Batalha, N., Tomás-Carús, P., Fernandes, O., Marinho, D. A., & Silva, A. J. (2010). Water training effects shoulder rotator strength in young swimmers. A paper presented at the XIth International Symposium for Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming, Oslo, June 16–19, 2010.

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This study evaluated the effect of 18 weeks of water training on the rotator cuff strength of young swimmers. Portuguese national level male swimmers (age =~14.60 years; N = 20) and sedentary male students (age: ~14.88 years; N = 16) participated. The peak-torques of shoulder internal and external rotators were measured at the beginning of the season and after 18 weeks. Concentric action at 60º/s (3 repetitions) and 180º/s (20 repetitions) were measured in a seated position, using an isokinetic dynamometer.

Significant between-group differences were found in all variables that measured internal rotator shoulder strength at 60º/s and 180º/s in the dominant and non-dominant shoulders. At 180º/s, external rotators were only different in the non-dominant shoulder. For the external:internal rotator strength ratio, significant differences were found between baseline and 18 weeks in both shoulders at 60º/s. At 180º/s only in the dominant shoulder was the external:internal rotator strength ratio significantly different.

Implication. Water training for 18 weeks induces muscular imbalances in swimmers' shoulders.

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