Press-Republican

Columns

July 3, 2012

Shoulder can be a pain for swimmers

When it comes to upper-body endurance, competitive swimmers tend to be in better shape than most.

Where most land athletes use the ground to help generate force for the upper body, swimmers do not have this luxury. They must continually pull their entire body through the water using their arms. The shoulders are the focal points of this action. With this being said, it is not a surprise that many swimmers end up with chronic shoulder pain.

The pain can be caused by overuse and over-training, or it could be a biomechanical issue relating to posture. The biomechanical issues can be the hardest to overcome without the proper education. If you are a swimmer with shoulder pain, learning how to improve your posture can be a worthy investment. Posture should be looked at even if you don’t have any shoulder pain.

For the last few years, I have been adamant about posture, as have many others in my field. Swimming posture is no different.

Upper-cross syndrome is one of the most common postural problems that can plague a swimmer. Upper-cross syndrome occurs when the muscles around the upper chest and back become unbalanced, causing the shoulders to rise and slump forward. Over time, this can become a permanent problem as the body adapts to this position.

While in this position, your shoulders will not work at full capacity. They cannot obtain full range of motion, which is essential when swimming. Someone with upper-cross syndrome is “stuck” in this position, and they will have trouble reaching overhead, or in the case of a swimmer, reaching for each stroke. Attempting to reach this way while having upper-cross syndrome can cause irritation and eventually inflammation around the shoulder joint.

To help prevent this postural problem, it is a good idea to learn how to open up the chest and strengthen the upper-back muscles, as they squeeze the shoulder blades back and together. You can begin to accomplish this task just by standing with your back against a wall and squeezing your shoulder blades together. While against the wall, raise your arms into the “hold up” position, keeping your elbows at 90 degrees, your palms facing forward and your forearms parallel to the wall behind you.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Tobias_Sue_012914.jpg World in palm of our hands

    A newsroom workshop made writer Susan Tobias realize how far technology has come since she started working at the Press-Republican.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mulholland_Jonathan.jpg Running tips to get you in top form

    Different limb lengths, tighter muscles, stiffer joints, prior injuries all play role in determining your running style, Jonathan Mulholland writes.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • clute_cropped.jpg When children are put at risk

    Adults who deal drugs, commit domestic violence and other crimes with kids present are guilty of yet another crime, writes columnist Penny Clute.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Walace_Jolene 7-12_cropped.jpg Let these tips on planting trees take root

    You may think that digging a hole and plopping the tree in will suffice, and it will if you only want the tree to live a short time, columnist Jolene Wallace writes.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • ouellette.jpg Web doctor always gets it right

    I have access to the collected medical knowledge of all recorded history at my fingertips, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Airport projects can benefit local economy

    Using a local workforce keeps wages and spending in the community if it can be done in a cost-effective manner, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gast_Richard.jpg Producers can recycle tubing

    Project allows maple-syrup makers to conveniently dispose of their used tubing in an environmentally friendly way, according to columnist Richard Gast.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg Easter with doubters and the 'nones'

    Should more pastors ask this blunt question: "Do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead?" wonders religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • amy_ivy.jpg Is it time to plant? Not yet

    All we can do is wait and see how things get through, columnist Amy Ivy writes.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns

Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice

Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk

Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time