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How can ART Improve My Swimming?

Swimmers preparing for the start of the swim at the Penticton 2003 Ironman Races.

Repetitive Motion and Shoulder Injuries

The soft tissue stresses caused by the repetitive motions of freestyle swimming are often compounded in the triathletes by the constant stress of holding the torso in fixed position upon the bicycle's aero-bars.

Pain between the shoulder blades is caused by the constant neck extension and the back position required to support the weight of the cyclist's torso while bent over in the aero-bar position. This pain is often an indication of several problems in the body's kinetic chain rather than the usually diagnosis of tight Rhomboid muscles or a Rotator Cuff Tear.

Repetitive motion, constant tension, and pressure often result in inflammation and swelling of soft tissue. The body responds to this inflammation by laying down scar tissue (cross fibers across the tissue) in an attempt to stabilize the affected area. This scar tissue:

  • Restricts motion.
  • Reduces circulation.
  • Inhibits nerve function.
  • Causes ongoing friction and pressure. Results in the production of yet more cross fibers and adhesions across inflamed soft tissues.

In this page:

Training Techniques and Shoulder Injuries

Poor swim technique, over-training, unilateral breathing, too large a swim paddle, or improper elbow to shoulder angle on the bike can easily cause shoulder problems. Each of these physical factors can result in the creation of biomechanical restrictions within the shoulder muscles.

Even though these training factors can be modified, the biomechanical restrictions that have been created in the triathelete's body are seldom addressed or resolved by exercise and massage. These stresses lead to future injuries and inhibits the triathlete and swimmer from reaching his or her full performance potential.

Muscles affected by Shoulder Injuries

Equally important, different athletes may present with identical pain patterns, but each athlete may have completely different structures that are impaired or injured.

Before treatment takes place, an extremely specific examination and diagnosis must be performed. It is important to look past the initial point of pain to identify other structures that are involved in the kinetic chain.

For example, triatheletes using aero-bars commonly have restrictions at the Serratus Posterior Superior and at a very deep muscle called the Transversospinalis. Both these muscles affect the swimmer!

See the following topics for more information about ART:

Where can I find more information about ART?

We have recently published the first book about Active Release Techniques, written specifically for the general public.

Release Your Pain - Resolving Repetitive Strain Injuries with Active Release Technique s® (ART®) is an informative, easy-to-read book, that helps you to understand the true cause of repetitive strain injuries.

Did you know that many common therapies (such as medication, physiotherapy, chiropractic treatment, massage, electrical muscle stimulation, rest, exercise, and surgery) have all failed to effectively resolve repetitive strain injuries. RSI sufferers are rarely able to find effective or complete treatment with these traditional treatments! Read Release Your Pain now to understand why these treatments often fail to solve your problem.

Understand the true cause of your pain, learn how it can be resolved, then use the specially designed exercises included in this book to prevent its reoccurrence.

Read our new book, Release Your Pain , to see how Active Release Techniques can help you with your injuries.

Download an information brochure for Swimming!
Read this article.... For information about...
Swimmers Shoulder The cause of swimmers shoulder, and how ART can quickly resolve long-standing problems, and increase swimming performance.
Improve Your Athletic Performance with Active Release Technique How ART was used to at the Ironman Triathlon Championships in Penticton and Kona, Hawaii to help resolve athletic injuries, improve performance, and assist athletes in completing these tremendously difficult events.
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To make an appointment at Kinetic Health in Calgary:

Phone: 403-241-3772
Fax: 403-241-3846
email: [email protected]

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