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ATG For Swimmers

Question:

Hello ATG fam and @kneesovertoesguy,

I know ATG wasn’t created for swimmers but the principles apply beautifully. I just made a few modifications that maybe you guys can help me with to see if there are any dangers I don’t see. A little background, I am relatively new to ATG, I have been doing the exercises informally for about 6 months and just enrolled for ATG coaches. I have the biggest Youtube swimming channel 700k followers (and 400k in Spanish). I don’t want mislead my audience. The swimming community has been talking about full range for a long time, but I haven’t seen anyone strengthening the athletic range outside of the pool. Shoulder external rotations should be required for every single simmer, along with the ankle exercises. But I was missing an important movement for the shoulders. I looked at Michael Phelps, (success leaves clues) and found this position on the picture to be the most representative from

all 4 swimming strokes in terms of athletic range and being strong in the most vulnerable joint position. Also Milak on the other picture, who broke Phelps’ world record. I have tried pull-overs but since it doesn’t work one arm at a time it isn’t great to find differences between the shoulders, I had a tighter left shoulder. I tried Poliquin flys but their were too chest focused. So I made up this exercise that I couldn’t find anywhere, or maybe it has been done, I don’t know. The first video you can see my left arm doesn’t go as low and I am using 10lbs. I have been doing this exercise twice a week. After two months carefully progressing, I can now do 15lbs and double the repetitions. My wife has gained mobility also. We both feel better in the water. Since I haven’t seen anyone do this exercise I don’t know how safe this is. Am I missing something? Do you think it is safe to keep slowly progressing with load and reps? Is this something I should recommend in my channel? Thanks for everything.


Answer:

WOW this is fascinating! Mauri I helped an older swimmer medal at the last Olympics just from getting some spark back, but I believe you can make breakthroughs in applying ATG to swimmers, that I can’t…

I am a HUGE fan of the Pullover exercise so the way you’re doing it unilateral makes a ton of sense for a swimmer, and at that angle. I have some suspicions:

1. Freaky external, Powell, and trap-3 could deliver more power with minimal overall mass accumulation

2. Are you doing full ranges for the shoulders

3. SLED

I say sled because you don’t actually hypertrophy from sled. So it could be a great way to power up the legs - again without weight increase.

I believe any human motion is safe if done gradually at tolerable levels, recovering, repeating, etc. AND WITH BALANCE TO THE OPPOSING SIDE. So I believe your exercise there is safe if also working the Trap-3 Raise.

Please keep us posted on what you find useful as you go. And very done on your successful swimming channel! That’s OUTSTANDING.

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