The number 1 swimming injury! Aside from being a click-baity title, which we fully admit, are you curious yet? Maybe you already know what it is. (Hint: it's not related to twerking or any such sort of thing).

Duh-nuh-nuh! SHOULDER OVERSTRESS AND IMPINGEMENT! On Oct 29, local Physical Therapist Andrew Walker (of PhysioWorks Huntsville) and I had the great privilege to do a seminar on this at a terrific running and multisport store in town, Fleet Feet Huntsville.

Andrew talked for several minutes about the anatomical structures that make the shoulder unique to all joints, and I discussed the four main swimming stroke flaws that can lead to the condition. 

The most common stroke flaws that stress the shoulder are (drum roll please):
  • Thumb-first hand entry (thumb-first entry leads to impingement; hand should enter with middle-finger first)
  • Digging for clams (or down-pressing - after entry, want the elbow to bend to face forearm backward instead of pressing directly down)
  • Wide S-pull (some S-shape in the underwater pull is ok, but a very wide scull at the beginning will load the shoulder too much)
  • Crossing over (letting the arm drift across the center line either at hand entry or underwater during the pull will encourage impingement)
Each of these stroke flaws increases the load on our shoulder muscles in such a way that our poor little shoulders cannot handle it. Either there is too high a stressor on them, or the stress is in the wrong direction, leading to impingement in the joints. 

If you couldn't make it to the seminar, there is a neat e-book you can always access online, here
E-books, yayyy, no papercuts! Feel free to send questions or comment here!



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