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  1. syberia is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/24/2008 8:44pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Swimming, dont leave it out!

    Hello all, I thought Iíd post something on swimming in here, because there didnít seem to be too much about it in here and I thought it might be good. If you donít like it, press the ďbackí button and all will be good again.

    First of all my experience with swimming is as follows, between the ages of three and six it was pretty much just flailing around in shallow water (sometimes deeper water, but I managed to survive), from the age of six or seven (and is ongoing) I have been a member of my local squad team, as both a swimmer and assistant coach. Not to mention water skiing and other such related activities.
    I hold a current Lifeguard certificate and am assistant manager at my local (30m) pool. I am also a swim teacher. I do not claim to be a true expert or professional coach, but feel free to ask questions on techniques and methods, or add your comments, complaints or quotes if you like!

    I know that many of you already incorporate swimming into your lifestyle, but I am just as sure that some of you couldnít swim to save your life (no offence). You would be surprised at the number of people (adults and kids alike) that come in whoíve just never learnt or been around pools to learn how to swim.

    Why swim? Well, thatís pretty strait forward. Itís fun. Mucking around in the water with mates is possibly the best solution to a hot day ever. Even just jumping in and doing laps is an awesome way to cool down. And it has benefits that out of the water exercises donít.
    Swimming is an excellent way to improve your cardio, all round fitness and muscle development. Because youíre in the water, there is less strain on your joints, meaning it is excellent for those recovering from injuries. (see your doctor before beginning any regime of exercise ;) ) Also, the more experience you have in the water, the safer you are in it. If you ever get into trouble, you are less likely to panic.

    For those who want to do serious fitness training, laps are the way to go. If there is a casual squad at your pool, check them out. I like to get in and do about a 1km swim, mixture of all six strokes. But you can add or take from that amount any way you like. Others love to do sprints, or endurance swims, or a lot of specific drills (kicks, pulls etc) depending on the area who want to improve on most. For those with sore or injured shoulders, I would suggest backing off from out of water recovery strokes (especially butterfly) as it may hinder your recovery. Those with dodgy knees donít push your self to include breaststroke and Survival back, as the flick kick can be detrimental. But consult your doc/physio as to your own specific needs.

    For those looking for less intense fitness or who donít enjoy laps then water aerobics classes can be found at most complexes that run classes. If they donít, then enquire and see if you can get enough interest together. As before, it has similar benefits to normal aerobics, without the strain on your joints. Being in the water means that there is more resistance to your movements, this builds up more of a natural strength. While at the same time, there is natural buoyancy, making balance and many movements easier. This is excellent for those recovering from injury, because of its slower, gentler nature. Also good for those whoíre pregnant, there shouldnít be any danger to the baby what so ever.

    For those who have never been swimming and wouldnít have the first clue as to how it works, go to your pool (try and go with mates, itís safer) and see how you go as far as confidence in the water. Some people are fine until they get out of their depth; others canít get their face wet. I would suggest looking into swimming lessons, most pools should run them. If you donít want to, or donít have access to lessons then all you can do is keep trying until you build up a natural confidence. If you have friends who can swim at any degree, getting them to come along as moral support is awesome. Play. Play games, muck around where you can stand. Get used to moving in the water at a depth you can handle. But honestly, and donít feel embarrassed, swim lessons are the way to go.
    At a beginners level lessons should include: practicing floating and gliding, getting your face wet and getting things off the bottom of the pool, water familiarity and general safety rules. As you move up, strokes and rescue techniques will be included, depending on you teacher, the program and the pool. Even if you can swim and want to fine tune your strokes, you will find a level for you. Lessons should run for (and all teachers should be able to cater for) all swimming levels.

    Attire:

    What you wear while swimming will depend on what youíre doing. For laps/ lessons you should wear tight fitting bathers (bathing suits, swim suits, togs). Loose clothing such as board shorts, baggy shirts and such will only hinder you. Though if you are doing lessons you will be required to prove you can move in them and remove them in the water at some point. Cap and goggles are also suggested, but not required. A cap does keep your head warm and improves aqua dynamics. Latex ones can be nasty, so go for silicon. Goggles are to keep your eyes safe. Swimming pools are required to use chemicals to keep them clean and safe, so chlorine is a factor (for more info on pool chemicals ask me, or see your local pool). This will sting your eyes after long exposure, or if the balance of the pool is off, or if you are sensitive to it. Get yourself a good pair if youíre serious, cheap supermarket ones donít last. Australians, Speedosí or Zoggsí are the safest bet, other countries- sorry I donít know much about your markets. For those who want to go further with their swimming you can find a lot of equipment. Flippers, help your kick technique and strength. Pool buoys, held between the legs to build strength in arms. Kickboards are very good for your kicking, get one. Thereís more, if youíre interested ask, or see your sports store.
    Open water swimming, generally wear warm things. Wetsuits, boardies and rashies are all good. Keep away from some polo tops or cotton shirts, as they suck the heat away like a vent. And keep a lifejacket (PFD) handy.

