Sarah Sjostrom’s Elbow Rehab Progresses to ‘Pushups’ after 4cm Muscle Loss

Olympic gold medalist and World Record holder Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden has progressed to a new stage in her rehab from a broken elbow.

In a video posted Friday to her Instagram account, Sjostrom demonstrated the first stage of a pushup progression that puts her on the path to bearing greater weight.

In the caption to the video, Sjostrom says that she loss around 4 centimeters (1.5 inches) of muscle mass on her right arm while recovering from surgery. In early February, Sjostrom slipped on ice while visiting a friend, resulting in a broken elbow. A surgery to repair the fracture had her entire arm encased in a temporary cast and sling, with a metal plate and screws inserted into the elbow.

Sjostrom is starting her pushup progress by doing pushups almost upright against a bar on a weight rack. Because of the angle of the body, these pushups put much more of the bodyweight on the legs, reducing the amount of strain on the upper body (useful both in injury rehab and for beginners to maintain proper form in early stages of work). As the bar is lowered on the rack, more-and-more weight will transfer to the upper body.

Sjostrom returned to the water in early March, though she has been doing primarily kicking work.

The 27-year old Sjostrom won gold in the 100 fly, silver in the 200 free, and bronze in the 100 free at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. She is also an 11-time World Champion (8 in long course, 3 in short course) and 22-time European Champion.

Sjostrom currently holds 6 World Records in individual events: the most current individual World Records of any swimmer, and the most current World Records of any variety by a woman.

She was also the MVP of the first season of the International Swimming League in 2019. Even before her elbow injury, she was dealing with a back injury during the 2020 season, which kept her out of 1 regular season meet for the runner-up Energy Standard club.

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1 year ago

Go Sarah!!!!

1 year ago

Go Sarah! The swimming universe is rooting for you!

Mr Piano
1 year ago

Really would love to see her win Olympic gold in Tokyo, whether it’s the 50 free, or 100 free/fly

Reply to  Mr Piano
1 year ago

and tying for gold with ikee in any of those events

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Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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