SANTA CLARA, California, December 6. DR. G. John Mullen's Dryland Tip this week is an exercise that helps swimmers differentiate between their shoulder muscles and neck muscles, allowing the ability to keep the shoulder stable while moving the head.
Purpose: Many shoulder injuries occur from unbalanced stability of the shoulder. Specifically, the muscles in the front of the shoulder are commonly overused, while the muscles in the back of the shoulder remain doormat. Moreover, swimming uniquely requires head movement while shoulder stability is required. Unfortunately, many swimmers overuse shoulder muscles while breathing secondary to faulty breathing biomechanics.
Directions: Simply hold a resistance band with your elbows bent 90 degrees and your hands facing the ceiling. Start by pulling the band apart as far as possible, this activates the muscles in the back of the shoulder. Next, rotate your head side to side during this motion. This helps differentiate the shoulder and neck musculature, hoping to improve control of these joints ideally translating to the pool.
Perform for approximately 15 repetitions.
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.