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sparx35
September 17th, 2003, 05:15 PM
i thought i'd have a right good workout tonight,did freestyle and breastroke alternately 50's but after 750metres of not too fast a swim my calf muscles started to twinge/cramp up,cos i've had this before i eased off and just did breastroke for another1500metres by this time it had gone,so i returnes to alternate freestyle then breastroke every 25 for the last 750 this with occasional rest was ok...i've always thought it was lack of salt but whats the deal with cramps cos it really bugs me ,but not all the time?

eliana2003
September 17th, 2003, 06:09 PM
i'm not a dr., but i would recommend stretching the calf muscles before and after training... also, someone told me once that taking quinine in tonic water helps with charley horse cramps, so i'd also give that a go...

good luck!

WaterRat
September 18th, 2003, 12:12 PM
You might find this previous thread helpful.

USMS Discussion Forums > General > General Discussions > Charley Horse What causes it?
Last post was 3/11/2003

sparx35
September 18th, 2003, 04:54 PM
thanks for the advice waterat,the old thread was very informative.think i'll have to buy some bananas when i next can.

sparx35
September 22nd, 2003, 04:55 PM
i tried a couple of bananas the last couple of days and when i swam tonight i did 3000metres and No "charlie horse",thanx 4 the good advice..

WaterRat
September 22nd, 2003, 05:30 PM
I'm glad to hear that worked out for you.

Gareth Eckley
September 28th, 2003, 04:48 PM
My first thought with 'calf cramps' would be to check your ankle flexibility. If you have limited planter flexion (less than 90 degrees ) then you have to contract the calf muscle to point the foot to where you can have a useful kick. If you do this for long periods then you will have cramps developing.

This would also explain why the cramping eased off on your Breaststroke set. You are using more "dorsi flexion" and less "plantar flexion" when kicking in Breaststroke.

The site: www.zoomers.net has more info under "the Kick".

John L
December 26th, 2012, 02:10 PM
My situation is a little different. If I swim at lunch every thing is fine. EVERY time I swim in the morning I get calf cramps. I swim about a mile over the 35-40 minutes, it may be pushing off the wall that starts it, or backstroke for some reason may kick it in, or on intervals swimming hard. I like swimming early, but this isn't fun with the cramps. I've tried drinking or not water drinking, eating or not eating, stretching or not - all the same so far. Any ideas? I've asked people I know at the pool to no avail. Now I'll try this forum. Thanx!

__steve__
December 27th, 2012, 11:46 AM
I usually experience cramping as endurance related. My quads go out after fly, or my hamstrings will cramp, for instance, if I did weights prior to swimming. But like you mentioned, I bet your calves are probably cramping from the push-offs. What might make the problem worse is the calf is partially contracted to keep toes pointed while swimming.

If you havent tried already:

- calf raises with weights to strengthen the muscles (might get worse for awhile first)
- ankle stretching so your toes will naturally point streamlined and the exhausted (from push-offs) calves won't need to help

jaadams1
December 28th, 2012, 01:44 AM
Hydration...lots of it, and all day long. I used to cramp like crazy, especially when I first joined up with my age group club team (now @ 35 yrs.) Just the increase in double the yardage, and quadruple the intensity did it for me, as well as the intense amount of kicking. It took me well over a month for my body to adjust to the increased workload, even with lots of hydration, but you must. They will go away eventually, but it will take time. Now I find I'm only cramping if I don't drink enough water at work during the day...good thing water is the #1 ingredient in soda pop!! :)

aqueoushumor
December 29th, 2012, 12:24 PM
Hydration...lots of it, and all day long. I used to cramp like crazy, especially when I first joined up with my age group club team (now @ 35 yrs.) Just the increase in double the yardage, and quadruple the intensity did it for me, as well as the intense amount of kicking. It took me well over a month for my body to adjust to the increased workload, even with lots of hydration, but you must. They will go away eventually, but it will take time. Now I find I'm only cramping if I don't drink enough water at work during the day...good thing water is the #1 ingredient in soda pop!! :)

Flex your toes when you get a cramp, V8 juice, and if by any chance you are taking a Beta Blocker check with your doctor before taking Quinine.