Corrien came to see me for Biomechanics Coaching because she had this amazing goal to swim 10km. I was very excited – to be part of somebody’s plans for a big goal like this is always a delight!
Corrien swims using the Total Immersion method of swimming. There is a lot of movement required in the pelvis and she felt she couldn’t quite do this movement as well as she would like. She therefore decided that before taking more swim lessons she would see what changes she could make to her movement first. It is really important to be efficient in your swimming when you are taking on such a big challenge as fatigue is obviously something you want to avoid. She planned to be swimming for 3:30 hours.
She had experienced hernias in the past but she currently had no pain.
Our first session (see a video of a first session here) showed where we could make improvements in how she moved to help her swimming become more efficient. Some of her muscles were not relaxing and restricting her movement. I’d be able to help her work on her pelvis to move better. As the pelvis is attached to her lower back and rotation comes also from the mid back I was required to give her exercises for the back too. The body is an integrated system so one muscle not relaxing will probably impact other muscles. Her right shoulder (vital for swimming) wasn’t moving as well as her left so also something to work on there.
I sent her home with some exercises to help with the pelvis and back first. Luckily she was another perfect client and was religious with her exercises. She came back the next week and told me that her pelvis was already feeling
better in the water. So with a better moving pelvis I sent her home with some conditioning exercises to help firm the good work in place together with some more pelvis and back exercises to release the muscles. We also spoke about trying to move around more during the day to reduce the effects of extended sitting.
The third session showed both her pelvis and back passing all the screens that we do and so we moved onto releasing muscles in the shoulder. I also continued with conditioning exercises of her pelvis and we introduced some stabilisation to the core muscles. This is important to do once the pelvis and back is moving well so that you have a good base before adding core strengthening otherwise you are conditioning the core to support a pelvis and back that are not moving optimally.
The following weeks continued like this. I worked together with Corrien to make sure her muscles were moving better and then conditioning them. It was lovely following her progress each session and hearing about the increasing of kilometres that she was swimming. After 6 sessions we felt she was ready to go.
And Corrien came up with the goods! She successfully swam the Dart 10km swim on the 10th of September in 2:56:19. I am super proud of her.
Author: Lorna Wilson
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