Friday, June 30, 2017
Improve your speed by improving your stroke...
By Dylan Evangelista, Swimming World College Intern
Whether you’re a competitive athlete, or just looking for a way to stay active, swimming is a fantastic form of exercise as it increases overall body strength, and also improves your flexibility and endurance. Although there are many incredible benefits of swimming, there are some precautions that must be taken when spending a lot of time in the pool.
While it is undeniable that swimming can yield incredible physical results, it is an exceptionally vigorous form of exercise and often causes overuse injuries, and muscle imbalances.
Typical injuries with swimming usually deal with the shoulders or the knees, and one of the best ways to combat these issues is resistance band training.
Whether it be swimmers shoulder or frozen shoulder, tendinitis, bursitis, or any injury for that matter, prevention and early treatment, addressing the impairments at hand is the key to managing and reducing the risk of injury.
Resistance bands are not only cheap, durable, and easy to travel with, but they can offer you a full body workout without any weights, which typically means a lower risk of injury.
Bands provide resistance to just about any motion, and can be especially helpful for mimicking the motions you make while in the pool.
They allow you to perform strength-training exercises in the way that they provide a force against which your muscles must work. This action has a very different impact on the way your muscles will contract, which stimulates bone as well as muscle growth.
Muscle imbalances in swimmers usually stem from the fact that swimming works all major muscle groups, but fails to work the smaller supportive muscle groups equally. Strengthening these supportive muscle groups is the best way to not only aid injury prevention, but improve stroke mechanics as well.
Musculoskeletal physiotherapist Alex Clarke has a long association with competitive swimming both as an athlete and as a coach. Clarke explained that,
“Swimmers often develop muscle imbalances where the adductors and internal rotators of the arm overdevelop, due to the repetitive nature of swimming. The average high school swimmer performs 1 to 2 million strokes annually with each arm! Unfortunately, this leaves a relative weakness of the external rotators and scapular stabilizers – simply because they don’t get used as much.”
All these factors begin to culminate causing irritation or an impingement.
Some beginning resistance band exercises that all swimmers should utilize are as follows:
Photo Courtesy: Swim Outlet
Bicep curls are an excellent way to strengthen the bicep tendon and help your body compensate for the overdeveloped shoulder adductors often seen in swimmers. Swimmers shoulders are typically rolled forward from the constant forward motion exerted on them. Keeping your bicep tendons strong will help keep them in place and reduce rolled forward shoulders, therefore lowering the risk of a shoulder injury.
Perform this exercise slowly, inhaling during the eccentric contraction (where the muscle is lengthening) and exhaling during the concentric contraction (where the muscle is shortening). Start out with 3 sets of 20 reps (10 reps each side) and progress as you get stronger!
*NOTE: Keep this breathing pattern and repetition range consistent for all the exercises listed.
Photo Courtesy: Swim Outlet
When you work your shoulder’s internal rotators, you will feel the muscles on the front of your chest and shoulder contracting. Make sure the resistance band is taut, but not too strenuous. There are several ways to work your internal rotators but for a beginner the following method is the best starting point.
Stand with your arm lying at your side, then bend the arm forward to a 90 degree angle (as if you were doing a hammer curl). This postion is crucial as it is both your starting and ending point. Then proceed to pull the resistance band inward across your body, until it is gently touching your upper abdomen.
Slowly bring the arm back to that 90 degree angle creating positive tension on your rotators, but make sure not to go past that starting point!
Photo Courtesy: Swim Outlet
It’s easy to injure muscles and tendons near your rotator cuff due to the nature of swimming. When you work your shoulder external rotators, you will feel the muscles on the back of your shoulder and the top of your back contract.
Keep that same 90 degree start and finishing point that you have with internal rotation, but now pull the band outward across your body. When you externally rotate your shoulder, you turn your arm and hand away from the center of your body so that your palm faces away from your thigh.
Flaps for Lateral and Deltoid Muscles
Photo Courtesy: Swim Outlet
Your lateral and deltoid muscles are key muscle for swimmers. Grip the two ends of the band with both hands, holding it above your head with straight arms. Then proceed to pull downward while engaging your shoulders and keeping your arms straight.