    Keep in mind that at a pool you will be supervised, as there should be a lifeguard on deck at all times. They are your friend, if you experience trouble, hurt yourself or feel very tired, find them and let them know. If you need assistance in the water put your hand up to signal. Asthma sufferers keep in mind you condition and have your Ventolin handy, if you have an attack, the lifeguard should see it and help you.

    If you guys want to hear more on techniques, different water areas, kids lessons or have other questions Iím happy to answer them. I also know about open water safety and teaching, not just pools. If I cant answer Iíll research Ďtill I can, but Iím sure many other bullies who swim will be just as helpful.
    Sorry if itís to long.
  2. Jadonblade is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/24/2008 9:37pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Good stuff, pity I couldnt plus rep. I like to do swimming atleast once a week when possible, its all good stuff whatever you are doing in there. One thing I would add as most people here get the best out of training when competitive. Water polo, pretty intense and a sure fire way to get into good shape and good swimming skills.
  3. syberia is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/24/2008 9:42pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Thanks. Water Polo is awesome, and for those who live in cities you'll find an awesome scene for it. I've played it a bit, never been particualy good though.

    Other sports: Competitive swimming, underwater hocky (rare), Skiing, wakeboreding, triathalons (spelling?), endurance/ open water swimming, surfing, snorkling, scuba diving... well, you get it, there is alot of sports to which good swimming ability is applied.
  4. Jadonblade is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/24/2008 9:45pm

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     Style: San Da, Judo, BJJ

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Its been a few years since I had a swimming coach and Im pretty sure my technique has gone to **** but I have a question. Does good technique = good fitness benefits? or would it be the other way around. For example doggy paddle is very tiring.
  5. partyboy is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/24/2008 9:51pm


     Style: bjj/(not enough)MT

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    [begin corny jokes here]
    do you have any pictures you can give us of some techniques that you use for swimming? some that come to mind are the backwards crawl and the breast stroke.

    notably about the attire: again, pictures are needed for us to really 'get the picture' so to speak so could you, ah, post some pictures of you in your swim suits?
    [end corny jokes here]

    seriously though, the most swimming I get in is jumping in the pool after the football. I wish I could do more but I'm too lazy to get a membership for any real pool around here.

    good post.
  6. syberia is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/24/2008 9:59pm

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     Style: BJJ

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Its been a few years since I had a swimming coach and Im pretty sure my technique has gone to **** but I have a question. Does good technique = good fitness benefits? or would it be the other way around. For example doggy paddle is very tiring.
    Depends on how bad it is. I've seen, for example, breatstroke kick so terrible she was actually moving backwards. The better your technique the easier your move through the water, the faster you become and the easier it is to focus on distance and speed. Doggy paddle: You're tired because what you're doing does expend alot of energy, but will have little benifits as far as muscle and flexibility goes.

    If you're still able to move at a comfortable speed and in a comfortable position then you will be able to do your laps, but if the incorrect technique is hindering you then all it will lead to is sore muscles. Eg, if you bend from your knees to much in freestyle/ backstoke kick it can put unwarrented pressure on you're knees, you'll sink and you're arms will get tired very quickly.
  7. syberia is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/24/2008 10:02pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by partyboy
    [begin corny jokes here]
    do you have any pictures you can give us of some techniques that you use for swimming? some that come to mind are the backwards crawl and the breast stroke.

    notably about the attire: again, pictures are needed for us to really 'get the picture' so to speak so could you, ah, post some pictures of you in your swim suits?
    [end corny jokes here].
    Lol, we'll see how we go...

    seriously though, the most swimming I get in is jumping in the pool after the football. I wish I could do more but I'm too lazy to get a membership for any real pool around here.

    good post
    Even mucking around in the water has its benifits. We actually have a few football (AFL) club come and do training sessions once a month. They do some dry land strength etc, then jump in and do a few laps...

    They're good days to work actually... Hmmm footy players...
  8. partyboy is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/24/2008 10:15pm


     Style: bjj/(not enough)MT

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    we actually used to do lap drills for (american) football in college... usually it was an excuse to f' around and not have to be outside in the 100 degree weather
  9. syberia is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/24/2008 10:21pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    It is a good excuse. I work at an outdoor pool, without an aircon in the office, such fun on those forty degree (about 100 F) days. Good to have a swim at the end of the day...
  10. Crossbolt is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/25/2008 1:20am

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Jujitsu and Karate

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    What's a good way to increase the time I can hold my breath? I swim about once a week. Every time I mostly practice swimming completely underwater. I guess I should jsut stick to laps huh? Thanks for posting by the way, it was a good read.
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