Have you noticed that your swimmer has bad posture? Are the shoulders rolled forward? Poor posture not only looks terrible and increases the chances for a whole host of injuries, but it can actually mess with a swimmer’s stroke technique. For instance, decreased shoulder range of motion resulting from tight chest and shoulder muscles decreases stroke length and strength. Plus, holding the shoulders forward prevents efficient arm recovery and forces the swimmer to roll excessively to breathe.
As you know, strength and flexibility are vital not only to speed and endurance, but also to maintain health and avoid injury. That is why it is very important, especially for swimmers 13 and older who are swimming greater distances at practice than when they were younger, to supplement in-water practice with dry land training. We also understand that 11-12 year old swimmers are anxious to start strength training and have some new opportunities for those younger swimmers this summer.
The National Team and Senior Group have dryland training incorporated into practice during the short course season. The coaches and trainers are considering the addition of dryland training for other groups, but in the meantime, we recommend that you take advantage of the Y's programs that provide strength training and stretching. There is no team dryland for Senior/Nat Groups over the summer.
Here are some resources for your information. The Y does not provide medical advice. However, these resources are provided for educational purposes. When in doubt, please consult a medical professional. Physical Therapists are always happy to provide an evaluation to identify muscle imbalance and weakness that can provide a roadmap for prevention and recovery.
Shoulder Range of Motion Screen - Should you seek evaluation
Shoulder Injury in Competitive Swimming: Strategies for Early Identification and Prevention by Dr. Scott Rodeo - Hospital for Special Surgery, Ortho for US Olympic Swim Team
Shoulder Injury Prevention - A Series of Exercises for the Un-Injured Swimmer
Applied Biomechanics of Swimming
At the Y
Kid Fit - The exercise rooms are designed for youth ages 10 and up so we came up with the perfect fit for younger kids to stay active and get the same workouts as their older peers. This class features fitness, fun games and challenges designed for all ages and levels.
Free with membership - just show up!
Monday and Wednesday 4:30 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.
Ages 10 - 14
The best way to learn yoga is to start early! Flexibility, strength, stamina and mental clarity are just some of the many benefits youth will develop during yoga classes. Enhances balance, core strength and flexibility for swimmers.
Free with Membership - just show up!
Monday and Wednesday 4:45 p.m. - 5:30 p.m
13 & Over only
- IT’S EASY! Once again, interested swimmers 13 & over can receive an orientation to learn the Y circuit-room workout. This gym workout routine is an easy and effective way for swimmers to achieve a balanced upper and lower body workout on their own time and is also meant to help the swimmer cut down on time spent wandering around, trying to figure out which machine to do next. Contact the front desk to arrange for an orientation, or ask the trainer in the circuit room to show you how to use each piece of equipment. If you can't find the trainer, ask the front desk. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.
- LIFT SAFELY! For those swimmers 13 & over who wish to work with weights, we urge, at the very least, that the swimmer participate in a one-on-one or small group orientation for weight room lifting by booking a free fitness orientation at the front desk. Ideally, interested swimmers should book a 1 hour private or group (up to 5 people) personal training session at the front desk for individualized guidance on lifting weights. See the link for pricing information for personal training services at the Y. http://www.montclairymca.org/browse-events/personal-training-nutritional-counseling/
- PERSONAL TRAINING – For swimmers who wish to have a completely customized workout and a trainer to guide each workout, the Y has certified personal trainers available. Personal training can be done for one swimmer or up to a group of 5. The price drops to $40/person per session if two or more swimmers train together. Costs and packages are described in the link at the end of the prior paragraph.
- BRING A TEAMMATE AND CATCH A CLASS! - We will continue to provide a schedule of appropriate group classes at the Y that focus on strength, conditioning and core strength that all Dolphins 13 & over are welcome to attend. Just show up! The cost of the classes is included in your swimmer’s Y membership so there is no additional charge.
Classes Available this Session:
As a member of the Y, all Dolphins 13 and over are invited to join any of the fitness classes that are given at the Y. They are included in your membership. Classes such as Athletic Conditioning, Yoga, Pilates and Back to Abs are all appropriate for swimmers to stretch and strengthen core/key muscles. You do not have to sign up in advance for the group exercise classes, so grab a friend a go!
The current session which runs through June 29 includes the following (will be updated at the end of June):
Weekday PM Classes
5:30 - 6:00 pm M,W,Th,F - Back to Abs
6:00 - 7:00 pm M,W - Yoga
6:00 - 7:00 pm M - Pilates Mat
6:00 - 7:00 pm Th - Bootcamp/But and Gut
6:00 - 7:00 pm F - Just Stretch
6:15 - 7:15 pm W - Bootcamp
6:30 - 7:30 pm M,Tu,W - Athletic Conditioning
6:30 - 7:00 pm Tu - Back 2 Abs
7:00 - 8:00 pm M,W - Power Pilates/Pilates
7:00 - 8:00 pm M - Athletic Conditioning
7:00 - 8:15 pm T, Th Yoga
8:00 - 9:15 pm M,W Yoga
8:00 - 9:00 pm Tu, Th Sculpt
7:45 - 9:00 am- Yoga Level 2
8:00 - 9:15 am - Athletic Conditioning
9:00 - 10:15 am - Yoga Level 1
9:00 - 10:00 am - Bootcamp
9:00 - 10:15 am - Yoga Level 1
10:00 - 10:30 am - Back 2 Abs
11:00 - noon - Pilates Mat
8:00 - 9:15 am - Yoga Level 2
9:30 - 10:45 am - Yoga Level 1
11:00 - 11:30 am - Back 2 Abs
11:30 - 12:30 pm - Pilates Mat
4:30 - 5:00 pm - Back to Abs
Consult the posted schedule for class location and up to date information. The front desk and Y website always have the most up-to-date schedule.
Swimmers often show up to physical therapy after being in pain for months, sometimes years, and expect a quick cure. Physical therapy does not work this way. Generally, if you have a problem such as a sore rotator cuff or knee pain and attempt to push through pain for months, therapy is going to take a long time. Getting into therapy earlier will decrease healing time and increase the chances of returning to the pool pain free.
Consider meeting with a licensed physical therapist or qualified trainer to have your teenaged swimmer evaluated for muscle imbalance and weakness before s/he experiences any issues. Because of the repetitive nature of swimming, certain muscles become very strong, and others sometimes just go along for the ride. Achieving muscle balance is important in preventing injuries before they happen and a physical therapist or trainer can help you figure out if your swimmer has such an imbalance. A certified personal trainer at the Y can evaluate your swimmer for muscle imbalance and recommend a “prehab” training program. To make an appointment with a personal trainer, please call or visit the front desk at the Y. There is a separate charge for the services of a personal trainer (see link above).
On Your Own
USA Swimming Videos - Assessment and Exercises to Address Weakness and Inflexibility
USA Swimming - Overhead Squat Assessment - Where are your flaws?
Form Deviations: There are several things that can go wrong from a bio-mechanical standpoint when performing this test- each of which can serve as a predictor of future injury- especially if nothing is done in terms of stretching and strengthening to correct the problem(s). The following chart will show where you imbalances lie.
If you find that you're unable to do the test with proper form, it's important that you devote the necessary time and effort to fixing what's wrong. If you don't and continue to train hard on top of a faulty foundation both in and out of the pool, you could be in for trouble down the road. So be sure to check out the accompanying video which will address these corrective strategies in more detail.
Link to Ask the Dryland Coach - Fixing the Flaws Videos
Build Shoulder Strength and Flexibility
Stroke Specific Exercises