Very well explained how the shoulders work or should work.
Tie that shoulderprocess movement to your core.
Nice find, lot of valuable advises.
its so important to understand how the total movement range of the arm is build up.
Normally we only think of the shoulder as a ball in socket joint.
In fact its a ball in socket joint, but this joint in itself is also a ball in socket joint with a much greater absolute range of motion.
The bigger bal is the ribcage and the socket is the shouderblade with some supportive bones.
So first there is the shoulderblade that can rotate around the big ball, the ribcage.
This system carries the the miniature ball and socket, the humerus in the shoulderblade.
The rotation of the moon around the earth is like the rotation of the upperaqrm in the shoulderjoint.
The movement of the moon and eartth togetther around the sun is like the movement of the shouldercomplex around the ribcage.
Stretching the muscles limiting the range of movement of the small ball and socket usually is a bad idea.
There is just so much room before the upperarmbone or the humerus start hitting other structures or squeeze nerves or lubricating tussue.
Stretching the muscles that limit the sliding of the shoulderblade over the ribcage is a better idea.
Looking at it from this perspective its easier to understand why some stretches are bad and othere more save.
To be honest, and in an attempt to keep matters simple, I'd say that once you can achieve this:
No need to further develop flexibility.
Now one might argue that the ability to bring this torpedo position behind the head is questionable. I'd answer to this that it's true for the 3 most commonly swam strokes, with the exception of butterfly which requires, at least in my humble opinion, a level of shoulder flexibility that goes beyond that required by the 3 other strokes.
Note that achieving the position is half of the story. Achieving it whilst staying relaxed is the other half.
Maybe one last thing worth mentioning. And it's funny because I was working on "that" yesterday in some dryland rehearsal class. The bottleneck in achieving this torpedo position for "most", is not shoulder flexibility, but rather upper back and arm adductor muscles flexibility (though front deltoid is part of this arm adductor muscles chain).
Charles and Zen, thanks for these links! Great find.
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