Are You Preventing Shoulder Injuries? “Think Opposite!”
This is an article by Michael Reid, B.HE. CSCS, RKC on preventing shoulder injuries that I wanted to share with you:
Abstract: The specific repetitive activity of water polo, like baseball pitching, emphasizes adduction and internal rotation. This study used the Cybex II to evaluate the isokinetic strength of the rotator cuff in elite water polo players and in a group of control subjects. The water polo players were significantly stronger than the controls. Of greater importance was the confirmation of imbalances in the rotator cuff force couples of adduction/abduction and external/internal rotation. These changes are similar to those reported for pitchers. The adductors in the water polo group had gained in relative strength resulting in an increase in the adduction/abduction ratio to about 2:1. The internal rotators had gained in relative strength resulting in a decrease in the external/internal ratio to about 0.6:1. For both force couples the differences are more apparent at a slow speed. Side-to-side differences were not significant.
My Comments: This and other similar articles are important to remember and think about when designing strength training programs for Water Polo athletes. I believe that the first thing all strength programs need to do is keep the athlete healthy. Look at the sport and do the opposite! It may seem contrary to conventional thought, especially when you think of specificity but there is a cost for only doing sport specific training and that cost is usually pain and injury.
Coach Ryan’s Summary: Look at the sport and do the opposite! Basically, spend more time on training your pulling muscles and external rotators of the shoulder. This is a key to effective programing for the Water Polo player and is outlined in many of the articles I have written here on Water Polo Planet.
Have your athlete evaluated by a Champion’s QUEST Athlete Performance Coach to make sure they have the proper upper body strength balance to prevent a shoulder injury from occurring Click HERE for more information.