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AJStirling
August 26th, 2007, 06:53 PM
Hi All, Ive been getting back into swimming after a long time off. My right shoulder feels a bit weak right now. I'm wondering what I can do to strengthen it? Cheers, AJ

geochuck
August 27th, 2007, 02:03 AM
I am sure you will get all kinds of suggestions of how to exercise. Build up by swimming the land excercises can come later.

swimr4life
August 27th, 2007, 08:43 AM
Hi All, Ive been getting back into swimming after a long time off. My right shoulder feels a bit weak right now. I'm wondering what I can do to strengthen it? Cheers, AJ


Buildup your swimming S-l-o-w-l-y. You may be doing too much too soon if your shoulder is bothering you. I agree with George. The best thing to do is just swim......but rotator cuff exercises are a must to prevent further shoulder problems. Do a search for more info. There are a ton of old postings on how to do r.c. exercises. I would not be able to swim today if I did not do these!!

Good luck!

ALM
August 27th, 2007, 09:15 AM
Two articles from the USA Swimming web site:

Shoulder Injury Prevention
http://www.usaswimming.org/USASWeb/ViewMiscArticle.aspx?TabId=445&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en-US&mid=700&ItemId=700


Shoulder Injury Case Study - Brooke Bennett
http://www.usaswimming.org/USASWeb/ViewMiscArticle.aspx?TabId=445&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en-US&mid=700&ItemId=691

--
Anna Lea

AJStirling
August 27th, 2007, 11:43 AM
Thanks for the articles and good advice. :)

I should add that I had a slap tear repair last year and am still recovering, I figured a return to swimming would improve my range of motion.

My rotator cuff is pretty good from all the exercises I had to do for that, it's really my deltoid that is giving me issues. It's probably just going to take time.

Thanks!

InthewaterAt5
August 27th, 2007, 03:41 PM
I do like lateral raises

quicksilver
August 28th, 2007, 08:26 AM
It makes logical sense that any improvements made on the arms will add to better stroking ability.
But a greater emphasis should be focused on the core muscles.
Stronger abdominals and core muscles allow the body to stay in better streamline position while swimming.


Here's an analogy...

If you've ever paddled around on an inflatable raft...it's a very slow going when the raft is only partially full of air.
Ideal streamline position in the pool is like riding through the water with a fully inflated raft.
No wiggling side to side. No bogging down from bad posture. (Stroking power and leg movement is connected to the torso.)



Sit ups...side sit ups...and medicine ball work will do the trick.

AJStirling
August 28th, 2007, 12:39 PM
I have an inflatable exercise ball that I like to use for situps. I find that I get better results because of the balance I need to maintain. Core work is definately a good idea.

What are your thoughts on squats for core work? i was told that those are really good for the torso because of all the stabilization that you need to do.

quicksilver
August 28th, 2007, 01:35 PM
www.deckpass.com (http://www.deckpass.com)

The interview of the week is with a former Olympian who shares his thoughts on weight training...and coincidentally mentions core work.

He likes mountain biking also.


Squats never held much appeal although they get you off the blocks and walls faster.
I'm all upper body and tend to lay off of leg work. Like most swimmers...Tarzan from the waste up...with chicken legs.

The Fortress
August 28th, 2007, 02:37 PM
I agree with Quicksilver. I like core work and plan to do more this year.

I tend to lay off the leg work as well, except for some leg extensions. Who needs that anyway? Just run for cross-training and use a monofin. ;)

islandsox
August 28th, 2007, 04:51 PM
Me, too, Fortress. The thought of kicking for 20.6 miles does not much appeal to me. I'm definitely a front-quadrant swimmer now; thank God I have a super strong upper body, whew!

lanehog
August 29th, 2007, 09:30 AM
I have a couple of related questions, so I figured I'd just post here...

I just started concurrently doing the rotator cuff/shoulder exercises (the ones that are often linked here) and weight training. I've got a cranky left shoulder that started acting up every time I inched toward 3 miles in open water or increased yardage in the pool. I'm pretty sure the problem is technique; my right elbow is high in the catch phase, but I noticed that my left arm goes straight down for a bit before I finally bend at the elbow, so I've been working on that. Just this morning, I felt a little pain, immediately adjusted, and the pain abated considerably. Now comes the hard part -- being consistent.

Should I just do the rotator cuff exercises for a while before starting the weight training? I wonder if I might be jumping into it too quickly. I've made sure to lift very light weights, and I haven't really felt much soreness afterward. And I'm completely avoiding bench press, pushups and dips. I'm trying to be extra careful, because the shoulder set me back this open-water season, and I really don't want the same thing to happen again next year.

