Addressing shoulder and hip mobility for improved performance

Sports massage can help in many ways to improve performance in a number of different activities. In swimmers, it is not only important that they have explosive power and strength, but also a large range of motion in predominantly the shoulder and hip joints.

Treatments such as sports massage can assist in doing this. Massage helps to increase flexibility in the muscles around a joint which in turn then increases range of movement. When your muscles are more flexible, they can move through a wider range allowing athletes to reach their full potential with less risk of pain, injury and/or strain. Common injuries for swimmers are hip and rotator cuff tendinopathies – but improving mobility in these joints can help to reduce the chances of experiencing these injuries. Improved flexibility also means that an athlete is less likely to suffer from fatigue during physical activity, as their muscles are able to contract and relax more efficiently. In general, increased levels of flexibility also aid athletes’ performance by increasing their ability to twist and turn rapidly, which applies to multiple sports, including swimming, for example, during tumble turns.

Not only is achieving full range of motion in shoulders and hips important in swimming, due to the rotational movement necessary in certain strokes, it also allows for a longer arm reach, therefore increasing the length of each stroke which improves your leg positioning in certain strokes such as breaststroke. A greater range of motion in the shoulder and hip also allows increased generation of power; essential for achieving high levels of performance. Sports massage is also thought to improve strength and functional performance as it increases blood flow, provides more efficient metabolism for muscles and also treats trigger points which can be a cause of muscle weakness and dysfunction.

Ultimately hip and shoulder mobility in a sport like swimming is essential to reach the full potential of performance.

If you have any further questions regarding techniques to enhance flexibility and range of motion or would like to book a massage treatment please give us a call on 01702 342329.