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2011-04-04 9:10 PM

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Subject: Swimming critique

So I had a buddy of mine video me at the pool earlier today so I can get some feedback on my swimming technique. I've been only gotten back into swimming since February so I don't get any bad habits. 

About 2 weeks ago my right shoulder started to hurt every time I finish swimming. I was thinking that it had to do with my form or something.  which is another reason I made this video. 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ubolbm6Yy2k

 

Thank you in advance, 

Chris 



Edited by chris-alfonso 2011-04-04 9:14 PM


2011-04-05 2:19 PM
in reply to: #3429838

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Modesto, California
Subject: RE: Swimming critique

Because of all the motion and lack of clarity it is difficult to see what you are doing. It would be helpful to get a front shot to see if you are crossing the center line on your hand entry, often that is a cause of shoulder issues. The most obvious flaw I can distinguish is you are not keeping your head down, you want to be looking straight down. Lift your elbow higher during recovery, you want to be dragging your fingertips with a relaxed arm. You want to have more glide during your stroke, practice doing catch up to improve your timing so you can refine your stroke more.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAkzF7fPWv4&feature=related

Look at TJ's stroke as a comparrison, his hips & kick and lead hand are all in sync. He is getting full extension with his lead hand rotating his hips,his kick is helping drive the rotation. Notice the position of his head, hes looking straight down.

 

2011-04-05 2:45 PM
in reply to: #3429838

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Champion
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Subject: RE: Swimming critique
Are your logs up to date?

2011-04-05 3:20 PM
in reply to: #3431044

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Subject: RE: Swimming critique

Thanks and I'll try and take another video with better quality from the front and no my logs aren't up to date. I always forget to upload them. 

In regards to the higher elbow that is where the pain happens, the higher I raise it the more it hurts. 

2011-04-05 4:12 PM
in reply to: #3429838

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Champion
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Subject: RE: Swimming critique
Where does your shoulder hurt, exactly?

I asked if your logs are up to date... because if you have upped your volume too quickly, you may have a shoulder injury because of that. I haven't looked at the video (at work), but you probably have bad form on top of that (no offense, but most adults who learn to swim later in life have bad form).

2011-04-05 4:17 PM
in reply to: #3429838

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Champion
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Subject: RE: Swimming critique

Try more of a glide in your stroke.

Right arm: Hand entry looks good, but slightly crossed over. It dives down pretty fast though.

Left arm: You're rotating into the stroke too early and your whole arm is hitting the water at the same time... OR... you're dropping your elbow and this is just the early indication of it.

And as said earlier, your head is way high.



Edited by briderdt 2011-04-05 4:18 PM


2011-04-05 5:07 PM
in reply to: #3429838

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Subject: RE: Swimming critique

My shoulder hurting in the deltoid region closer to the front side of my shoulder.  

How do I go about fixing these issues? 

2011-04-05 5:27 PM
in reply to: #3429838

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Expert
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Subject: RE: Swimming critique
Find a local swim coach and/or someone who can critique your stroke and provide feedback and drills to improve your form/
2011-04-05 7:01 PM
in reply to: #3429838

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Atlanta
Subject: RE: Swimming critique
Can't really afford a swim coach. I'm a broke college student. 
2011-04-05 7:51 PM
in reply to: #3431468

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Champion
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Subject: RE: Swimming critique
Go to youtube and look up some swim videos of Popov... Study them. Imitate them as close as you can.
2011-04-05 9:51 PM
in reply to: #3429838

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Subject: RE: Swimming critique
Chris, stop swimming now and see an orthopedist or at least a physical therpaist, who understands swimming injuries. A week off to see the Dr. is wayyyy better than a year off because you damaged your shoulder through an impingement or tear. Then have your stroke evaluated.

Ask me how I know. 


2011-04-05 11:04 PM
in reply to: #3429838

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Subject: RE: Swimming critique
2011-04-05 11:07 PM
in reply to: #3429838

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Coach
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Subject: RE: Swimming critique
Chris,

Here are some screenshots. In swimming, 3 basic things prevail, in this order

#1) Balance (being horizontal in the water, front to back)
#2) streamlining (making your body shaped like a torpedo/yacht/dolphin)...basically presenting minimal surface area with a tapered leading edge
#3) Propulsion (only after #1& 2 are achieved, is it worth even thinking about this).

Your shoulders are hurting for a few reasons, adn if you swim harder or more it will get worse
#1 You're not in balance and you are compensating by pushign down on the water to come up for air. Look at the shot below of the breathing stroke, your head is all the way out...it gets there because your hands are pushing down on the water, which puts a lot of strain on your shoulders. On your non breathing strokes, you still swim with your head high int he water, so there is constant pressure on your shoulder when it is in an unstable position in front of you (essentially overhead)

Fix: Practice teh "superman glide". Push off from the wall in a superman position (like dead man's float). Head hanging straight down, eyes looking toward the bottom of the pool. Neck relaxed. Repeat this 4-6 times with hands outstretched and just let your head & chest sink donw into the water and find support. Add a gently flutter kick while you "lean forward" or push down on your chest enough to allow your head ot be relaxed and supported and yoru butt cheeks to kiss the surface of the water adn feel air.

Just this one exercise could possibly transform your swimming.

#2 Your arm recovery has you pulling your elbow "back" (see recovery photo below). See the big gap between your elbow and yoru back. Imagine the strain that position puts on the front part of your shoulder. This is stretching the capsule needlessly in the front. This is similar to the injury baseball pitchers get where cocking the arm back strains the front part of the shoulder...didn't you say you were having pain there?

