Swimming injuries and tips

Swimming, It’s of the most therapeutic forms of exercise for the mind, body and soul.

“Swimming comes with a vast range of benefits including increased lung capacity (VO2 max), improved leg power, low impact on joints, and the perfect alternative for any form of cardio activity,” explains personal trainer, Camilla Bazley (and Coach Camilla on Insta).

However, like any form of exercise it does come with the possible risk of a niggle or injury. For example, says Bazley, in runners we see the common knee and hip complaint, but for swimmers, it’s common to suffer injury in the shoulder or neck due to poor stroke technique, or an erratic or inconsistent breathing pattern.

So how do we get the most out of our session in the pool without falling victim to a niggle? Here’s Bazley’s top three tips:


#1 Use Training Aids

Using training aids is a fantastic way to incorporate drills in to your session and focus on certain areas of stroke and technique. Throw on a pair of flippers, and get going!  If you find you are struggling with shoulder pain, then try using a kickboard to complete sets of kick work to reduce the loading on your shoulder throughout the session. This will not only rest your shoulder, but will give you an opportunity to build leg power so you are not over compensating with your upper body when you swim. A kick board is also great to use for stroke correction drills like “catch-up” which focuses on you isolating one arm at a time during the stroke. Not only can you fine your technique, but also it allows you to build a solid breathing routine.

#2 Focus on your breathing

If you’re getting out of the water with a sore neck after a long swim, then incorporate a few laps per sessions where you focus on bilateral breathing when doing freestyle, which means taking three strokes then a breath. This will have you having equal rotation through the neck, which will reduce over straining on one side, which is a common cause to neck pain.

#3 Refine your techniques

Just some small tweaks in technique and breathing is all it takes to make significant progress, and a much more comfortable swim. Getting a few one-on-one sessions with a swim coach or joining a local swim squad is a great way to boost your confidence in the pool or the ocean, and the perfect way to make friends while you’re at it.