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Thread: Bum shoulder advice

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    Bum shoulder advice

    I have rotator tendonitis in my left shoulder that means I can't do the amount of swimming (crawl) that I usually do. The physical therapist said I can do anything that doesn't require an overhead reach, such as breaststroke or side stroke, or a modified backstroke. Any advice on what to do to keep active in the pool while my shoulder heals. My breastroke sucks, btw. Though I'm fine with side stroke. I guess I can grab the old kickboard and kick my way up and down the lane, but that gets pretty boring.

    I don't own a shower cap, so please don't say water aerobics LOL.

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    Very Active Member flystorms's Avatar
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    Re: Bum shoulder advice

    Three things....
    1. Let it heal. Let it heal. Let it heal. (Your welcome for the ear worm now.)

    2. In the meantime, yes it's boring, but look at this as a huge opportunity for some great kick training. Mix up the tempos and distances just like you would with swim sets. Do them on a certain time. Do the different types. Do some where you're going a 50 hard going to one side of the pool, then cruise back. Or do a set of hard 50's followed by a cruise 50. Make it quality rather than quantity. I've heard of several people who do this and end up having a faster speed after a few weeks of nothing but kicking.

    3. Once you do get back into it, have a coach look at your stroke. You may be doing something subtle that is causing the wear/tear. I had a great coach tweak just a bit and haven't had issues since then.

    Good luck!
    "If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to meet it." - Jonathan Winters, actor and comedian

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    Swimming gives me a buzz! Bobinator's Avatar
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    Re: Bum shoulder advice

    I agree w/flystorm! Kick training is great training.
    A couple years ago I hurt my elbow and needed to rest it. I re-packed my toy bag with 3 different kinds of fins and decided to do kick only workouts. I followed the regular workout to the tee, but only kicked. It really wasn't boring at all. I did some of it sans fins, and mixed the different kind of fins into different sets. I learned kicking really gets your heart pumping!
    When I was able to return to stroking I felt like I hadn't lost any conditioning at all.
    Good luck and who knows, you might enjoy this slight variation in your workouts + you can still enjoy your team mates.
    HTFU!

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    Re: Bum shoulder advice

    Sorry to hear about your bum shoulder, never a fun situation! Here is a piece I've wrote about returning to swimming from "swimmer's shoulder". Keep kicking (just not with a board) and work on stroke biomechanics.

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    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    Re: Bum shoulder advice

    Quote Originally Posted by drjohnmullen View Post
    Here is a piece I've wrote about returning to swimming from "swimmer's shoulder".
    Thanks for this link!

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    Re: Bum shoulder advice

    Thanks for the link, drjohnmullen. Can you explain in layman's terms what you mean by "catch-up stroke?" I'm not sure how to visualize or tell if I'm doing it. The other examples are pretty explanatory. I've done a few of them including crossing over my center line and entering the water thumbs down. I quit doing them both, but it's quite possible I was already injuring my shoulder.

    My teacher looked at my stroke, and it's much improved. She said technically, it's quite good.

    Kicks. Ugh. But if that's what it takes.
    Last edited by DeniseMW; December 12th, 2014 at 08:43 AM.

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    Re: Bum shoulder advice

    Quote Originally Posted by drjohnmullen View Post
    Sorry to hear about your bum shoulder, never a fun situation! Here is a piece I've wrote about returning to swimming ...........

    Some great advice. Most is just plain common sense from the swimmers point of view. But not unfortunately from many coaches view point. It is really difficult for many coaches to empathise fully with injured swimmers, mainly due to time constraints poolside. A time set aside for a proper discussion is vital in my experience.


    One point that I feel is not explained fully enough in your reference is that of a Thumb in first. The biggest tweak that helped my 3 year shoulder injury to suddenly start to improve 6 months ago was to swim with Little Finger in first. True it is not as efficient a stroke, but hey, getting quickly to a stroke that is under 4/10 on the pain scale is/was so much more important when 'the end of swimming' seemed to be so near!


    I am not back to normal yet but probably about 70%ish. I still get twinges but altering my hand entry usually does the trick. I am a long way off competition speed though. . Although I am planning to do more open water events as I don't go fast enough over 3/5/10 miles to stress out my shoulder above 4/10 pain levels.


    So there is life after shoulder pain.

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    Swimming gives me a buzz! Bobinator's Avatar
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    Re: Bum shoulder advice

    Quote Originally Posted by drjohnmullen View Post
    Sorry to hear about your bum shoulder, never a fun situation! Here is a piece I've wrote about returning to swimming from "swimmer's shoulder". Keep kicking (just not with a board) and work on stroke biomechanics.
    Could you re-enter the link Drjohnmullen, I cannot find it.
    HTFU!

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