USA swimming shoulder injury prevention

August 16, 2021

Swimmers of all styles, except breaststroke, have one of the main problems - these are" problems " with the shoulders. The most common of them is considered to be a shoulder joint injury, known as the "swimmer's shoulder".


When performing each stroke with the hand (except breaststroke), the shoulder joint is completely withdrawn and rotated. This creates unfavorable conditions for the muscles that stabilize the shoulder girdle and that are under constant tension.

According to statistics, from 40 to 60 percent of highly qualified swimmers suffer from swimming shoulder joint injuries, and many of them have acquired chronic pain.

The conducted studies have shown that shoulder joint injuries occur under the influence of such factors as erroneous or imperfect training methods or incorrect technique of performing strokes, as well as neglect of warm-up before training and recovery after it.

How to avoid shoulder injury in swimming?

Here are some USA swimming shoulder injury prevention recommendations:

WARM-UP. This is one of the most affordable ways to prevent injuries. A properly conducted warm-up serves to prepare the entire body and separately working muscle groups for high training loads.

RECOVERY. The purpose of this process is to remove from the body the "slags" that have accumulated as a result of high training loads.

STRETCHING EXERCISES. They should be performed in a gentle, painless manner.  Each muscle should be held in a stretched state for at least 10 seconds. DO NOT turn these exercises into" competitions " for the degree of flexibility: it is different for each swimmer and depends on many factors.

STRENGTH EXERCISES (in the gym and the water). When drawing up a program of these exercises, it is very important to combine the correct technique of performing and the dosage of the load. 

USE EQUIPMENT WITH CAUTION. Experts came to the conclusion that the use of swimming paddles at the beginning of the season creates prerequisites for the occurrence of a shoulder injury, and they should be used with great caution.

STROKE TECHNIQUE. Its improvement is one of the most important factors in the prevention of shoulder joint injuries. Of course, the dominant importance here is given to personal control on the part of the coach.

So, it is recommended:

- to focus on exercises that contribute to working out the correct "roll" of the body in freestyle swimming and on the back;

- take a breath from both sides when swimming freestyle;

- when carrying the arm, raise the elbow high above the water;

- do not bend your arm too much when entering the water;

- when using a swimming board, keep the board with your hands bent at the elbow.

Following the above recommendations, you will significantly protect yourself from possible injuries of the shoulder joint.

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