Swimming to loose weight IV - How to protect my shoulders

  • Swimbear

    Posts: 5

    Nov 15, 2008 6:23 PM GMT
    At age 50 I started swimming seriously for the first time in my life. When I started doing the back stroke and the butterfly, I found that I had sore shoulders occasionally.

    1. What can I do to prepare my shoulders before I swim?
    2. What can I do after swimming to take care of my shoulders?

    Thanks!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 16, 2008 12:20 AM GMT
    The absolute best thing to do would be to find a swimming coach who can teach you proper stroke mechanics. It is incredibly easy to learn to swim with bad stroke mechanics, and doing so will definitely lead to shoulder and rotator cuff problems. And if you are brand new to swimming, there is no reason to be doing the butterfly this soon. You should begin building up your freestyle technique, and then breaststroke and backstroke, before you attempt the butterfly. Butterfly is a very energy-demanding stroke, and if you attempt it before your body is ready for such a high demand, your form will deteriorate, which will only lead to further shoulder problems. But swimming is great exercise, and highly enjoyable. If you take your time and progress slowly, I'm sure you will make it a life-long hobby. Good luck!!
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    Nov 16, 2008 12:22 AM GMT
    Word. Dont do butterfly this early in the game, esp if your core muscles cant keep up yet. They should propel you forward into your stroke and prevent over doing it on the shoulders.

    I just stretched them a lot before and after. Spin um around... hugs... stretch across the chest...
  • ilprincipe

    Posts: 40

    Nov 16, 2008 2:19 AM GMT
    Swimming to loose weight? I usually tend to gain weight when I swim... good for you if it works... if not, try running... As far as your shoulders go, contemporary fitness ideology says that static stretching before you exercise doesn't do any good, and can cause injury or reduce performance. Stretching after exercise appears to have some benefits. I always do shoulder stretches after I swim, and I think it helps a lot to avoid shoulder pain.
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    Nov 16, 2008 2:41 AM GMT
    Here's the website for the US Masters Swimming programs in Virginia. You might want to find a program in your area and get in touch with the coach to see if it's something you might be interested in.

    http://www.vaswim.org/
  • Swimbear

    Posts: 5

    Nov 16, 2008 3:25 AM GMT
    Thanks for the suggestions. I never thought it might be too early for the butterfly. I love doing it, but I have learned to heed warnings.

    Now to find a coach! Anybody know of any they could recommend in the Northern Virginia area?

    Thanks again!
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    Nov 16, 2008 4:00 AM GMT
    Here's a link to masters swim programs in Va.

    Look down the list and find your city - email addrs are to the right -
    http://www.vaswim.org/lmsc_teams.shtml
  • vindog

    Posts: 1440

    Nov 17, 2008 4:11 PM GMT
    Swimbear saidThanks for the suggestions. I never thought it might be too early for the butterfly. I love doing it, but I have learned to heed warnings.

    Now to find a coach! Anybody know of any they could recommend in the Northern Virginia area?

    Thanks again!


    You could potentially tear your rotator cuff if not ready/executed properly
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    Nov 17, 2008 4:50 PM GMT
    I totally agree with the advice above regarding a coach to help you get started with your new swimming program. Just like golf or any other sport - why not learn proper techniques early on? I played water polo (high school and college) and we were so lucky to have coaches to train us in every aspect of our workouts. I benefit today (at almost 50) from all that I learned from those great old coaches. Good luck - and have fun!