Shoulder Rehabilitation for Swimmers

Prehabilitation exercise for the shoulders

Prehab is sometimes scoffed at by athletes of various sports, however it is becoming a major and integral part of many an athletes strength programme. Whether it is called pre-habilitation, rehabilitation or even injury management it is an area that needs to be accepted by coach and athlete alike.

Physiotherapists and sports masseurs have been using pre habilitation to ensure that athletes stay at the top of their game and obviously to minimise the risk of injury and then having to enforce rehabilitation as part of the plan.

One of the best shoulder rehab exercises for swimmers or even upper body athletes is shapes, quite simply the shoulder’s make the relevant alphabetical shape during a four movement functional movement pattern. This session can be used as a warm up, part of a conditioning set or on a stretching routine where functional movement patterns form part of the stretching. The following movement pattern may help to improve fine motor skills used during swimming, the above exercises can be used for any sport where shoulders are an integral part of the sport,

The exercises can be done with bodyweight, dumbbells or bands to add resistance, start with bodyweight and build up to light dumbbells.

Start position – lying face down on a bench or Reebok step, ensure your chest is flat against the bench, and the top of your knee is supported by the bench, hands hanging down to the front of the bench shoulders relaxed.

Execute the following movement pattern ensuring that you always

Start at the start position for each phase.

Ensure all movement is controlled throughout the set.

Perfect technique is conducted throughout the routine for each movement pattern.

If fatigue sets in, do fewer repetitions.

Coaching points that should be taken into consideration are as follows,

Don’t cheat by throwing the arms out utilising momentum

Or moving the chest off the bench by drawing up

Shrugging the shoulders up towards the ears

Exercise prescription

Start with body weight and progress to light dumb bells no more than 2kg, For best results ensure you start the movement patterns at a different point each time you conduct the sequence, this ensure that the muscles fatigue at different points.

Vary the sequence in order to progress your rehabilitation, the body needs to be stressed in different ways constantly so that growth and repair can be attained and maintained.

For example a sequence variation could be to execute one of each movement until the required repetitions for each have been achieved. Another may be to execute the pattern in reverse order. Another variation is to try the movement patterns whilst seated on the edge of a bench ensure that the spine is upright and stable throughout.

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