A common misconception about swimming is it is not considered an overhead athlete sport due to the total body nature and cardiovascular changes it can create in athletes. Yes, while swimming involves your total body, a large portion of the swimming force is derived from the shoulders and arm, all while under the water’s constant resistance. Something else to consider is the year-round nature of competitive swimming, as it can be performed outside during the summer and inside during the winter. If you are a competitive swimmer or aspire to be an elite swimmer, here are some things you can do to minimize risk of injury and improve your longevity in the sport of swimming.
You’ve made the turn. You have a score that says you might just be having the round of your life. A few practice swings and the 10th fairway will be your chipping mat. Driver’s out of the bag, glove on, and the ball teed up nice and high. You start shaking off the memories of the chunked sand shot on the last hole and set up to take a few practice swings. The first one feels good. You step up and swing for the fences. In a moment, your shoulder hurts, your face cringes, and you cleared that fence right into the HOA president’s pool.
Male and female gymnasts compete in similar but different events. Men’s gymnastics events place different demands on the body, especially the upper body, for events such as rings, high bar, parallel bars, and pommel horse. Therefore, the top injuries for male and female gymnasts may be different. Current research has shown that adolescent male gymnasts tend to have more lower-body injuries, whereas elite male gymnasts have more upper-body injuries. In general, male gymnasts tend to have more upper body injuries than female gymnasts.
The shoulder is a complex joint that consists of a “ball” on one side and a “socket” on the other. Due to this construction, the shoulder is classified as “ball-and-socket” joint. To gain a better perspective on the size of this ball-and-socket joint, think of a golf ball sitting on a tee. On one side you have a really large ball and the other a small socket. The proportions of this large ball and small socket allows for the shoulder joint to have the largest amount of motion of any joint in the body, but there is a price to pay for this amount of motion.