10 exercises for relief of shoulder and neck pains

Swimming tips and swimming workouts in order to heal and treat “swimmer’s shoulder”

In this article there are 10 swimming drills to relief and treat shoulder and neck pain, in order for you to know exactly how much time or distance you should repeat each swimming workout it is recommended to join the WEST swimming online for “swimmers shoulder.

Swimming is one of the healthiest sports around, but sometimes swimmers who don’t warm up before practice properly, or skip stretching, or suffer from stress in their life, can experience strain to the shoulder blades and the neck, their swimming technique is good but not for their age(WEST swimming technique teach every person to swim according to his age, flexibility and more..). This can ruin the flexibility and make it harder to lift the arms above the water.

In WEST swimming centers,  we are taking care of thousands  of people with all sorts of shoulder and neck pains – shoulder inflammations, frozen shoulders, bone fractures, dislodged shoulder, slipped disc in the neck, all of these with or without numbness.

One of the most common problems that athletes have is that they don’t listen to what the doctor is actually telling them… If the doctor suggests rest, this doesn’t mean to lie in bed or refrain from going to work. All it means is that you need to rest the area that is hurting.

We have more than 600 groups of muscles that can be used, and if the doctor still tells you not to swim and to rest???!!! Then it is time to change the doctor! (But doctors are not likely to say such a thing) Unfortunately many patients with frozen shoulder come to us because the “doctor told them to rest”.

In WEST swimming  technique we don’t believe in resting or in stopping the training etc. During the years we discovered that most of the sport injuries occurred during vacation time, and I am not talking here about top athletes that practice 30 hours a week. These were swimmers that practice between 2-5 times a week and want to keep a healthy life style.

The bottom line is that it is not recommended to stop the activity and rest. It is healthier to learn how to make the movements better and to balance the muscles of the body. If someone is suffering from pain somewhere in his body, he should take advantage of this by strengthening other parts of his body. In simple words – it is possible to make use of pain for self-development purposes.

We prepared for you 10 swimming workouts that helped thousands of swimmers who passed through “ Water World” to treat shoulder inflammations and many other types of injuries and pains. It is possible to go through these practices alone.

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shoulder &neck pain 1- Slight body roll with fins




Instructions


We will gently kick using fins and we will roll the body from side to side, keeping a slow and gentle pace. While we roll the body we don’t breathe and we don’t move the head at all. The head is facing the floor of the pool and it ensures that the streaming line stays straight. When we are out of air we move gently to a standing position. It is possible to make this exercise with a snorkel which will let us practice for longer periods of time without taking breaks for breathing.

The purpose of the exercise:

Releasing the shoulders and the neck. This exercise is excellent for frozen shoulders, shoulder inflammation, slipped disc in the neck or for any type of stress. Who does not experience stress in their lives?

It is also a very good practice for reducing stress to the shoulders at the end of a training session, in or outside the water. The great thing about this exercise is that all you have to do is to just gently roll the body and the water creates the caress in the front and back areas of the shoulders. It is just like getting a treatment of the shoulders and the neck without any risks

Shoulder &neck pain 2- On the back - Body and shoulder roll with fins




Instructions


Kicking with fins gently we will roll the body from side to side at a slow pace. While rolling the body we breathe regularly and we don’t move the head at all. The head will point towards the ceiling and help us in keeping the streamline straight. If you feel stress in the neck you should try to release it. If this doesn’t help you should only carry this exercise out on the tummy.
The advantage of this exercise is that we don’t have to take many breaks for breathing.

The purpose of the exercise:

To release stress from the neck and shoulders. This exercise is excellent for frozen shoulder, shoulder inflammations, and slipped disc injury in the neck.
It is also very good for release of shoulders after resistance training, in and outside the water.
The beauty of this exercise is that all you have to do is to just gently roll the body and the water creates the caress in the front and back areas of the shoulders.
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Shoulder &neck pain 3- Gentle body rolls with snorkel, without fins




Instructions


Just like in the previous exercises, here we will roll the body gently from side to side. The legs are kicking all the time, but this time we don’t have to move forward. It is possible to go through the exercise in one place without moving ahead.

When the body is rolling, the water will touch the backside of the shoulder at one point and the front of the shoulder at another. It is recommended to give this exercise about 30 seconds between other exercises, and about 5 minutes at the end of a training session.

The purpose of the exercise:

To release the shoulders while keeping a low heart rate. After 2 minutes of performing the exercise one could say that it becomes meditative. The movement range of the neck and shoulders expand with the exercise. This practice is also very good for releasing lactic acid.

Shoulder & neck pain 4- “Dolphin” with fins and gentle roll of shoulders




Instructions


You take a deep breath and dive to a depth of about 0.5 meters. This is followed by dolphin style swim with fins.
After each kick you will release the shoulders a few times, and when you are out of air you should come back to standing position, moving all of the body without pushing the head forward in order to avoid causing stress to the neck.

