7 Exercises Every Swimmer Should Do

To help prevent injury it is important to do some exercises to help strengthen the rotator ruff, muscle controlling the shoulder blades and core muscles. Below are 7 good exercises that target these key muscle groups. Swimmers should try and do these exercises 2-3 times per week, they should only take around 15mins to complete and can all be done with a little bit of floor space and a theraband. It is best to perform these exercises after swimming as some of them target the small rotator cuff muscles which, if fatigued when swimming, could lead to shoulder pain and swimmers shoulder type symptoms.

External Shoulder Rotations with Band

  • Tuck your elbows into your sides, holding the band with palms facing upwards and elbows bent at 90 degrees
  • Keeping your elbows tucked in, slowly pull your hands away from each other as far as you can
  • Hold for 3 seconds
  • Return to start position slowly
  • Repeat 10-20 times

Internal Shoulder Rotations with Band

  • Have someone hold one end of the band behind you, level with your elbow or attach the band in this position
  • Tuck your elbow into your side holding the band palms facing upwards and elbows bent at 90 degrees
  • Pull your hand slowly forward until it is level with your naval
  • Hold for 3 seconds and slowly return to start position
  • Repeat 10-20 times

Shoulder Flexion with Band

  • Place band under your foot, holding onto the other end with your arm by your side
  • Make sure there is tension in the band at the start of the movement and lift your arm to the front
  • Stop and hold at just under 90 degrees of flexion
  • Return to start slowly and repeat 10-20 times

Band Pull Downs

  • Start with the band overhead, then pull down slowly behind you to the level of the top of your shoulder blades
  • Hold for 3 seconds and return slowly to the start position
  • As you pull down, think about pulling your shoulder blades down and in

Band Pull Across

  • Start with your hands out to the front, holding the band with your palms facing upwards
  • Pull the band out to the side, keeping your arms straight and hold for 3 seconds
  • Return to the start point slowly in a controlled manner
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    Focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together

Push Ups

  • Start with your hands shoulder width apart, on your toes
  • Keeping your core tense, lower your body until your chest is a couple of centimetres off of the floor
  • Push back up with your arms, trying to keep your elbows tucked into your sides
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    Make sure throughout the movement you keep your head up in a neutral position and don’t let your chin tuck into your chest
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    To make the exercise easier, drop your knees to the floor
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    Do as many as you can until you can no longer maintain your form

2 Point Kneeling

  • Start with your knees on the floor,  hips bent at 90 degrees and your hands on the floor underneath your shoulders
  • Slowly extend your right arm forward and your left leg backwards until they are both straight and level with your body
  • Slowly return to the start position and repeat this time with your left arm and right leg
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    When preforming the movements, try and keep as steady as you can, tense your core and try not to drop your hips to one side
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    Take your time, taking at least 3 seconds going up, 3 seconds pausing in the extended position and 3 seconds returning to the start position
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    Repeat 10 times on each side

Thanks to Molly for agreeing to demonstrate these exercises and as always please feel free to comment below.

Now that I’ve completed the Swimmers Shoulder section of the blog, let me know if there are any other topics you would like covered.


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