Perform a simple self-assessment and fix issues before they become injuries.
Start with the pectoral region
Press your thumb into the attachment site under your clavicle (collar bone) and towards your arm.
Does this result in a little pain? You could be a little tight in this region.
Perform the next test. Sit in a chair and close your eyes. With your eyes closed, stand up and take six steps forward. Open your eyes and observe your shoulders.
Are you rounded forward in the shoulder region? This could be due to pectoral region tightness and strength lacking in the scapular region (shoulder blades).
Move on to the thoracic spine
The t-spine is supposed to provide some mobility for rotational purposes. Proper mobility in the t-spine is critical for swim performance. Observe the Brettzel stretch below. If you struggle with this movement, your thoracic spine could be limiting your shoulder capabilities. Also, the lack of mobility could place extra stress on your shoulders.
Finish with the scapular region
Complete the following test to see if range of motion is an issue in your scapular region. The goal is to try and get your two fists as close as possible without arching your back or experiencing pain.
If you’re more than one fist apart, focus on increasing mobility in the scapular region.
Fix the problem
Now that you have some idea of where your limitations are, mix in some of the following exercises to get your shoulders back to optimal health. Remember, these are great exercises to mix in before and after you swim, bike, run, or any activity! Perform these exercises for a set amount of repetitions or until you feel a positive change.
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