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Keep Your Swimming Injury Free

Date Added: June 19, 2008 12:07:48 PM
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Category: Swimming

You may think that swimming is an injury free sport! In fact, many people take up swimming to recover from injuries. It is indeed enjoyable to float around gently, in a weightless, watery world but swimming can have its share of injuries. You may not find injuries such as a runner's stress fractured shin or a skier's torn knee cartilage but minor skirmishes are possible. In swimming, the most vulnerable part is your shoulder as it is this part that is used most vigorously. However, adequate precautions can reduce the chances of injuries significantly.

Take care of your shoulder

While swimming take care of your shoulder joint as it is the most frequently and vigorously used part of your body and needs special care. Your shoulders are not actually designed for swimming continuously and if you use them this way you need to take special care to avoid injuries. Your shoulder rotates 1,200 to 1,500 times per mile while swimming. That's a lot of shoulder rotation and the reason why shoulder pain is the most common swimming injury. The shoulder joint is built to allow arm movement in all possible directions but because of continuous use the muscles can fatigue and become overstretched, causing pain.

Other Injuries

Incorrect stroke mechanics can also result in pain and injury. The body may not be prepared for many of the movements that you perform while swimming thus causing pain. In your enthusiasm, you may overuse your muscles leading to muscle fatigue. Fatigued muscles do a poor job of protecting their associated connective tissues, increasing the risk of damage to bone, cartilage, tendons and ligaments. Remember to always listen to your body. Pain and stiffness can be a good indication that you are doing something wrong.

What you can do
  • For correct stroke mechanics the best thing you can do is to take advice from a good coach. A good coach improves your competitive skills as well as greatly enhances your fundamentals of swimming, corrects your biomechanics and keeps injuries at bay.
  • Proper warm up is another important precaution and is as essential as swimming itself because without proper warm up you are actually inviting injuries and pains. For older people a warm up is even more important and might take some more time. An easy warm up exercise is swinging your arms in small circles.
  • To prevent shoulder injuries do a good warm up with some stretching and other light flexibility exercises and remember to cool down after a swim. If you are a beginner, make sure that you use lifebelts and swim under supervision.

Swimming is a real pleasure that can heal many of your physical and even physiological ills. However, like in most other things, it is always worthwhile to take some necessary precautions to keep those aches and pains at bay.

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