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Are Your Elbows Pained After Swimming?

Swim Smooth shares the history of how coaching styles may have contributed to elbow pain attributed to swimming.  “All through the 1990s and much of the 2000s, swim coaches thought the holy grail of good swimming technique was to make the stroke as long as physically possible.”  This line of thinking to get maximum mileage from the rear stroke can create 3 problems:

  1. The first concern is that just like a glide at the front, it creates a dead spot in the stroke, and then there is a gap in propulsion between the two arms. Water is 800 times more dense than air, so this gap in propulsion means you decelerate and lose speed.
  2. Locking out the elbow at the rear places a huge amount of stress on the elbow joint, commonly resulting in elbow pain or injury.
  3.  When you over-emphasize the rear stroke you will have a tendency to push the water upwards.  This produces a downward force, sinking the legs. This means you either have to kick harder to keep them up or they sink creating extra drag.

“If you suffer from elbow pain when you swim, you need to move away from overly emphasizing the rear of your stroke and move towards a more fluid completion with palms facing inwards. It will immediately feel like a more natural way to swim and there’s a lot to be said for that too”.

For detailed information and videos:   Getting Elbow Pain from Swimming?

Image Credit:  Future Stars Camps

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