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Swimming Tips

Swimmers in the pool

With the holiday weekend just around the corner and the warmer weather creeping in, many will be spending time at the pool very soon, especially as a way to stay fit. Sarah McLean, physical therapist, has some tips to help you avoid injury and maximize your performance.

-Your body alignment can affect how hard you need to work when you’re swimming. To reduce drag, keep your head looking towards the bottom of the pool and your hips towards the surface of the water to maintain horizontal alignment. Arm and leg movements should be smooth and clean, avoiding excessively wide or deep kicks.

-Roll your body as a unit and keep your head in line with the trunk when swimming. This will help you to avoid overusing your shoulders and encountering drag.

-Using proper breathing techniques can help you swim better and avoid injury. Bilateral breathing (breathing on both sides) distributes the load on your shoulders and prevents muscle imbalances.

-An instructor or coach can evaluate your stroke techniques/mechanics. See your doctor if you are having any pain while swimming.

Updated on March 10, 2020

Sarah McLean, physical therapist

Sarah McLean, HSS physical therapist, is certified by the Aquatic Therapy & Rehab Institute, Inc., and offers aquatic therapy services at the James M. Benson Sports Rehabilitation Center and Tisch Sports Performance Center at Hospital for Special Surgery.

The information provided in this blog by HSS and our affiliated physicians is for general informational and educational purposes, and should not be considered medical advice for any individual problem you may have. This information is not a substitute for the professional judgment of a qualified health care provider who is familiar with the unique facts about your condition and medical history. You should always consult your health care provider prior to starting any new treatment, or terminating or changing any ongoing treatment. Every post on this blog is the opinion of the author and may not reflect the official position of HSS. Please contact us if we can be helpful in answering any questions or to arrange for a visit or consult.