Also, I have a very nice medicine ball that I bought last year and has been collecting dust in my closet ever since. Does anyone have any good specific medicine ball exercise recommendations? It's been about a decade since I used one with my swim team, and I don't remember much aside from tossing it to one another.

quicksilver
August 29th, 2007, 09:38 AM
Also, I have a very nice medicine ball that I bought last year and has been collecting dust in my closet ever since. Does anyone have any good specific medicine ball exercise recommendations? It's been about a decade since I used one with my swim team, and I don't remember much aside from tossing it to one another.


Any quirk in the stroke might lead to more stress on one arm than the other. Have you ever tried alternate breathing?
It'll balance your stroke out because it tends to make you swim with more symmetry.

Learning how to breath on both sides is also a nice advantage in freestyle racing...when you want to get a glimpse of the competition.


here's some core work ideas...and with a medicine ball...

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3871/is_200101/ai_n8931232

lanehog
August 29th, 2007, 10:38 AM
Thanks for the exercises! Those look helpful.

Yes, I do breathe to both sides regularly, although I favor breathing to my left (in a way, supporting myself with my stronger right arm). I'm pretty sure that's helped cause this problem. In practice, my breathing is probably 65 percent left, 35 percent right; at a meet or open-water race, the ratio is closer to 80/20. So there's definitely an imbalance. Maybe I should work on breathing just to my right for a few laps each workout?

The Fortress
August 29th, 2007, 11:58 AM
I just started concurrently doing the rotator cuff/shoulder exercises (the ones that are often linked here) and weight training. I've got a cranky left shoulder that started acting up every time I inched toward 3 miles in open water or increased yardage in the pool. I'm pretty sure the problem is technique; my right elbow is high in the catch phase, but I noticed that my left arm goes straight down for a bit before I finally bend at the elbow, so I've been working on that. Just this morning, I felt a little pain, immediately adjusted, and the pain abated considerably. Now comes the hard part -- being consistent.

Should I just do the rotator cuff exercises for a while before starting the weight training? I wonder if I might be jumping into it too quickly. I've made sure to lift very light weights, and I haven't really felt much soreness afterward. And I'm completely avoiding bench press, pushups and dips. I'm trying to be extra careful, because the shoulder set me back this open-water season, and I really don't want the same thing to happen again next year.

Also, I have a very nice medicine ball that I bought last year and has been collecting dust in my closet ever since. Does anyone have any good specific medicine ball exercise recommendations? It's been about a decade since I used one with my swim team, and I don't remember much aside from tossing it to one another.

I would think you can do the RC exercises and weights simultanously or on alternate days. Don't do the RC exercises right before you swim. Unless you're in real pain, you should be able to do moderate weights. That's what I do. Having well developed back and scapular muscles will help hold the shoulder together and take some stress off the smaller RC muscles. In fact, increasing core strength will also be good for the shoulders. But watch out with the medicine ball being held up over your shoulders too much or for too long. That could be counterproductive. I'm just not a real fan of overhead exercises with weights. Although maybe it's just me. Another good exercise for the obliques with a med ball is to stand back to back with a partner with the med ball at your right or left side in both hands. Then swivel, say from right to left and hand your partner the ball. Then you swivel back to the right and get the ball back from your partner. Do 15 and then switch direction.

It seems as if so many of us have cranky left shoulders and falling left elbows ...

Warren
August 29th, 2007, 01:38 PM
best weight room excise = power clean

funkyfish
August 29th, 2007, 03:06 PM
best weight room excise = power clean

Word!

I'd add these in, provided you're not dealing with rehab work, bad back or shoulders.

1) Overhead squats - lift the barbell up over your head, stabilize the weight, and squat. You have to start with a much lighter weight than what you're used to, while you build the core stabilizers and get a feeling for the movement. If you're a weight junkie, you've "arrived" when you can do 3 sets of 10 with your bodyweight. In my heyday (hayday?) I could do 6-8 with my bodyweight (it's tough), but since I've been swimming more I can't touch that now. I like doing these because they require only a fraction of the weight and are easier on my knees.

2) Standing barbell or d-bell shoulder presses. Again, you'll use lighter weight than what you're accustomed to. Use an overhand grip, lift/raise the bar up to rest on the upper pecs/anterior delts, press to full extension, and lower back to below your chin.

