By G. John Mullen
SANTA CLARA – Although the forearm is not the most-frequently injured body part in swimming, forearm pain is still common. I remember doing arduous pulling sets growing up and having my forearms cramp! This extreme discomfort forced me to discontinue pulling. Then, in college I began performing resistance training as my dryland for swimming and once again noted extreme soreness in my forearms. This soreness would impair my grasp on the water and impair my training.
Whether you have pain from training or an injury (read about the difference between pain from injury and soreness), pain/soreness alters biomechanics and swimming (I spoke about soreness impairing biomechanics in my CrossFit for Swimmers article).
If you get extreme soreness or cramping in your forearm, this self-myofascial release (SMR) is for you!
Forearm Self-Myofascial Release Purpose
Extreme soreness alters the way you move. If your forearms are sore, you are unable to maintain your stroke and are likely to alter your catch and decrease your propelling efficiency. Luckily, SMR forearm alleviates soreness immediately and improves swimming.
Forearm Self-Myofascial Release Directions
While standing, position a weightlifting bar (heavy bar) approximately chest height. Place the arm on top of the bar and move your body weight over the bar slowly. Once you find a tender location, stay on the spot for two to three minutes, as described in Mobility for Swimmers.