunge forward to get these pec muscles to stretch back. It will get the pec major muscles and it will allow your shoulder blade from this position to go back to the proper position.
Another would be for pec minor stretch, you would just go on the floor, on the back. Brace your abs, like you are doing crunches just tighten your ab and just take a broom stick and just flex your shoulder overhead.
Its going to allow your shoulder to tilt back. What is important that you keep your abs right that is going to prevent your ribs from being pulled up. Remember the muscle pec minor is attached to your ribs so you need to anchor your ribs down while you are getting your shoulder blade to tilt back up.
What are passive and active stretches for improving swimming technique
These are two sorts of passive stretches. An active stretch to do before you swim is simply is more like a dynamic way to warm up the muscle is just to lunge forward and throw your arms up. What this does is kind of activates the muscle, the muscles are working and stretched at the same time. And how it has different effect than the passive stretches where you just kind of hold for 30 seconds.
This active stretches not only warm up the muscles, not only stretch the muscles it kind of prepare your body for action. They prepare our proprio receptors. They are little sensory fibres in your muscles and in your joints that senses position changes. And these proprio sensors are extremely important for all sport movements because they are the feedback mechanism of your body.
It’s the only way for your brain to know where your arm is at space without you staring at your arm. So those proprio receptors needs to be warmed up just like the muscles needs to be warmed up. So we have the passive stretch this way, on your stomach with sort of your stomach braced with a broom stick.
And with an active version where you kind of throw your arm up before you swim. And while you are swimming focus on keeping the good posture so your mid back is arched up and not rounded down. I hope you find this tips very helpful.