I think lifting weight over your head requires a lot more of your core muscles. However, while these are great exercises, if you've got limited range of motion or previous injury issues, these might not be for you. My two cents and here's a :banana:

lanehog
August 29th, 2007, 03:41 PM
Word!

I'd add these in, provided you're not dealing with rehab work, bad back or shoulders.

1) Overhead squats - lift the barbell up over your head, stabilize the weight, and squat. You have to start with a much lighter weight than what you're used to, while you build the core stabilizers and get a feeling for the movement. If you're a weight junkie, you've "arrived" when you can do 3 sets of 10 with your bodyweight. In my heyday (hayday?) I could do 6-8 with my bodyweight (it's tough), but since I've been swimming more I can't touch that now. I like doing these because they require only a fraction of the weight and are easier on my knees.

2) Standing barbell or d-bell shoulder presses. Again, you'll use lighter weight than what you're accustomed to. Use an overhand grip, lift/raise the bar up to rest on the upper pecs/anterior delts, press to full extension, and lower back to below your chin.

I think lifting weight over your head requires a lot more of your core muscles. However, while these are great exercises, if you've got limited range of motion or previous injury issues, these might not be for you. My two cents and here's a :banana:

That's interesting. To be honest, I never really thought about lifting over my head; we were told not to do it, back when we lifted weights with the swim team. (I was 14-16, and someone told me it stunted growth. Is that true?) Since most of my weight training knowledge comes from that, I generally just avoided lifting over my head, because I wasn't sure how to do it properly. Although, now that I think about it, a personal trainer (I got two free sessions when I joined a gym last year) had me do something similar to #2, but with a very light bar.

craiglll@yahoo.com
August 30th, 2007, 09:09 AM
i sometimes workout with a retired gentleman. He says the best exercise in the weight room is watching the young women.

funkyfish
September 3rd, 2007, 09:15 PM
That's interesting. To be honest, I never really thought about lifting over my head; we were told not to do it, back when we lifted weights with the swim team. (I was 14-16, and someone told me it stunted growth. Is that true?) Since most of my weight training knowledge comes from that, I generally just avoided lifting over my head, because I wasn't sure how to do it properly. Although, now that I think about it, a personal trainer (I got two free sessions when I joined a gym last year) had me do something similar to #2, but with a very light bar.

Not sure about the "growth stunting," I would guess that would be related to premature fusing of bones (which can come from anabolic steroid use during adolescence) but haven't heard of it resulting from overhead lifting. We lifted weights on my high school swim team starting as freshmen, and I remember doing seated shoulder presses. To the best of my knowledge, no stunted growth (but maybe I should be 6' 4" instead of 5' 10").

I like the overhead lifting movements because they do recruit more core and stabilizer muscles, and you don't have to use as much weight. But, like anything involving agility and weight, start out slow, methodical, and light, then work your way up. Here's the bump thing instead of the banana :bump:

Nathan
September 3rd, 2007, 09:54 PM
http://www.getwetgetfit.com (http://www.getwetgetfit.com/) :cheerleader:

david.margrave
September 4th, 2007, 12:12 AM
I've heard that lat pull-downs and seated rows are good for swimmers. Of course if you have shoulder problems maybe not. I'm approaching it gradually with a reasonable amount of weight and reps and doing rotator cuff exercises with stretch cords, etc. as well, because I don't want to get an injury.

Everyone says squats are great but I'm not keen to try because I don't want to go hard on my knees. Maybe later if I build enough strength. My main focus is avoiding injuries and building strength, in that order.

geochuck
September 4th, 2007, 08:38 AM
My friend Gordo Byrn has it all laid out just click on the subject http://www.byrn.org/gtips/gtips.htm some of his stuff not current,but most stuff is current on his new site http://www.coachgordo.com/gtips/index.html

swimminlyn
September 4th, 2007, 11:32 AM
Everyone says squats are great but I'm not keen to try because I don't want to go hard on my knees.

Try doing squats with just body weight...little easier on the knees.

AJStirling
September 11th, 2007, 08:49 AM
Wow, great replies! I've added some kind of squat to my routine. I think they work really well, already I feel better as I swim. I didn't want to do a lot of weight because of the knees issue. I find that just an 8lb weight in each hand is sufficient. I hold the weight in front of me, and feel the exercise through the core and into the shoulders. Feels and works great!

tomtopo
September 11th, 2007, 04:00 PM
Here's some swimming specific dry-land exercises that you could add to your strength training regime to improve your swimming.

http://swimming.about.com/od/drylandexercise/a/evfdrylandtrain.htm

Syd
September 13th, 2007, 08:22 PM
Yesterday afternoon during practice I was practicing an early catch and high elbow position while doing 50m free sprints and it struck me that my forearms were starting to ache. Firstly is my technique good that this is happening, and secondly, if it is good then surely I should be doing exercises to build up my forearms for strong sprinting. Apologies if this is an extremely elementary question!

