Category Archives: swim workouts

Dryland: Stronger Shoulders for $2 and 6 Minutes Per Day

Grif Fig, of IHPSWIM.com, recently posted a great article on shoulder stability and prehab exercises.  Prehab – rather than rehab – is the coined term for sports injury prevention – i.e., make the body strong and mobile with functional and sport-specific exercises as a way to prevent overuse/overtraining injuries down the road.

Grif’s post shows a demo of these exercises using a flexibar.  A similar piece of equipment is the Bodyblade.  I don’t know much about the flexibar, but a Bodyblade will cost you somewhere between $50 and $150, depending on the weight/size you want.

Use is simple:  You push and pull on the pipe (basically waving it back and forth), which produces the oscillation or flex of the pipe, which then require force output from you to neutralize the speed and movement of the blade. You have to start, stop and change directions of your own body while controlling your mass.

Your athletes can get the same effect – at a much cheaper cost – through the use of PVC pipe.  Here’s what I’ve had my athletes do:

1. Go to Home Depot/Lowes/any sort of hardware store that sells PVC pipe.

2.  Purchase 1/4 inch PVC pipe at a length somewhere between 7 and 8 feet (long enough to be flexible; short enough to be manageable).  This will cost you less than $2.00.

3.  Bring to practice.  (Obviously, it’s much easier if you can store these at the pool, once acquired.)

4.  Daily, incorporate a prehab routine into your practice.  There are a multitude of routines you can follow, but I’ve had my athletes on a very simple plan that took us about six minutes per day.

– 30 secs left arm/30 secs right arm — arm extended overhead

– 30 secs left arm/30 secs right arm — arm extended in front of body

– 30 secs left arm/30 secs right arm — arm extended out to side – palm forward

– 30 secs left arm/30 secs right arm — arm extended out to side – palm down

The benefits are enormous – athletes increase core stability, shoulder stability and improve their overhead and lateral range of motion.  And incorporating these exercises with some regularity and self-discipline really does prevent shoulder soreness, pain and injury.

So, if you want less whining and “stretching” on the wall, and/or stronger and healthier athletes with far less susceptibility to injury, start some shoulder prehab – all you need is $2 for PVC pipe and 6 minutes per day.

(Note:  Although the shoulder prehab routine described above is a bit different from typical use of a Bodyblade, click here for a video if you need a little more insight as to how it all works.)

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Workout Wednesday

Every Wednesday, ASCA publishes a workout on our website — past contributors have included Coaches Bill Rose, Dick Shoulberg, Gregg Troy and others.  This week’s workout is from Coach John Collins, of Badger Swim Club, NY.

Workout Wednesday for 3/24/11″

From Coach John Collins

The group is high school aged, middle distance oriented, about 20 to 30 in number….amongst the group are 8 boys = between 4.26 -4.38  and 5 girls =between 4.52 and 5.00…
The workout is a post championship effort aimed at starting the long course season…emphasis on decent
yardage, breathe control, and fast kicking…800 swim, wrong side only breathing….16×50 on 45, alt by 50= single stroke R, single stroke L, 3R 3L, double arm back= 4X…….then 4X= 400 crawl pull (prefer strap and pull buoy), breathing every 5th stroke on 6 min, followed by a max effort 100 crawl k (w/board, no z) on 2 mins…….the key was to keep the 5 breathing pattern faithfully throughout, and to blast the kick…..best kids av @ 4.00 on pulls (boys)   girls slower….kicking generally @1.15 (poor kicking team) then 3×200= double arm back, dolphin k on back, back swim…10 seconds…….4X= 400 IM pull on 5-6 mins, followed by 100 k max effort fly or breast, on 2 mins…….finished the workout with a T1650 from dive   boys had to break 17:15…girls 18.15  or else had to do over…..most made it……

If you have a workout that shows your personal creativity and passion for getting the most out of your athletes, send it our way (mpittman@swimmingcoach.org).  Maybe next week you’ll be the featured author of “Workout Wednesday.”