USA swimming shoulder injury prevention

August 16, 2021

Swimming is a great sport but swimmers often experience such an unpleasant problem as shoulder joint injury, better known as a swimmer's shoulder.


The hand stroke occurs due to the rotation of the shoulder joint, which is controlled by the muscles of the shoulder girdle. Constant tension can have a negative impact on these muscles and the shoulder joint itself, especially if the movements are performed incorrectly.
Statistics show that 50% of professional swimmers have shoulder injuries caused by incorrect swimming techniques. Unfortunately, in many cases, this injury is chronic, periodically causing pain to the athlete.

In fact, a lot in this matter depends on the training methods and the level of the swimmer's technique. With excessive exertion without a proper warm-up at the beginning of the training and a relaxation phase at the end, the risk of shoulder injury increases.

How to avoid shoulder injury while swimming?

Here are some recommendations for preventing shoulder injuries when swimming:

1) Always warm up before training

In any sport, before starting to train intensively, all athletes should prepare their muscles and joints well for work. This helps avoid injury and also contributes to proper muscle development during exercise. The warm-up complex should include stretching exercises. They must be performed carefully, and calmly, paying attention to each muscle. Stretching improves flexibility and warms up muscles and joints, setting them up for the upcoming intensive work.

2) Correct and even load

It is a well-chosen training program where all load types and exercises are balanced, which is one of the keys to a swimmer's health. In each set of exercises, it is necessary to maintain a load balance and monitor the technique to avoid mistakes in movements that can lead to injury or chronic illness.

3) Caution when working with swimming equipment

Using swimming equipment in the right way also reduces the likelihood of trauma occurrence. Careless use of some equipment may cause common shoulder injuries while swimming.

4) Improve your stroke technique

Working on the stroke technique is the most effective tool for preventing shoulder injuries. Under the strict guidance and supervision of a swimming coach, a swimmer can learn the correct stroke technique in all styles and avoid such a disease as a swimmer's shoulder.

5) The end of the workout - muscle relaxation

It is very important to restore muscles and joints at the end of training! This helps to relax the body, get rid of tension and feel a pleasant fatigue and pleasure from the training results.  

It is also recommended to follow all the instructions for the stroke technique when swimming. Here are some USA swimming shoulder injury prevention rules:

- while swimming freestyle, inhale on turns of the head on each side
- when changing the arm for stroke, lift the elbow high above the water
- when the hand enters the water, do not bend it too much
- if you use swimming equipment such as a board, hold it with your arms bent at the elbows.

Such tips will help you protect yourself from possible injuries.

Be healthy!

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