Re- swimming training: Are there any excercises that my son Liam would be doing for rugby league that would hinder his swimming development. I understand that in athletics for instance, certain coaches suggest that swimming for example may counteract against a runners development – I believe that this is regards to certain muscle development?
This is an area I have experienced only with AFL players and below are my thoughts.
Swimming is a great sport to develop all areas of the body. This includes the development of a strong upper body, especially around the shoulders. Swimming requires flexibility and swimmers often do exercises to keep their joints flexible so that they maintain a full range of motion when they are swimming. Swimming provides athletes with a very strong aerobic system and their fitness is normally a huge asset for running based sports.
Sports like AFL and rugby require athletes to develop muscle and ‘thicken up’ especially around the shoulder and knee joints to avoid injuries when tackled or changing direction quickly. For example, when they are tackled they want to ensure that their shoulders don’t just pop out on impact. It is therefore important that they are not too flexible around the joints.
The primary way swimming may counteract a runners development from my point of view is that swimming develops the upper body with strong muscles and definition. From my observations, track athletes are normally quite fine through the upper body so there is less weight to carry around the track.
That’s probably the extent of my knowledge Brett and others may be able to add their comments below.
The Swimming Expert