Ocean Swimming 101

If you love swimming in the fresh ocean water but are feeling a touch nervous given all these recent shark attacks and sitings (I know I am!) the answer is ocean pool swimming. Not only will you feel at ease knowing there’s not going to be any unwanted visitors around but you’ve got a great way of keeping tabs on how you’re progressing.

  • Time how long it takes you to do your 10 laps
  • Count how many strokes it takes you to complete a lap
  • Count how many laps you can do in a given amount of time, for example in 20 minutes
  • Test your heart rate once you finish

Swimming is a great all body work out both in terms of cardiovascular and muscular endurance. It helps mobilise joints while also activating the core to achieve greater whole body benefits. The fact that it’s low impact means it’s a good choice of exercise for those of us whose knees, hips and backs just don’t feel as nubile as they used to.

The only thing you really need to watch out for with all these fantastic ocean swims you’re doing (other than the great whites of course!) are that the shoulders are keeping up the pace.

When you think about how many strokes you do each lap, and how many laps you do each session, and how many sessions you do each week or month… that’s a lot of shoulder action! If you’re noticing that your shoulder/shoulders are starting to ache more than they used to during or after exercise, you’re starting to get a dull ache into your arm or you’re getting finding laying on your shoulder increasingly more uncomfortable of a night, now is the time to do something about it.

You may be starting to develop an overuse style of injury such as a rotator cuff tendinopathy or it may just been some very tight muscles and overactive trigger points causing your pain. Believe me you do not want to ignore this shoulder pain. I have made this mistake myself in the past and it’s not a fun process!

I can have a look at your shoulder, see how it moves, identify any muscular imbalances and most importantly find the source of the pain and treat it. I can even come down to the pool with you and have a look at your swimming technique…there may be some simple technique changes I can suggest to help reduce the stress of your shoulder.  

Give me a call and I will be able to provide you with some stretches and specific exercises to help address any muscular imbalances that appear to be present.

Happy swimming!


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