SANTA CLARA, California, September 20. THIS week's Dryland Tip from Dr. G. John Mullen is intended to help swimmers developed a stronger awareness of their shoulder joint.
Purpose: Overhead athletes have large shoulder ranges of motion to accommodate the demands of their sport. This increased range of motion increases the injury risk, as recent literature suggests positions of large range of motion decrease joint awareness (joint proprioception). One method for improvement in proprioception is perturbation training.
Directions: The athlete will half kneel with the arm of the flexed hip positioned in 90 degrees shoulder abduction and 90 degrees elbow flexion. Next, the athlete will move their shoulder into full internal and external rotation, while a partner gently taps their arm, forcing them to stabilize and improve joint awareness.
Start with 15 seconds and progress to 2 minutes.
G. John Mullen is the owner of the Center of Optimal Restoration and creator of Swimming Science. He received his doctorate in Physical Therapy at the University of Southern California. G. John has been featured in Swimming World Magazine, Swimmer Magazine, and the International Society of Swim Coaches Journal.