The purpose of the exercise:

When the body moves between different levels of water depth you make it more flexible while using the dolphin movements and releasing the shoulders. The fact that the body moves through different depth levels creates hydrostatic stress which is dynamic and changeable, and this makes the shoulders even more active. It also helps when you want to reduce the stress on neck and lower back.

Shoulder &neck pain 5- Legs work with snorkel




Instructions


One of the problems with leg work with a kicking board, or by keeping the arms in an arrow position, is the stress that this causes the neck and back when the head is lifted for breathing. In this exercise we keep the head straight and pointed towards the bottom of the pool. We use the snorkel and we kick at medium pace, the kicking should create bubbles at the surface.

The purpose of the exercise:

When you suffer from pains in the shoulders, shoulder inflammation, shoulder blade pains, or stress in the neck – it is a great time to strengthen the muscles of the legs, the back, and the stomach. Getting better at the leg work will also help us in the future for easier breathing by rolling the body and not using the neck for this movement. It will also drastically improve your swimming speed.
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Shoulder &neck pain 6-Dog paddle, deep and without maximal stretch




Instructions


We will swim a long dog paddle style, meaning to swim freestyle but without lifting the arms out of the water.
Many swimmers that are not so flexible in the shoulder and neck cause themselves stress by lifting the elbow above the waterline. In this exercise we will make a deep stroke at about 30 centimeters depth, and sometimes even more. We will make the shoulder touch the chin but we won’t stretch the arm strongly and far from the face, but rather in a loose fashion. We will of course finalize with a stroke close to the inside of the thigh.

Purpose of the exercise:

To strengthen the muscles of the arms, the stomach, and the back, and to continue the aerobic work. In order to push water and improve the stroke, without causing stress and pain during any of the movements, we will avoid moving the arms above the waterline, making overly strong stretches, or making stretches too close to the surface. The idea here is to strengthen all of the muscles around the painful area and keep constant release of the neck and shoulders.

Shoulder &neck pain 7- Swimming with one arm with other hand towing alongside the body




Instructions


Swimming with one arm, the arm in pain will be released by the side of the body and it will move by itself as part of the body rolls. When the working arm is being stretched forward, the released arm will just roll and the shoulder will come out of the water, and once the stroke is completed the released arm comes back into the water.
The idea here is to roll the body and create water resistance for the arm in pain. It is possible to carry out the exercise without breathing with a straight head, or with snorkel and fins.
It is also possible to breathe, when rolling the body, every other movement in the direction of the working arm. This way one can use the stroke and roll the body to breathe.

The purpose of exercise:

To roll the body and create big water resistance to the shoulder in pain. The resistance will come from all directions, front and back. We also combine aerobic work with leg work, and we actually keep swimming instead of resting.

Soulder &neck pain 8- Swimming with one arm above the water and the other arm inside the water




Instructions


In this exercise we will combine two practices. One of them is regular swimming with the healthy arm, and the other is dog paddle swimming with the arm that is hurting.
We will swim and breathe every 3 strokes as usual, but we will do a deep dog paddle without maximal stretch and without lifting the head out of the water with the hurting arm. The healthy arm will continue to swim as usual and work at a maximum capacity.
When it comes to the coordination, this exercise is relatively difficult.

The purpose of the exercise:

To swim as close as possible to regular swimming style but without causing the shoulder the stress that would come from a full stretch and by lifting the arm over the surface. Once you are able to make this exercise without any pain it is a sign that you are getting closer to a regular swimming style, since all of the stabilizer muscles have become drastically stronger which allows us to lift the elbow above the waterline.
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Shoulder &neck pain 9- Hands Breast stroke without breathing legs crawling




Instructions


We will swim breast stroke. You should use the legs as in regular crawling, but gently. This time the circles are bigger and deeper, about 20 centimeters from the waterline. During each circle you will touch the tummy, and at the end of every circle you return to an arrow position and wait 3 seconds while kicking with the legs. Right before you are out of air, you will slowly move to a standing position by bringing the knees to the tummy.

The purpose of the exercise:

To strengthen the muscles of the arms and the shoulders while keeping a symmetric movement, avoiding stress to the lower back.
The coordination of this movement is relatively easy and it allows us to increase the lung capacity and make the body used to swimming. It is very important to stretch the arrow forward at a depth of 20 centimeters or more below the waterline in order not to cause stress in the lower back and in the neck. We will try to swim for 12.5 meters this way without breathing.

Shoulder & neck pain 10- Breast stroke without breathing




Instructions


We will swim breast stroke, using the arms and legs, without breathing.
You probably already heard before that breast stroke isn’t healthy, and that it could even damage the lower back and the neck. This is true when you lift the head for breathing, causing dangerous arch movement of the lower back.

The purpose of this exercise:

We will use the good parts of the breast stroke, such as the circling arm movements, and splitting movement of the legs that will strengthen the muscles that split and un-split the legs, without causing any stress to the neck.
It is important to make sure not to stretch the arms too close to the waterline and not to un-split too strongly. It is highly recommended for swimmers that suffer from shoulder pains and shoulder inflammations to swim breast stroke without breathing. It will strengthen the muscles that surround the shoulders without causing any additional stress.

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