Effect of stretching and strengthening shoulder muscles on forward shoulder posture in competitive swimmers

Mark Kluemper, Tim Uhl, Heath Hazelrigg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Context: Imbalanced shoulder muscles might cause poor posture in swimmers, which has been implicated as potential cause of injury. Objective: To determine whether a training program can reduce forward shoulder posture. Design: Prospective pseudorandomized. Setting: College swimming pool. Participants: 39 competitive swimmers (age 16 ± 2 years) divided into an exercise group (n = 24) and a control group (n = 15). Intervention: The experimental group performed a partner-stretching program on the anterior shoulder muscles and a strengthening regimen focusing on the posterior shoulder muscles for 6 weeks. The control group participated in normal swim-training activities. Main Outcome Measures: Shoulder posture was measured as the distance from the anterior acromion to a wall using a double-square method. Results: The experimental group significantly reduced the distance of the acromion from the wall in a resting posture (-9.6 ± 7.3 mm) as compared with the control group (-2.0 ± 6.9 mm). Conclusions: A training routine might reduce the forward shoulder posture present in most competitive swimmers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-70
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Sport Rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2006


  • Athletic injury
  • Exercise therapy
  • Prevention
  • Therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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