This exercise should feel as if you are flapping your wings.
Resistance band exercises can do wonders for your bone, joint, and muscle strength. Just as you would with weight training, start off your resistance band training slowly with a lighter resistance band before progressing to a higher resistance level. Invest 10-15 minutes a day to resistance band exercises and you will feel the results both in and out of the pool!
All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff. All swimming and dryland training and instruction should be performed under the supervision of a qualified coach or instructor, and in circumstances that ensure the safety of participants.
...local media promotes water polo.
Five unusual Hong Kong water sports you should try this summer
Bored of swimming? Try cooling off instead in some fun, unconventional ways during Hong Kong’s hottest months – and make some friends while you’re at it
As the weather heats up in Hong Kong, there’s no better way to cool off than to head to the beach or a pool. But if you’re bored with swimming, or just want to try something different, then we have the ultimate water-based sports list for you. So cool down, meet some new people and test your skills at these five unusual activities that you may not have considered trying before.
If you’re looking for a water sport that tests your strength and stamina while having fun doing it, then beach water polo is for you.
Water polo is a competitive contact sport played between two teams in a pool or the sea. Combining the speed of swimming and the strength of shooting with the occasional tussle, it’s undoubtedly a strenuous workout.
“It’s tiring but it’s the best exercise you can fit into an hour,” says Doug Woo, founder of Hong Kong Beach Water Polo. Established in 2010, the club is run by volunteers and is made up of men and women from varying levels of the sport.
“Seven years ago we started jumping into different places in the ocean … and it kind of grew from there,” Woo says. “We are open to all levels. We are just people who want to have fun.”
The social club trains twice a week: once at Island School’s pool in Mid-Levels, and the other – with the help of a blow-up portable goal set – at different beaches around the island, including Deep Water Bay.
“Hong Kong is the perfect place to play water polo because a lot of people swim. There’s a lot of ocean here,” Woo says.
On top of training, the group holds a social Friday night competition (generally followed by a drink at a nearby bar). It also runs the annual International Hong Kong Beach Water Polo Tournament, taking place this year at Repulse Bay on October 28 and 29.
“We started [five years ago] with seven teams and now we are up to 20 teams,” Woo says. “We’ve had Hungarian teams, German teams and Asia-Pacific teams.”
Where: Island School, Mid-Levels; alternating beaches
When: Thursdays 7.30pm-9pm (Island School); Saturdays 3pm-5pm (beaches)
Cost: HK$50 per session for adults, HK$20 for students; or HK$2,000 for full year
ARTICLE LINK: http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/health-beauty/article/2100551/five-unusual-hong-kong-water-sports-you-could-try-summer?utm_source=l.facebook.com&utm_medium=referral
Thursday, June 29, 2017
The World Water Polo Coaches Association (WWPCA) addressed FINA in a letter which was published today. The letter was written with a view to conveying stances on the suggested FINA rule changes and IOC plans to reduce the quota and the number of water polo players in a team at Tokyo 2020. WWPCA specified the recommendations which it will not back due to its discontent. The letter also contains the reasons and explanations for the absence of WWPCA’s support. In conclusion, it provided a solution put forward by WWPCA requesting withdrawal of the suggested changes. WWPCA also asked for a meeting with FINA and enclosed its potential topics. The full letter is below:
WWPCA OFFICIAL POSITION
WWPCA would like to highlight the fact that the WWPCA is an independent
association made up of the world’s water polo coaches, without any
influence (financial nor advisory) from any aquatic body or individual.
We also would like to declare that our motivation for the following
position is rooted in our concern for the sport that we love and is in
no way connected to the FINA political elections; thus, it is free from
partisan political influence. The WWPCA is not a political association.
WATER POLO RULE CHANGES PROPOSAL
The intent of this letter is to officially express the opinion and position of the WWPCA with respect to the FINA water polo rule change proposals as well as the IOC proposals to decrease the water polo quota and the number of water polo players per team at the Olympic Games.