Syd

stussy96
September 13th, 2007, 08:34 PM
i sometimes workout with a retired gentleman. He says the best exercise in the weight room is watching the young women.

Sooo THAT'S why those men follow me around....

just kidding.

inklaire
September 13th, 2007, 08:39 PM
Yesterday afternoon during practice I was practicing an early catch and high elbow position while doing 50m free sprints and it struck me that my forearms were starting to ache. Firstly is my technique good that this is happening, and secondly, if it is good then surely I should be doing exercises to build up my forearms for strong sprinting. Apologies if this is an extremely elementary question!

Syd

My forearms burn when I [try to] sprint breaststroke, so I'm curious also whether this is a sign of solid technique or something that might need to be adjusted.

3strokes
September 13th, 2007, 10:22 PM
Originally Posted by craiglll@yahoo.com http://forums.usms.org/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?p=104793#post104793)
i sometimes workout with a retired gentleman. He says the best exercise in the weight room is watching the young women.


Sooo THAT'S why those men follow me around.....

Question is:
a) are they fast enough to follow you and catch-up (or even keep up)?
or
b) are they smart enough (if not fast enough) to wait for you at every other turn?

Where I swim, it's both a) -because I can- and b) -to make them think that I'm not even breathing hard (from whatever cause.)

The Fortress
September 14th, 2007, 04:13 PM
Yesterday afternoon during practice I was practicing an early catch and high elbow position while doing 50m free sprints and it struck me that my forearms were starting to ache. Firstly is my technique good that this is happening, and secondly, if it is good then surely I should be doing exercises to build up my forearms for strong sprinting. Apologies if this is an extremely elementary question!

Syd

Probably need your forearms for EVF on free and for breaststroke as Inklaire notes.

If you want to strengthen your forearms, do some reverse curls, palms up/palms down wrist curls with handweights, preacher curl on the machine or hammers. I don't do a lot of these myself, although I will do alternating hammers on a bosu. In fact, I do many handweight exercises on the bosu because then you are simultaneously working the core and legs. Doing superman streamlines on the bosu is a great exercise too. Anyone who can do superman streamlines on stability balls is a real animal!

swimr4life
September 14th, 2007, 04:16 PM
What's a bosu? :blush::dunno:

The Fortress
September 14th, 2007, 04:24 PM
What's a bosu? :blush::dunno:

Twin, twin, twin, if you ever went to a gym to improve that hot buff body of yours even more you'd know. I will attach a pic. I've decided to focus my time on core work this year, aside from some basic weights to help the back/shoulders), so I do loads of exercises on the bosu and stability ball (before I ever so grudgingly do my RC exercises). I'm putting a bosu on my xmas list this year.

Syd
September 14th, 2007, 09:32 PM
Probably need your forearms for EVF on free and for breaststroke as Inklaire notes.

If you want to strengthen your forearms, do some reverse curls, palms up/palms down wrist curls with handweights, preacher curl on the machine or hammers. I don't do a lot of these myself, although I will do alternating hammers on a bosu. In fact, I do many handweight exercises on the bosu because then you are simultaneously working the core and legs. Doing superman streamlines on the bosu is a great exercise too. Anyone who can do superman streamlines on stability balls is a real animal!


Thanks Fortress. Off to Google again! Preacher curls, machine hammers, superman streamlines and stability balls to name but a few! A bosu looks like a ball that has been cut in half and a base attached. Is that what it is? All these names are so intimidating!

I'll start with the reverse curls. That made sense to me right away and I even have two 5kg dumbells at home. They are still brand spanking new. Hardly ever been used. To be honest I don't like any form of dryland training. I mean the static, repetitive, weightlifting type. (I like to ride a bike and I used to run a lot). In fact I have never been into the weights room of the gym I have joined, except for cursory glance from the door on the day that I joined. I have only ever used the pool and the hot tub area. Ande has convinced me that I should be doing weight training though so I am going to have to, reluctantly, drag myself into it. It is such a minefield I don't know where to start. I am slowly going through the relevant threads at the moment trying to work out a programme for myself. I have already been researching for a week and am no closer to starting though. I fear I am stalling again!

Syd