How to prevent swimmer’s shoulder

Do you think Michael Phelps has ever had a bad case of swimmer's shoulder?  Credit: Metro File Photo.
Do these exercises and channel your inner Michael Phelps.
Credit: Metro File Photo.

In these warm days, many of us are hitting the water — but don’t let a swimming injury ruin your summer fun. The most common swimming-related injury is swimmer’s shoulder.

Laurie Kendall-Ellis, executive director of the private practice section of the American Physical Therapy Association (a licensed physical therapist herself) offers the following strengthening and stabilizing exercises to prevent or minimize the effects of swimmer’s shoulder:

1) External Rotation with Elastic Band: Attach one end of an elastic band to a wall or door; pull the other end of the band across the stomach with elbow bent at a 90-degree angle; right arm pulls leftward across the stomach; left arm pulls rightward across the stomach.

2) Prone Horizontal Abduction: Lay the body face down on a bench or firm bed; with one arm draped downward to the side; lift straightened arm laterally until the arm is parallel to the ground

3) Elbow Push-Ups: Put your body in plank position – similar to conventional push-ups – except with toes, palms and elbows on the floor. Use only the shoulders to lower and push up.

4) Rowing: Sit on the floor with knees bent at 90-degrees; place elastic band on the underside of flexed feet; sitting with the torso tall and straight, pull the elbows back, stretching the band and squeezing the shoulder blades.

5) Y-T-W on an Exercise Ball: Lay face-down with chest on an exercise ball and body in plank position; outstretch arms in Y position; change to T position; pull elbows to sides to make W position


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