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A Young Swimmer’s Journey Back to the Pool After Surgery

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A Young Swimmer’s Journey Back to the Pool After Surgery

Injuries and setbacks are an unfortunate part of sports and trying to make it to the highest level. They can often seem like an impossible hurdle to overcome, disrupting all momentum and progress you have been able to make up until this point. However, this setback can also be a blessing in disguise, a chance to work on particular issues that have been neglected or an opportunity to test your own resiliency.

This exact situation occurred for one of our young athletes Mia, who is a star swimmer. After multiple interrupted seasons due to covid, her first full season back saw her suffering a knee injury that would require surgery and a significant time out of the pool and period of recovery. This news obviously was very hard for her despite the brave face when she came into the gym, we know that the situation was really affecting her. The sudden change in lifestyle from having either swim or strength training every morning or night around school left her with a lot of free time.

The good news came when we found out that the recovery time would not have to be as long as first thought, and she would be able to get back into the pool a lot quicker. The effects of the surgery and extended time of rehab resulted in significant muscle loss and a change in body composition. The positive takeaway is that because of her extended period of strength training in the past, it won't take long to regain the strength and muscle mass lost post-surgery.

Working alongside the physio we were able to make a plan to get her back inti the gym as soon as we could. Firstly, working on the upper body and minimising the amount of walking around the gym while she is still in a knee brace with limited flexion. Over the weeks, the range of motion in her knee was able to increase and more load and mobility included with her lower body. At the moment we are working on hinging and getting some strength back into the glutes. Mia is also able to start swimming again, only working on her pull and not kicking at the moment.

Mia's hard work and consistency should be commended, and she should be very proud of herself. It's not easy to keep showing up when things get tough but she has remained consistent and we're sure she'll see the success she is after.

The earlier you put in the work, the better prepared you are for a situation out of your control. Mia could've been a lot worse if she hadn't been strength training and didn't have a solid base before her injury. Despite your current circumstance there are always things you can work on, sitting at home and hiding away because of an injury won't help in your recovery. 

The importance of having the right support and guidance when recovering from injury is vital to returning to your sport. This is especially important for young athletes. Find out more by downloading our FREE "Parent's Guide to the Top 3 Problems Facing Youth Athletes Today"

Matt Hucul

Strength Coach

Inner Athlete Performance

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