Achilles’ heel of adult swimmers that you haven’t know yet!

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Achilles’ heel of adult swimmers that you haven’t know yet!

In Greek mythology, Asin was the central figure and greatest warrior of the Greeks in the Trojan War. Achilles has a body that cannot be injured except for his heel. Asin died of a heel injury, from which the phrase “Asin’s heel” is used to refer to one’s weaknesses.

Adults who practice swimming also have Achilles’ heels. And not only has one Achilles heel, but adults also have up to 3 Achilles heels for swimming! These are the shoulder joint, hip joint and ankle joint. For adults, all 3 joints are more or less stiff and lack flexibility. And the flexibility of this joint depends on both the muscles and the joint, not just the ability of the muscles to stretch on the joint, but also how far the joint moves in the sac.

So, let’s find out how these 3 joints are called the Achilles’ heel of swimmers!

How are these 3 joints called the Achilles’ heel?

Swimming has one feature: the most effective movement in water comes from these three joints. When these joints are stiff and inflexible, swimmers find it difficult to fully express the technique, swimming movements are often short, jerky, lack of force and lack of balance. When these joints are stiff and inflexible, the swimmer’s movements feel “stuck” like a machine that has not been greased for a long time, its operation is not smooth and cannot move at the maximum allowed range.

The shoulder joint

The advanced swimmer has an amazing degree of flexibility. We have many times witnessed excellent swimmers do hand cranks or stretches of shoulder muscles before starting competition. Very easy. Very flexible. So watching them play and imitating their hand-fan movements is sometimes impossible.

Shoulder joints

Shoulder joints

Restriction of shoulder joint flexibility adversely affects the water entry and “splash” phase of freestyle and backstroke, to straight forward stretching in frog swimming, and on an overhead swing and into the water in butterfly swimming. In general, restrictions in the shoulder joint will most likely result in limitations in forwarding “water holding”, which in turn leads to a loss of most of the thrust throughout the rest of the hand movement.

The hip joints

The hip joints

The hip joints

The hip flexion and stretch is essential for effective leg pounding (especially in the long spine, freestyle and backstroke styles). The muscles that affect the hip flexion include the glutes and hind thigh muscles. The muscles that influence hip stretching include the lumbar muscles, the pelvic muscles, and the anterior thigh muscles. Many older brothers and sisters can only beat their legs from the knee down, only “knock” the lower legs when swimming freely, but cannot beat the legs from the hips because the hip joint is mostly hard, “locked”.

The ankle joints

The thrust of a swimmer’s foot is highly dependent on the flexibility and flexibility of the ankle joint. Ankle-joint flexibility is important to athletes as it contributes to a powerful foot flap, improves water balance, improves the push-off power during rotation and pedal power, leave the podium in departure. The inflexible ankle joint will lead to the “poke” style in free swimming, “poke” in backstroke and especially the “poked” footsteps in breaststroke.

So why are all 3 joints in adults more or less stiff and inflexible?

Although not all, but most of it is because we are affected by passive sitting posture for a long time at the desk.

Most of the joints inflexibility are because we are affected by passive sitting posture for a long time at the desk

Most of the joints inflexibility are because we are affected by passive sitting posture for a long time at the desk

Most modern office jobs require you to stay relatively still most of the day, which is great when you need to focus on your work and be productive. However, if you are a workout enthusiast, modern office work can be one that negatively affects your muscles or joints. Here’s a mind-boggling fact: even if you exercise almost every day, being stuck in a sedentary position for hours can be counter-intuitive to your desire to improve your health, especially if you are a swimmer.

If held in the same position for a long time, muscles can shorten and lose the ability to stretch. If a muscle becomes tense, not tender, it can limit the movement of the joints that the muscles cross.

When using a computer while sitting on a desk, we tend to lean spontaneously forward, causing the muscles around the hips, thoracic spine (upper back, next to the shoulder blades) and shoulders. shortened; Pectoral muscles and pectoral muscles – the groups of muscles that control the movement of the upper arm through the shoulder joint – are strained and restrict the movement of the shoulder joint. Maintaining a sitting position for a long time also causes the hip flexors (running along the front of the hips) to strain and limits the movement of the hip joint.

Most joints and muscles, on the other hand, allow movement in many directions. However, if a muscle becomes too tight due to being held in a shortened position for an extended period, it will restrict the joint’s direction of movement, causing the joint to lose its flexibility.

Another thing to note is that in addition to office workers whose joint flexibility is affected by work characteristics, flexibility and joint flexibility will also decrease with age.

In terms of training facilities, to improve the flexibility of muscle groups, we use stretching exercises, and to improve joint flexibility we use joint flexibility exercises. (mobility movements). In addition, swimming is also an activity to help stretch muscles effectively because the body is horizontal in the water and swimming movements always have the element of “stretching”.

Good swimming technique again depends on the amplitude of the joint. The shoulder joints, hip joints and ankle joints have good working amplitude, which will help swimmers to have more reasonable and effective swimming techniques. Achilles died of her heel due to being unable to erase that weakness. But swimmers can overcome their weaknesses in muscles and joints so that those weaknesses do not become “Achilles heels”.


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