Thursday, February 3, 2011

Well...Hello There Gastroc

"I'll get you my and my little trapezius and gastroc friends!"  ((Yes, I know that's not a good take off of the quote...but it fit what I wanted to say better so I just went with it!))

Ever since I started swimming I've had some new day-after aches.  Today I have some especially loud muscles (deltoids, trapezius, and surprisingly enough my calf muscles).

I get why my deltoids, and even my trapezius, are sore-look at the picture above and you will too if it's not immediately apparent.  Yesterday I worked my arms harder than usual as I focused on PULLING my body through the water.  Let me just say that would be a lot easier if there were something more substantial than water to grab on to!  ((If you aren't a swimmer that might not make sense, but I learned yesterday how inefficient kicking really is and the secret to a strong swim is to put your hand in the water and PULL your body up to your hand, and then push it past your hand.  It's the same sort of motion you use when you put your hands on the side of the pool and pull your body up out of the water.))

The muscles that have given me the most fits are my calf muscles.  They have been particularly tired every day I swim, and then particularly sore the next day.  I just couldn't figure it out.  I watched a cool youtube video this morning as I was preparing this post that said the calf muscles are used as support (as opposed to primary) muscles.  But, let me just say the fatigue I'm having is telling me those puppies are pulling a little more weight than they should.  I couldn't figure out why until I started really thinking through how each muscle is being used.

Then it hit me.  Duh!  HELLO!!

I push off from the wall every. Single. Time.  Not "just" a flip turn (I don't know how to do that yet), but a strong, propel-me-as-far-as-I-can-go-so-I-can-use-my-arms-less kind of power push off.  I think the other factor is using the fins.  I LOVE using the fins.  They are my swimming bestie (maybe even more than my goggles!).  However, I think they cause my legs to "interact" with the water in a different way and force me to use my lower leg and ankle a bit more than I would without them.  (But the pay off of FLYING through the water is worth it!)

I had heard swimming is a total body work out...and after watching this video (the same one linked above), I believe it.  ((Yes, it took watching the video--NOT the aches and pains I've been fighting off like flying monkeys--to make me a believer.))  (Be sure to pause the music player before you press play on the video.)

Thanks for stopping in. Come again soon!

1 comment:

  1. I swam with the fins for almost a year. Big ones then smaller ones. They gave me the confidence to swim through the water. When I finally transitioned to no fins it felt like I was stuck in low gear. I am so afraid that they will become a crutch that I hardly ever use them now. I kick very little. I figure I save the legs for running and biking in the triathlons. Good look and keep swimming it has been great for me.


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