Why should swimmers get a Swim Screening?
A swim screening should be performed on all swimmers who train regularly because firstly the sport is so repetitive, a swimmer with any physical weakness or restricted range of movement will end up injured due to the repetition involved. Secondly a screening will give the coach an insight into why the swimmer has particular technique issues. Thirdly, the screening will allow the coach to direct strength and dry land exercise programs for the individual swimmer’s specific requirements.
The very repetitive nature of swimming means that overuse injuries are common, especially if the swimmer has physical limitations such as restricted thoracic rotation, tight posterior shoulder joint capsule and reduced combined movements such as internal rotation and abduction. Weak scapular stabilisers or rotation cuff muscle groups will break down if not picked up and addressed by a screening.
Coaches often feel like “pulling their hair out” when giving swimmers stroke correction. Often this is because the swimmer has a pre existing limitation which restricts the swimmer from achieving the movement the coach is after, and the swimming screening can identify this issue.
Once a screening is performed the coach has a pathway to direct the swimmers dry land exercise to assist the swimmers weakness. Therefore the coach and the swimmer know the dry land program is specifically designed for the individual swimmer.
Also the screening should be performed 2-3 times per year to assess the effectiveness and compliance of the swimmers exercises. The screening is an analysis of the swimmers readiness for training and racing.