We are expressing big disappointment in and lack of support for:
- Not having an open and transparent process in regards to the decision making of the new proposed water polo rules
- Not consulting with the main stakeholders (coaches and athletes) at any point
- Testing for one set of rules for a period 3 years and subsequently proposing something else not tested
- The ad hoc decision made to propose a new set of rules for which there are no data to demonstrate how the proposed changes will improve (or damage) the game
- The sport of water polo losing a total of 18 athlete quota allocation spots at the Olympic Games (the only team sport that decreased its athlete quota)
- Connecting the IOC decision regarding a reduction in the player roster to 11 players to all other water polo competitions under the FINA umbrella
- Before proposing the 11 players roster to the IOC there was no athlete health, performance or marketing research done to evaluate the impact of the rule change
- The WWPCA is concerned about the health implications for the athletes and the potential injury risk which may occur with 2 less players on the roster; given the obvious increase in risk exposure (due to a longer playing time) and the subsequent decrease in recovery time. The risk to the health from injury could be significant and dangerous, and has not been scientifically evaluated through serious studies
- The FINA water polo rule change proposals are incongruous and asynchronous with the proposed IOC decrease in the water polo roster to 11 players. This change will result in an increased demand and load on the athlete body in comparison to the existing rules. The FINA proposed rule changes result in less breaks, less rest, and thus, less chance for athlete recovery and at the same time, there is the same number of exclusions. These different proposed changes could result in an increased risk of athlete injury and subsequent damage to the sport
- Water Polo is the only team sport at the Olympic Games that does not have one substitute for every starting player. (Only football has fewer substitutes among team sports, but soccer rules limit the number of substitutions that can be made in a game)
- Water polo will be the only team sport without a substitute goalkeeper (in most of the cases) resulting in the necessity to have a field player acting as a goalkeeper. This is not in a favor of positive television/media interest or good performance
- With the proposed rule changes, it is likely that a water polo match may finish with one team having one player less on the field of play; given the number of exclusions and the smaller roster. This outcome would not be advantageous for good play; nor for television/ media interest
- Decreasing the halftime break (WP11.2) and decreasing the number of timeouts to 2 per game (WP12.1) will result in a reduction of recovery time for the players, which will thus potentially increase the risk of injury due to the smaller rosters
- With only 11 players on the roster, the effect of exclusion on the outcome of the game would carry more importance; therefore, the role of the referee would have even greater influence on the outcome of the game
- Game style: Given that 11 players will fatigue sooner due to the increased time of play, it is extrapolated that the athletes will move slower in the water, and look for breaks in swimming, resulting in a more ‘wrestling style’ of play
- The IOC decision to decrease the team roster from 13 to 11 players should not influence the team roster size at FINA events; which can and should remain at 13 athletes per team
- Rule proposal WP 1.4 (field of play and equipment) suggests that the minimum field of play size can be 20m, which is 10m less then water polo is being played currently. That is 33% less field of play; which could potentially decrease the viewer enjoyment of the game
- All of the proposed rules changes be withdrawn from the Water Polo Congress in Budapest
- During the FINA World Championship in Budapest, a FINA-WWPCA meeting be held with the following agenda:
- WWPCA is ready to participate in an advisory group, together with FINA, and to offer our experience and expertise in regards to future steps to recreate and synchronize water polo rules with the current situation. This will help to overcome current issues and danger for water polo sport
- Rule changes to be studied in the next 4 years and new set of rules to be proposed after Tokyo2020, if needed and proper evaluation process proves such recommendation
- Create a strategic plan on the function, measurable outcomes, and timeline for this collaboration and study
WWPCA Board of Directors
Ratko Rudic CRO, Alessandro Campagna ITA, Karl Izzo MLT, Paolo Malara CHN, Adel Shamala EGY, Dejan Udovicic USA, Yiannis Giannouris GRE, Adam Wright USA, John Vargas USA, Quim Colet Genesias ESP, Sergey Drozdov KAZ, Fabio Conti ITA, Balazs Vincze HUN, John Abdou USA
Want to play in the PowerBar Cup High School Water Polo Tournament? We're looking for 12 Field Players & 1 Goalie from N.C. to go to Atlanta on 8/26 & 8/27. Tryouts may begin as soon as July 9th. Boys & Girls. Eighth grade & over are eligible for consideration.