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Chicken of the Sea
March 8th, 2010, 01:39 PM
Hi all,

I'm a very late onset swimmer. I took up swimming at the age of 33, after a lifetime of tennis (a lot of tennis). As a result, my right side is very strong, but my left side is really only along for the ride. It wasn't a big deal until I started doing some longer swims about a year ago. I was having a lot of pain in my left shoulder. My esteemed coach, Chris Colburn, saved me by pointing out that my left hand entry was messed up and I was dropping my left elbow. I'm still trying to fix that, and think of almost nothing else (aside from food and sex) while doing my long swims.

My left side is still very weak. I tried wearing a paddle on my left hand last night while swimming and I could barely pull it through the water.

I really need to strengthen my left side and I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on exercises. I bought some of those elastic cords but I'm a bit bewildered as to the best way to use them to improve swimming.

qbrain
March 8th, 2010, 01:56 PM
I would love to help you Chicken of the Sea, but I lack the literary skill to explain the exercises in terms of food and sex. But fear not, I am sure someone will be along with a exercise program modeled in cucumbers and bananas that will be perfectly clear.

ourswimmer
March 8th, 2010, 01:59 PM
Complete Conditioning for Swimming is full of recommendations for dryland exercises. Most of them are with stretch cords, light weights, or body weight. One chapter is all about basic foundational strength for balance and injury prevention and another is about stroke-specific strength.

If your budget allows, consider private Pilates instruction or personal training. Read the book too, though.

:banana:

That Guy
March 8th, 2010, 04:52 PM
ATTENTION MICHAEL QUINN

JIM THORNTON KNOWS YOUR PASSWORD

you should probably change it before he does

qbrain
March 8th, 2010, 04:58 PM
ATTENTION MICHAEL QUINN

JIM THORNTON KNOWS YOUR PASSWORD

you should probably change it before he does

Doh!

That's what I get for making my password JimieT.

Chicken of the Sea
March 8th, 2010, 06:19 PM
Doh!

That's what I get for making my password JimieT.

Isn't that everyone's password?

Chicken of the Sea
March 8th, 2010, 06:20 PM
Complete Conditioning for Swimming is full of recommendations for dryland exercises. Most of them are with stretch cords, light weights, or body weight. One chapter is all about basic foundational strength for balance and injury prevention and another is about stroke-specific strength.

If your budget allows, consider private Pilates instruction or personal training. Read the book too, though.

:banana:

Thanks! that'll give me something else to think about :)

The Fortress
March 8th, 2010, 06:35 PM
Hi all,

I'm a very late onset swimmer. I took up swimming at the age of 33, after a lifetime of tennis (a lot of tennis). As a result, my right side is very strong, but my left side is really only along for the ride. It wasn't a big deal until I started doing some longer swims about a year ago. I was having a lot of pain in my left shoulder. My esteemed coach, Chris Colburn, saved me by pointing out that my left hand entry was messed up and I was dropping my left elbow. I'm still trying to fix that, and think of almost nothing else (aside from food and sex) while doing my long swims.

My left side is still very weak. I tried wearing a paddle on my left hand last night while swimming and I could barely pull it through the water.

I really need to strengthen my left side and I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on exercises. I bought some of those elastic cords but I'm a bit bewildered as to the best way to use them to improve swimming.

Ack!!! Don't put an evil paddle on your week side. Paddles will likely worsen the pain.

Salo's book does indeed have detailed instructions and illustrations. The book Swimming Anatomy is also very good and includes weights (besides RC) that you can do to strengthen swimming muscles.

Tubing:
- Bent (single) arm internal rotation
- Bent (single) arm external rotation
- Extended (single) arm internal rotation
- Extended (single) arm external rotation
- Extended (simultaneous) arms external rotation

Ball work:
Bounce med ball on wall standing close to wall.
Tennis ball: put on wall and circle clockwise and counter-clockwise with left and right arms.

Good & bad stretches for the shoulder. Stop the bad ones! http://www.usaswimming.org/USASWEB/_Rainbow/Documents/8ac5c21e-4553-4f7b-8521-ab053afcd30e/Shoulder%20Stretching%20Literature%20Review%200909 07.pdf

Here's some good explanations: http://www.orthop.washington.edu/uw/tabID__3422/Default.aspx

Do more kicking! And use fins some! Do not take advice from Jimi. I think the only thing he does for his shoulder is external rotators.

qbrain
March 8th, 2010, 08:51 PM
I'm a very late onset swimmer. I took up swimming at the age of 33, after a lifetime of tennis (a lot of tennis). As a result, my right side is very strong, but my left side is really only along for the ride.

Ok, I will try to be a little more serious, but this is my opinion, not medical fact, and I am not even going to try to back anything I say up with evidence.

You don't have a strength imbalance, you have a neuromuscular imbalance. By this I mean you used your dominant side for so long for so much while neglecting your left, you have much better neuro connectivity on your right side compared to your left side.

What you need to do to start correcting this, and it will take about 33 years in your case, is that you need to start using your left side instead of your right side. Eat with your left hand, brush your teeth with your left, play tennis with your left hand, you get the idea.

True, your right side is stronger than your left side, but this isn't latent strength from tennis, it is current strength from continuing to do everything with your right hand and nothing with your left hand.

If you decide to pursue strength training with free weights, I recommend using dumbells exclusively. Work your left side first and never do more with your right side than you did with your left side, even though you easily could.

Pretty much anything that gets you left side more involved will help to develop more coordination, which should help your control of the left side in the water and finally help your swimming.

Bobinator
March 9th, 2010, 11:52 AM
Hi COS!
I suffer from some of the same problems as you do.
Do you bi-lateral breath when you swim? I didn't and for 6 months or so I have been forcing myself to do it. I feel like my body roll, kick, and evf (dropped elbow) have all improved due to bi-lateral breathing.
When I allow myself to go back to 1 sided swimming I can feel my kick fall apart (scissor kick) and the elbow on my left side drops.
I would recommend short sets when trying to make stroke changes. It's alot easier to focus hard for a 50-100 than do something new for 6,000 yards.
I am not an expert and I am still working on this so take my advice with a grain of salt!!!! :D

Chicken of the Sea
March 9th, 2010, 12:16 PM
thanks Bob, Qbrain and Fort!

yeah I'm a pretty strict bilateral breather, depending on conditions. The chiro couldn't believe it when he tested the strength on both sides.
Thanks for the advice on the paddle, Fort! I hate those things and I've got a busted up finger which doesn't make em easy to wear.
I'll definitely try some of those exercises.

orca1946
March 9th, 2010, 12:28 PM
Yeah - B L B is something I need to work on as well !

Chicken of the Sea
March 10th, 2010, 03:59 PM
The answer to my prayers!

YouTube- Body by Jake Tower 200 - Get Bigger, Harder, Stronger!