Fix is to recover by swinging the elbow "away" from your body, not "picking it up" out of the water.

#3 Both arms crossover upon entry, compressing the top of your rotator cuff between your clavicle and shoulder blade basically.

Fix is to rehearse "skating" position in an off-your-stomach position with head looking down and arm in front of shoulder and about 6-10" under the surface of the water to imprint the proper target position for each hand with every stroke.

I'd suggest renting or buying the Total Immersion books or video, specifically the perpetual motion DVD, which will help you rebuild yoru stroke to be shoulder friendly

Thanks for posting, adn let us know if you have questions about the suggestions.

Edited by AdventureBear 2011-04-05 11:19 PM




(Chris Right Arm Crossover.jpg)



(Chris Left Arm Crossover.jpg)



(Chris - Left Recovery-Winging.jpg)



(Chris-Left-arm-entry-Right-Breath.jpg)



Attachments
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Chris Right Arm Crossover.jpg (55KB - 10 downloads)
Chris Left Arm Crossover.jpg (50KB - 11 downloads)
Chris - Left Recovery-Winging.jpg (46KB - 8 downloads)
Chris-Left-arm-entry-Right-Breath.jpg (50KB - 10 downloads)
2011-04-05 11:15 PM
in reply to: #3431468

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Master
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Subject: RE: Swimming critique

chris-alfonso - 2011-04-05 7:01 PM Can't really afford a swim coach. I'm a broke college student. 

1. Date a hot girl on the swim team.  Free lessons with benefits.

2.  Your right arm crosses over pretty bad.  Can see it even from the side.  Your arm needs to extend out at shoulder width - pretty straight.  That is the most likely reason for the deltoid pain.  Though I get sore in that area from time to time due to volume increases.

3.  Your head is high and is driving your lower end way too low in the water.  Your rear end should be very near the top of the water.

4.  Your feet point down.  Swim with some big flippers that force your ankles to extend out.  Take flippers off and keep doing that.  Your feet in that position really slows you down.

2011-04-06 6:09 AM
in reply to: #3429838

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Subject: RE: Swimming critique

Chris, 

First off, I am not a coach or a Dr. But, in my experience trying to help people out with swimming it is really important to actually be at the pool and be able to give you direct feedback that you can turn around and quickly 'feel' in the water. Reading responses on here and then going to the pool afterwards can make it difficult to remember and honestly, understand. For a non competitive swimmer, or someone without a competitive/history of swimming, it can be difficult to understand some of the swimming lingo. Therefore, I agree with the above post of trying to find someone in your area you can work with. Check around for masters programs which tend to run a little cheaper than trying to get a dedicated coach just for you. Also, you can look into lesson packages at YMCAs or other fitness places. Looks like you have a good size pool to swim at so odds are there is someone there you can throw a few bucks at to help you while you are there. In the long run, it will pay off. 

Also, back in the day when I swam competitively (D1) I would get pain in my shoulders as well when the season would pick up. If you have any build up in your current yardage you will likely develop issues. Just like in running when people jump in to quickly and get shin splints or other over use issues. When I had this issues it usually came down to needing to build up the smaller muscles and ligaments in my arms that don't get worked when I am out of the pool. For me, a very cheap/simple 8 ft length of rubber cord or surgical tubing did the trick. Step on one end and lift your arm in front of you (straight arm from just above your knee to eye level), to the side (same height as to the front), and at a diagonal angle between front and side. Do a few sets of 10-12 reps and you will start to build up those small muscles that are so key to swimming and building your endurance. 

Bottom Line: Try to someone that can help you out at the pool and work on developing the small muscles in your shoulder. 

 

Good Luck!



Edited by klgolf27 2011-04-06 6:10 AM
2011-04-06 3:01 PM
in reply to: #3429838

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Atlanta
Subject: RE: Swimming critique

Suzanne thank you for your post!!! When I go to the pool later on today I'll be sure to try your suggestions. 

I found the Total Immersion book really cheap on amazon and the library here at school can get me the DVD for free. Hopefully my strokes with improve soon. 



2011-04-06 3:44 PM
in reply to: #3429838

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Master
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Subject: RE: Swimming critique

Chris, you got an awesome post relating to technique.  You should send her some $$ paypal!

As for the shoulder I will suggest only 2 things.  If these don't help then you know that you need to stop swimming temporarily if the shoulder gets worse from day to day and especially if it's getting worse throughout a swim workout.

First thing: the high elbow that was suggested is right, but here's why....if your recovery is 'wide' it is bad on the shoulder.  If it's 'narrow' it's better.  Most of the time people just need to be told to lift the elbow and it becomes narrow.  By 'narrow' I mean that the hand stays very close to your body.  Think about running your thumb up the side of your body from thigh up the hip, up the side to your armpit then forward.  That will probably take a lot of strain from the shoulder.

The second thing is to extend your right hand with the thumb pointing toward the ceiling and the pinky down as you reach forward.  That shoulder rotation is easier on the rotator cuff for most people.  It's not how you would probably do the hand entry if you didn't have to, but it can be a good way to mitigate shoulder pain.

And I just thought of a third thing you can do temporarily....breath only to the right side.  A lot of time it's harder on the right shoulder when breathing left.  That is because of a different technique flaw, but I am giving you the simple, quick (and temporary) solution to it.

 

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