Mechanics of swimming

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Mechanics of swimming

Even for those athletes who finish at the front of the pack, there is a very good chance that at some point regardless of skill level an injury will occur that will impact their ability to train or perform at optimal levels.

Swimming engages almost every muscle in the body. Due to its repetitive nature, if certain muscles are used incorrectly over time there is a good chance they will eventually fail. The average swimmer may take strokes per 25 yards.

A small mechanical deviation is no big deal for yards, but Mechanics of swimming 2, to 4, yards a few times a week may lead to major repetitive trauma to the shoulder musculature. To simplify the stroke, freestyle can be broken down into three phases, a recovery phase, entry phase and a pull phase.

I will briefly describe each phase and discuss common errors in technique that may lead to injury or sub-optimal performance. This is the time when the arm returns to the starting position over the head. During this phase the arm should be relaxed as it is brought from the hip to above the head where it will enter the water.

This is the time during the stroke that many of the muscles responsible for the pull phase can relax and recover.

If the muscles in the arm are rigid and stiff, they will never get a chance to rest and will fatigue much faster than necessary. During this phase the hand enters the water above the head in preparation for the pull phase. It is extremely important that it enters flat.

Swim Mechanics - Technique and Injury

Many swimmers including elite swimmers will enter thumb first. If the thumb enters first, anatomically the Humerus the arm bone will rotate internally, which causes tendons of the rotator cuff, primarily the Supraspinatous tendon, to become compromised.

During this phase most of the forward propulsion occurs. Injuries commonly occur during this phase if the hand has entered thumb first. Not only can thumb-first entry lead to shoulder impingement as mentioned above, but the swimmer will commonly initiate the pulling phase by pulling outwards and away from the body rather than down in front of the body.

This will overload the smaller rotator cuff and Deltoid muscles increasing the risk of rotator cuff injuries as well as limiting the maximum potential of the primary pulling muscles resulting in decreased performance.

Mechanics of swimming

There are many presentations but 2 common shoulder symptoms seen with swimmers are recurring focal pain in the front anterior of the shoulder and deep cramping pain on the back posterior side of the shoulder during the recovery phase.

The posterior shoulder pain commonly continues to intensify until the swimmer stops.

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Both symptoms may be relieved temporarily by swimming backstroke, but pain returns shortly after resuming freestyle.

Remember, rest will only temporarily relieve the symptoms. These are only a few of the most common swimming issues that lead to injury. The off season is a perfect time to have your stroke evaluated.

Once identified, these mechanical deviations are fairly easy to correct.Swimming Technique and Injury. Swim Mechanics Is Your Pain Caused by Poor Technique?

Mechanics of swimming

Niklaus A. DelFavero, DC, ART, CSCS, CCSP, CES, CGFI. It is said that approximately 67% of triathletes consider swimming to be their weakest of . Apr 10,  · Demonstrations of some of the body movements and positions required to perform freestyle, butterfly, and breaststroke.

Biomechanical Considerations in the Competitive Swimmer’s Shoulder

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The movements in swimming are closed-chain mechanics, meaning that the distal segment (ie, the hand) is the relatively fixed segment, whereas the body is moved over the top of the hand. In swimming, 4 competitive strokes are used for training and racing purposes.

Sports Performance Series: Swimming the breaststroke-A kinesiological analysis and considerations for strength training.

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Strength & Conditioning Journal, 6 (4), 2. Dallas and Los Angeles' premier open water and ocean swimming and pool mechanics coaching company. Weekly open water swims and workouts in the Los Angeles area, as well as one-on-one training sessions, video analysis of freestyle stroke, and individualized swimming training programs for triathlon triathletes and ironman.

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