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Try These 3 Easy Exercises To Combat Swimmer’s Shoulder!

| April 5, 2017

Warm weather is just around the corner and with that burst of sunshine comes pool season! Swimming is one of the best full-body exercises you can do, but as with any repetitive motion, you can start to develop an injury from overusing your muscles. In this case, the most prominent injury swimmers encounter is ‘Swimmer’s Shoulder’.


Swimmer’s Shoulder results when the tendons of the rotator cuff muscles become irritated or inflamed, leading to weakness in the arms, decreased range of motion in the shoulder, and ultimately pain while swimming or participating in any activity that requires overhead movement.

While swimming incorporates many muscles, the biceps tendon and rotator cuff muscles take the brunt of the force. Luckily, irritation and impingement can be counteracted by performing exercises that help stabilize the shoulder blades and strengthen the muscles around the shoulder.


1. Seated Rows:
Sit slightly forward on the seat and grasp the cable attached to the machine. Place feet on the vertical platform, securing straps around feet. Slide hips back, positioning the knees with a slight bend.

  • To pull the cable attachment: Pull the cable attachment to your waist, while straightening the lower back. Pull your shoulders back and push your chest forward, arching your back slightly.
  • To return the cable attachment: Return until arms are extended, shoulders are stretched forward, and lower back is flexed forward.

Repeat 10 times, 3 sets total.

2. Standing Double Arm External Rotation
Holding a resistance band in front of you with both hands, move your hands away from the body, keeping your elbows tucked close to your side and pinching your shoulder blades together. Slowly bring your hands back in front of you, relaxing the shoulder blades. That’s 1 rep.

Repeat 10 times, 3 sets total. 

3.Plank Hand Step-Ups
Assume a push-up position with your hands in front of a low step or box. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles, keeping your core tight. Move one hand at a time up onto the step and then back down again. That’s 1 rep.

Repeat 10 times, 3 sets total.

Try these simple exercises to prevent Swimmer’s Shoulder and to strengthen your muscles. If you continue to experience shoulder pain, you should immediately contact a physical therapist for an evaluation so you can begin a personalized rehabilitation program!

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