05 Jun Will This Animated Swimmer Injure You? + HUUB Sphere Shorts Now On Sale!
Back in June last year, together with our partners at HUUB Design, we released the 3/4 length HUUB Kickpant. If you purchased a pair we’re sure you are loving swimming in them. Not only do they keep your legs high in the water (simulating wetsuit swimming in the pool) but with their unique design features they also allow you to kick naturally while actively promoting your legs into a straighter position.
BUT we’ve heard from some swimmers who would prefer a conventional above the knee buoyancy short and so we have developed the new HUUB Sphere short:
As they are cut above the knee, the Sphere shorts obviously don’t contain the active knee control of the full Kickpant but they do still feature the X-O Skeleton stiffening system for improved kick alignment and contain full NBR panels for much greater wetsuit-like buoyancy than a conventional neoprene short.
Start simulating wetsuit swimming and improving your stroke technique in the pool today!
Will This Animated Swimmer Injure You?
If you’ve been hanging out on any swimming groups on Facebook recently, you might have seen this animated swimmer: www.facebook.com/hocboi/videos/1498662333512530
First up, whilst you might see a semblance of our own animated Mr Smooth freestyle visualisation (available as a free app on our website) we’d like to assure you that this animation is nothing to do with Swim Smooth!
Your first impression might well be that he’s a little jerky compared to Mr Smooth and that’s certainly the case. But that jerkiness aside, the animation contains a number of elements which you definitely don’t want to copy in your own swimming – in fact some might even give you a shoulder or elbow injury as a result.
When it comes to shoulder injuries in swimming, there are two classic causes. A thumb first entry into the water (with the palm facing outwards) and a crossing of the centre line in front of the head (a “crossover”):
However, there is another major cause that is harder to diagnose, especially without in-depth video analysis. However (somewhat ironically) this new animation does demonstrate this stroke flaw really clearly (and therefore so should definitely not be copied). Take a look at this position with the lead arm fully extended out in front of the head:
Notice how the lead hand is reaching slightly outwards (in this case with the palm facing slightly outward too) and shoulder is collapsing inwards towards the chin – technically “protraction of the scapular”.
Here’s a real swimmer Christopher Bernestrå doing just the same:
This can happen on any arm stroke but it most commonly happens when a swimmer is breathing. Notice how Christopher’s lead hand and fingers are turning outwards slightly as the shoulder collapses inwards. The problem with this position is that it can pinch the structures at the front of the shoulder, resulting in inflammation and/or injury.
Swimmers most susceptible to doing this are those who are aiming for a long smooth stroke style. That means our Smooth swim type of course (Christopher is indeed a Smooth) but Overgliders can also be prone to this stroke fault as they too are trying to “go long”. A long stroke can be a good thing but try not to overly focus on stroke length and be too “greedy” with it – it can cause you to over-reach and as we see here, possibly even create a shoulder injury.
So how should the hand extend? Straight forwards of course, with the shoulder blades remaining retracted and supporting the shoulder joint. Here’s our very own Mr Smooth demonstrating that position:
To understand this in a bit more depth, take a watch through Paul Newsome’s analysis of Christopher’s stroke, which we’ve just released onto Youtube. There’s plenty to gain here for your own swimming as Paul explores tuning up Christopher’s catch and pull technique:
Interesting in having your own swimming analysed in this way? You need to see a highly trained Swim Smooth Certified Coach: www.swimsmooth.com/certifiedcoaches
Also see the list of their camps and clinics below.