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Mobility: "Swim Stroke"

Swim Stroke-1    Swim Stroke-2    Swim Stroke-3    Swim Stroke-4

OBJECTIVE: Open shoulders & lats.

  1. Stand upright.

  2. Straighten arms then swing arms forward in big circles with full range of motion.  Do NOT bend elbow with each stroke—the movement should come from the shoulder joint.

  3. Repeat all reps forward then reverse for “backstroke” reps using technique above.

  4. Perform 5-10 reps on each side in each direction.

Exercise Figure Tips: Do your best to swing arms in shoulder joints with healthy and "full" ranges of motion.  Try not to bend elbows to protect or compensate for tight shoulders--do your best to move "from the shoulders" and NOT from the elbows for the most benefit.

  • A very simple exercise for increasing functional and healthy mobility, but you'd be surprised at many people cannot do this movement properly!  They end up just flexing the elbows and never really swinging arms in a true circle. 

  • After trying above tips, if you still cannot swing arms in big circles over shoulders because of excessive tightness, hold arms more out to side in 'T' shape then swing with smaller circles--kind of like a cone shape with the shoulders being the narrow end of the cone and the hands being the top, or larger, part of the cone.  Over the course of many weeks, gradually work your "cone swings" into larger and larger circles going more and more over the tops of shoulders until you get the full "swim stroke" swing.

  • This is one of my favorite "extras" before I do hard lifting.

  • Mobility Exercises (Directions)
  • Mobility Exercises (Organizer List Only)

*Note: This exercise is intended for "normal healthy" individuals.  If you have an injury, or abnormal pain is present,
see your physician or a certified physical therapist before continuing your exercises. 

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(Updated 5-28-05)

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