Good Movement Is King

In Injury Reduction by Admin1 Comment

Lately we have been focusing on the strength side of the performance equation. As the swimming season comes to a close, let’s take a quick shift in focus. Let’s talk about movement, mobility, range of motion, or any other flashy word you would like to use. 

Good movement is king. A mobile swimmer is a fast swimmer. A mobile person is a happy person.

Now some of you might be saying, “Slow your role, Bo! How does movement equal happiness?” 

This is a fair reaction.

  • Let’s talk about the last time you were able to hold a deep squat for an extended period of time while playing with your kids or grandkids. Did this happen recently? 
  • When was the last time you didn’t experience some sort of neck pain after a long day sitting at the computer?
  • When is the last time you could lunge down to the floor to tie your shoes without pain and a warm up? 
  • When is the last time you moved heavy boxes without causing back pain the next day? 
  • When is the last time you completed a swim practice (or any practice) without some sort of twinge, ache, or pain? 
  • When is the last time you did any sort of rotation? Plus, when is the last time you did any sort of rotation without pain somewhere?

Now these all seem like simple things. However, the inability to move freely and as the body is intended to makes these simple day-to-day moments much more challenging. With more wear and tear, we start to coil up into a ball (or fetal position) even more. The psychological, social, and overall well-being decrease associated with this is miserable. Now multiply this by 10 years. See how things have spiraled? 

Good movement is king (or queen)!

When you look around a pool deck, what do you see? Shoulders rounded forward? Locked up thoracic spines? Hips elevated? Immobile ankles?

Masters swimmers trying to outmuscle a desk bound career show many of these signs. Age group swimmers sitting in school all day and crouched over in text mode also show these signs.

Don’t get me wrong, I love throwing some weight around, implementing new training strategies, and finding the right combination of power movements to get and athlete ready to race. However, each session starts with what we call “function.” Simply, are you functioning properly? That is what this portion of the programming is looking to address.

Has sitting in the car all day thrown you out of balance? Have you been curled over a phone or computer for too long?

As we have hit on before, swimming is such a repetitive sport. When a joint or muscle is not acting properly, it is probably putting more stress on another joint or muscle up or down the chain. Layer in thousands of yards and you have a recipe for pain, aching, and a “Well, I have always felt that way” mentality.

Many athletes do not remember what it was like to experience the sport and the life they live with minimal pain and proper range of motion. Layers of compensation have formed. Layers of roundabouts. All this is doing is developing a web of tension.

It is always a great reminder for me when a client joins RITTER Sports Performance. Within the first few weeks, I usually get an email that goes something like this:

Coach,

Thank you for checking in. The sessions are going great and I’m already noticing a difference! I bent down to pick up something the other day and it felt noticeably easier. Oh, and I’m starting to not hate the wall angels! Getting better at these has definitely made a difference with my stroke.

Thank you!

When this email comes through, it is always a great reminder of a few things.

  1. The basics work
  2. Good movement results in pain-free movement
  3. A little change can equal big changes

Although some of us wish for a magic pill to help solve the wrongs of the past, it is amazingly comforting knowing that simple movement, done correctly, can begin peeling back layers and layers of dysfunction in a matter of days.

It is almost like the body craves to move properly. Give it the keys and the healing will take care of the rest.

Yes, our main focus is swimmers, triathletes, open water swimmers. However, how many non-swimmers, triathletes, open water swimmers would also like to move with less pain and more ease?

As you head into your next season of sport or your next season of life, wouldn’t it be nice to move just a little bit easier through your practice or day?

Let’s make a pact to move better together!

Starting on September 11, we are kicking off a 30-day movement challenge! This challenge will involve 10-15-minute routines during the week. All you need to join the challenge is your bodyweight and a band.

The first day of week #1 will be a movement assessment. Then we will dive into the daily routines from there. At the end, we will re-asses and see how you improve and how you feel!

The routines will not require an abundance of space or time. Let’s use this challenge as a way to catapult your performance and life!

As we learned from Kendal Jacobson during the Swim Strength Summit, being injury free is a 7x multiplier for success and goal achievement.

That is a massive benefit from one of the lowest hanging fruits around.

Want to join our Movement Challenge?

Click here to get on our VIP list for the movement challenge.

Want to sign up to be part of our movement challenge? It is completely free! Click here to get notified when the challenge starts and when each session is released.

In the meantime, let’s wet your appetite with a sample movement challenge routine. This should only take you 10-15 minutes. Watch the video demonstrations, complete the reps listed, and move on to the next one. It is that simple!

Complete three rounds of the following exercises.

-Seated Wall Angels x 12
-Iron Cross x 6 each side
-Spiderman x 6 each side
-Hip Hinge Greasing x 12 (3 second lower each rep)
-Ankle Rocker x 12 each side

Want to join our Movement Challenge?

Click here to get on our VIP list for the movement challenge.

I hope to see you when we kick off our Movement Challenge in September!

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WANT TO CATALYZE YOUR SWIM PERFORMANCE?

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