Now that we’re in summer, it is without a doubt that many of us will be jumping into our pools for a refreshing dip. Whether you’re swimming as a sport or casually, it is wise to take precaution to avoid injuring your shoulders. Contrary to popular belief, shoulder injuries are not always caused by overuse. They are often linked to pain in the thoracic spine.
The thoracic spine is made up of twelve vertebral segments running from the abdomen to the base of the neck. Poor body mechanics and sedentary posture are usually the culprits for loss of mobility in the spine. Being in the water does not preclude someone from having bad posture. Stretching is key to preventing injury and here are some examples to use before swimming.
- Practice Good Posture
As we often are on our phones or computers, we tend to hunch over with the shoulders rolled forward. Avoid spending too much time in that position and revert back to a straightened posture.
- Side Stretch
Lift your arms over your head with your back straight. Then, move side to side towards your hips. This targets the latissimus dorsi and can decrease knots.
- Rotational Stretch
In this technique, simply twist your body around as if looking behind you. Make sure to keep your back erect.
- Cat-Cow Stretch
This stretch requires the position of a push-up. The reason for its name is that movement of the spine from an arch (cat-like) to a depression (cow-like).
- Foam Roller Exercises
Place a foam roller perpendicular to your body underneath your back and will stretch your spine to its potential.
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