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Old 04-28-2011
bx bx is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Bournemouth, UK
Posts: 422
Default pdf on swimming with lats, avoiding shoulder injury

This is a very nice concise guide to swimming using your lats and avoiding shoulder girdle pop-out.


The four steps to increase speed and prevent injury are:

1. Swim with your “lats” not your shoulders
2. Stabilize your scapulas
3. Balanced rotator cuff strength
4. Increase leverage with your forearm paddle
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Old 04-28-2011
Vadim Vadim is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 11

Just relax your hands. Think of them us of flippers. It is as simple as that.
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Old 04-29-2011
Tuco Tuco is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3

I agree with the author's emphasis on strength and conditioning exercise for preventing injury. But I don't think it's necessary to 'hit the gym' to build foundational strength. He says,

"No amount of working out in the pool will stabilize your scapulas. You have to hit the weights in the gym."

If you're a cheapskate -- like me ;) -- much can be done with an elastic band at home/poolside, and basic exercises such as pull ups, push ups, squats and lunges to develop foundational strength.

I think there's plenty you can do in the pool to help condition muscles (I don't know if it's enough in itself, though). Mixing up the strokes frequently -- e.g. throwing in a few IM's; and for lower body, kicking drills are good as conditioning exercises, IMHO.

Finally, for me, climbing has been an excellent complement for my swimming and conditioning stabilizing muscles around shoulders (and core). Bouldering on overhang's particularly good for upper body strength and flexibility. But the best argument is that it's so much more fun than lifting weights :).
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Old 04-29-2011
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Rio, Wisconsin
Posts: 564

Tuco makes very good points. In todays world on non manual labor it seems everyone looks for the machines. Active sports which engage lats or any muscles of the body work well. Kayaking if done properly will develop the back for swimming better than any gym rat. Many examples the plus is we are outdoors and a lot more fun.

Swim Silent and Be Well
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Old 04-29-2011
drone drone is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 26

Does anybody know of links which show and describe pertinent exercises (hopefully with diagrams/photos)? All the better if accomplished at home with minimal equipment.
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Old 04-29-2011
DD_l_enclume DD_l_enclume is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 121

I was looking for that too, and found that website :

Talks about external rotator strenghtening.

Only needs a stretch cord.
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Old 04-29-2011
MarcusNZ MarcusNZ is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 5
Default Rotator Cuff Video

Have a look at this video. It's the best I found for explaining a good range of rotator cuff exercises.

Note that while he uses gym equipment for some exercises, these can be done as effectively at home with an elastic cord.
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