Swimmers are intimately familiar with early morning practices, team workouts as well as living healthy lifestyles. What many may not realise is that swimming with poor stroke mechanics or reduced flexibility and strength may result in an overuse injury. By participating in a strength training and stretching programme, swimmers can help to improve their muscular and cardiovascular endurance. This leads to better and more consistent stroke mechanics.
So, whether you’re a casual hobbyist or a professional swimmer, you know what the importance of keeping yourself healthy is. As with any type of sport, swimming takes strength as well as endurance. This means that your body needs to be in top shape in order to perform the way that you want and need it to. Swimming injury prevention is crucial in order to keeping you in the water and out of pain.
Why Swimming Is Classified As An Endurance Activity
Swimming is classified as an endurance activity, even when training for the sprint events, which means that swimmers are prone to overuse injury. Swimmers, who are at the elite level, may swim up to 14.5 km per day (that’s in excess of 2 500 shoulder revolutions) and six days a week.
Notwithstanding having a killer physique and natural taper (broad shoulders, thin waist), swimmers are arguably some of the most overtrained athletes. However, even those at the recreational or intermediate level (both swimmers and triathletes) may experience aches and pains.
What Are Some Of The Most Often-Seen Swimming Injuries?
Neck – as well as shoulder – injuries are among the most often-seen injuries which swimmers face. Neck and shoulder injuries from swimming include the following:
- Irritation as well as inflammation in the shoulders
- Rotator cuff tendonitis or tears
- Shoulder impingement syndrome, which is a consequence of pressure on the rotator cuff muscles from part of the shoulder blade when the swimmer’s arm is lifted overhead.
- Tears in the cartilage in the region of the shoulder socket
- Neck and lower back pain
- Bicep tendonitis
In addition, swimmers could also experience knee injuries. Stress on the knees could result in pain under or around the kneecap or, alternatively, at the inside of the knee.
Swimmers who experience pain or soreness for a period more than 48 hours should seek medical attention.
Who Is At Risk For Swimming Injuries?
Your swimming injury risk depends profoundly both on the number of hours that you spend in the pool, ocean, or lake as well as what type of swimming you do. Swimmers who specialise in butterfly or the breaststroke have an increased risk of incurring lower back injuries. Also, breaststroke puts the athlete in danger of knee injury. Those who take part in synchronised swimming, triathlons, or who swim more frequently in natural bodies of water are more prone to concussion.
Your risk of overuse injuries may be decreased by varying your training programme. Incorporate the three basic strokes (freestyle, breaststroke, and backstroke) into your routine rather than sticking to the same stroke all the time.
If coaching sports, such as swimming, is something that you’d like to do then you should do our Sports Coaching Science Certification. Read more about it here.