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Overhead Squat & Extend

Swimming for fitness enhancement or competition involves a repetitive or cyclic action, which over time, can expose the athlete to overuse in the shoulder – sometimes referred to as “swimmer’s shoulder.” The causes range from shoulder strength imbalances, reduced endurance (over training and fatigue), muscle imbalances, prior injury history, and a detrimental shoulder range of motion – impingement. The most common swimming stroke is the freestyle or crawl technique.

Functional shoulder exercises for swimming should simulate movement in the upper torso – which propels the body – along with the trunk and legs, which stabilize and align the body in the water.

Overhead Squat & Extend

Place a stability ball against a wall and in contact with lower back – with feet approximately shoulder width apart. Place a light circle rubber band around both wrists – with arms on top of thighs. Perform a modified squat (just above parallel). Stretch the band to just outside the knees. Then stand and simultaneously raise both arms overhead – with palms facing in. The back should remain in a neutral position throughout the movement – with no rounding of the shoulders or arching of the lower back.

You can also use very light dumbbells held in the hands either with or without the circle resistance band around the wrists.

Try a set of 10-20 repetitions.

Remember, you should always consult your physician before beginning any exercise, diet, or nutritional supplementation program.

Mackie and April share exercises every Wednesday on WWL-TV