View Full Version : New Swimmer

April 5th, 2017, 02:56 PM
Hi guys,

I'm a new swimmer, not so new maybe. I learned swimming when I was a child but stopped swimming after partially learning breaststroke.

After 15 years I'm back to swimming with bad skills. I'm obese and had slipped disk in my backbone before, so doctor advised me to swim and yoga. I'm very into swimming recently, i find it challenging and interesting.

I do have a few questions and hope I get some advice/feedback from the relevant community. Hope you guys don't mind me asking. :)

1) when doing breaststroke, both of my legs float a lot (too easily) even when I'm breathing in air (i.e. head sticks out of water). It feels like my body is in a skydiving posture. I see that a lot of people have their legs sink a little when they their head stick out of water). I heard that obese or overweight people are more likely to float more. Is this true and is this the reason why my legs are floating a lot? No matter how hard I try, my legs just wouldn't sink too much (especially feet will stick out of water too). Maybe there are some mistakes?

2) one of my motivations for swimming is to lose excessive fats, so I'm counting calories. I don't feel too tired after swimming like my sister, my muscles don't feel sore like how i feel when doing gym, does that mean I didn't swim hard enough to burn enough calories?

Sorry if my questions sound silly and thanks if you're helping me out! :)

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April 6th, 2017, 12:22 PM
Hello! Welcome to the world of swimming!

1) I can't comment on this one, my legs do sink a little when my head is up for air. This was the case as well when I was at my heaviest (~ 3 months after giving birth to my 3rd kid).

2) I don't think you should judge how much calories you are burning based on your soreness. The first few days of swimming after a very long hiatus, I was sore. But since then, no matter how much more I've been swimming, I don't get sore. I get "happy tired" instead. I assume it is because I am using the same muscles each time. I don't know how long or often you are currently swimming, but you may want to consider doing intervals at different speeds. It gets the heart pumping. Ever since I've started swimming regularly, I feel happier, my clothes fit better, even though my weight is not on the number range I wanted it to be. So I've stopped weighing myself and I've stopped counting calories. I have a garmin swim watch. It determines the stroke, the lap count and calculates the estimated calories burnt. You might find it useful.

April 6th, 2017, 05:57 PM
Welcome, SwimSwam! :welcome:

It is true that obese or overweight people float easier than people with less fat, so this could contribute to your body position when you are swimming breaststroke. Having said that, using proper stroke technique is the most important factor in swimming properly.

The only way any of us Forumites would know what to advise is to see your breaststroke technique. Could you have somebody shoot a video clip of you swimming? If so, post it on YouTube, and then include the link on this thread. Once we see your breaststroke in action, we'll be able to give you advise. :agree:

Good luck!

April 8th, 2017, 12:28 PM
Just a thought, but having your legs float up (I get that, as I'm a big gal), coupled with breaststroke has got to be putting some strain on your back, so be mindful of that. Have you tried freestyle yet? I'm a big fan of that stroke and using a swim snorkel as you're adjusting to it. Others do not care for the snorkels, but I have a bunged up neck so it's a must for me.