As i’m watching the Olympics I’m wondering what I’ve often wondered in the past. Why do swimmers have such broad shoulders ? Ofcourse swimming uses mainly the back and shoulder muscles but they develop a shape seen in no other sport. It actualy looks like swimmers have a really wide bone structure at the shoulders (there’s a name for that bone wich I don’t know) more than actualy over developed shoulder muscles. Does their movement shape a different bone structure ? Really curious on the mechanics of this.
I imagine it is a combination of factors. They develop a large lung capacity which expands the ribcage is one factor. Also, genetics. The swimmers you see on tv are the best in the world and it takes a certain body type to excel at their level. Just like basketball forwards and centers are tall (not b/c of their training), the best swimmers also tend to have the body type you see on tv. The shorter swimmers get weeded out because they can only go so far with conditioning and form. To be elite, one needs the extra leverage that comes from a lanky body. I’m sure someone else can shed more insight on this.
Due to my newfound forced interest in swimming (see my other post today), I can answer this. It’s not that the movement shapes the athlete. It’s that a wide clavicle is naturally conducive to a more efficient stroke. It’s a genetic advantage that helps swimmers reach the elite level. Someone posted a link that delves into this topic. Check out my thread to see it. It’s very interesting.