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AndriaL
April 2nd, 2017, 10:04 PM
I am fairly new to swimming and have started experiencing calf cramps the last two visits to the pool (during freestyle and fly). I typically stretch out my muscles after completing an initial 100 freestyle and continue to stretch off and on throughout my 1 hour workout. I try to stay hydrated throughout my workout and eat a dill pickle after each workout as I have heard they are good for muscle cramps.

Any other suggestions on how to avoid these calf cramps???

Thanks Everyone :)

Sojerz
April 3rd, 2017, 11:16 AM
Seems like you are dong the right things. Because you are just starting out, I think your are using and stretching calf muscles in ways that they weren't previously worked. Give it some time and the cramps should fade. For me, pushing off the walls and blocks tends to induce cramps when I'm tired, so push off easier if you can.

Cycling and other exercises (for instance box jumps) to build up your calves and add flexibility will also help. Getting older and less flexible doesn't help, but getting older beats the alternative.

ssumargo
April 3rd, 2017, 12:42 PM
I had similar cramps when I first started using training fins. I would avoid fins for a day, it got better, and when I put them back on, the cramps came back. Eventually it went away completely. I've used fins everyday this last week, and I didn't get any cramps.

Sumorunner
April 3rd, 2017, 07:53 PM
I guess I have to stop calling myself a newbie, since I've been swimming regularly for a couple years now, and even did a couple meets this winter, but I still get cramps in masters team practice where the coach makes me kick a lot. Seldom do I get any cramps in a normal lap swim day, i.e. slow and continuous with an almost non-existent kick. It's the hard kicking that brings it on. And fins kill me. The very thought of putting them on makes my toes cramp up. I'm a lifelong runner which made my forefeet wide from all the impact as well made the ankles inflexible. This means kicking makes the calves, shins, arches and toes do things running never prepared them for.

6 mos. ago I could get a cramp in a couple minutes under intense kicking. By Feb. it would be after about 40 minutes and recently I can make it through almost a whole hour before getting one.

I take a bottle of diluted pickle juice to practices, maybe 8-10 ounces. It works if you take it immediately when you get the cramps, then wait about 30 seconds. Eating a pickle after the workout is done doesn't help much, because if you have more sets to do and get a cramp, you're toast. The pickle juice allows you to go right back at it. I've also tried HotShots which are extremely spicy, like chugging hot sauce. That works too, but they are expensive. Pickle juice can be bought on amazon for about $25 a gallon and a gallon will take you a long way.

cinc3100
April 4th, 2017, 12:21 AM
I guess I have to stop calling myself a newbie, since I've been swimming regularly for a couple years now, and even did a couple meets this winter, but I still get cramps in masters team practice where the coach makes me kick a lot. Seldom do I get any cramps in a normal lap swim day, i.e. slow and continuous with an almost non-existent kick. It's the hard kicking that brings it on. And fins kill me. The very thought of putting them on makes my toes cramp up. I'm a lifelong runner which made my forefeet wide from all the impact as well made the ankles inflexible. This means kicking makes the calves, shins, arches and toes do things running never prepared them for.

6 mos. ago I could get a cramp in a couple minutes under intense kicking. By Feb. it would be after about 40 minutes and recently I can make it through almost a whole hour before getting one.

I take a bottle of diluted pickle juice to practices, maybe 8-10 ounces. It works if you take it immediately when you get the cramps, then wait about 30 seconds. Eating a pickle after the workout is done doesn't help much, because if you have more sets to do and get a cramp, you're toast. The pickle juice allows you to go right back at it. I've also tried HotShots which are extremely spicy, like chugging hot sauce. That works too, but they are expensive. Pickle juice can be bought on amazon for about $25 a gallon and a gallon will take you a long way.
Yes, its easy to get cramps from kicking. I usually do pulling more than kicking.