Influence of shoulder range of motion on 50-yard freestyle times of division III female collegiate s

June 29, 2010 / By: Kristina Henshue

Swimming is one of the oldest, most popular and frequently researched sports in the world.  It has been proven that swimmers traditionally have greater glenohumeral joint laxity compared to a normalized group (Bak, Klaus, and Peter Magnusson, 1997).  Increased joint range of motion creates significant problems for swimmers often known as swimmer’s shoulder (Ho, Sherwin S).  However, this increased joint range of motion could be beneficial for competitive swimmers.  This study examines the influence of shoulder joint range of motion on 50-yard freestyle times of Division III female collegiate swimmers (age: 20.20, ±1.51, height: 65.10, ±2.47, weight: 142.55, ±11.31).  Determining the role shoulder laxity plays in swim times could influence training techniques and establish whether or not stretching of the shoulders is important for swimmers.  It was predicted that swimmers with greater shoulder range of motion would have faster 50-yard freestyle times.  A Saunders digital inclinometer was used to measure shoulder range of motion of ten Division III female collegiate swimmers.  Internal rotation, external rotation, flexion, and extension were measured on subjects’ right and left shoulders.  Each subjects average 50-yard freestyle times were obtained from the 2009-2010 University of St. Thomas swim season records.  Minitab 15 was used to conduct a Pearson Product Moment correlation between subject’s shoulder range of motion measured in degrees and average 50-yard freestyle times.  Results determined there were little/no correlation between right and left internal rotation, right and left external rotation, right and left flexion, and right extension and 50-yard freestyle times.  A weak negative correlation between left extension and 50-yard freestyle times indicated that as left extension increased, 50-yard freestyles times decreased.  Results suggest there is little relationship between should joint range of motion and 50-yard freestyle times of Division III female collegiate swimmers.