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Water_Ox
July 26th, 2017, 01:30 PM
So it would seem my low back is getting better now that I'm not overdoing the kickboard. I've since just switched to simple freestyle, doing about 10-20 touch and goes with fins and webbed gloves.

Last week my right neck and shoulder had been bothering me as a result and it doesn't seem to be going away despite me doing stretching every day.

So to date, since I have started swimming a few months ago I have had low back pain, elbow pain and now neck/shoulder pain. Everyone raves about how "low impact" swimming is- and I'd be happy to believe that because I am LOVING this new exercise- but I'm starting to wonder if I'm doing something terribly wrong or is this just something I need to "power through" as a newbie who is developing new muscle usage?

I really hope I can get through this because swimming is so fun and my heart rate and BP have been amazing since I started in this very short time.

ElaineK
July 26th, 2017, 02:26 PM
So it would seem my low back is getting better now that I'm not overdoing the kickboard. I've since just switched to simple freestyle, doing about 10-20 touch and goes with fins and webbed gloves.

Last week my right neck and shoulder had been bothering me as a result and it doesn't seem to be going away despite me doing stretching every day.

So to date, since I have started swimming a few months ago I have had low back pain, elbow pain and now neck/shoulder pain. Everyone raves about how "low impact" swimming is- and I'd be happy to believe that because I am LOVING this new exercise- but I'm starting to wonder if I'm doing something terribly wrong or is this just something I need to "power through" as a newbie who is developing new muscle usage?

I really hope I can get through this because swimming is so fun and my heart rate and BP have been amazing since I started in this very short time.

Swimming IS low impact, and, yes I am willing to bet you ARE doing something terribly wrong. Do NOT power through ANYTHING if you are feeling PAIN. :nono:

What are you doing terribly wrong? We (us Forumites reading your post) won't know unless we see video of your stroke technique. I highly recommend you have somebody shoot good, close-up video of your strokes. If you can get underwater footage, all the better. Upload the videos (25 yards each of your strokes is enough) and post them here on this thread. Your fellow Forumites will view the videos and offer tips on how to improve your strokes and avoid injury.

More suggestions:
1. Ditch the kickboard, fins, and webbed gloves for now until you get your stroke technique analyzed. You also need to build up strength and endurance without the toys before you add them back in.

2. Do dynamic stretching/warm-up exercises before you swim and static stretching after each swim session. Research both first to learn how to do them properly. (You say you stretch everyday, but are you doing it properly?)

3. Check out this book: https://www.amazon.com/Mastering-Swimming-Masters-Athlete-Montgomery/dp/0736074538/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1501093327&sr=8-1&keywords=mastering+swimming
It was my "bible" when I was a newbie Masters swimmer after 31 years out of the pool.

4. Get some coaching if possible. Since I didn't live close enough to a team, I trained on my own with the guidance of a part-time coach I hired by the hour. It was the best $ spent.

Good luck!
:cheerleader:
P.S. Where in California are you from? I'm a native, born and raised in Long Beach. I lived in San Diego most of my life.

Water_Ox
July 26th, 2017, 04:22 PM
Hey thanks a lot for the tips, I will definitely keep all of this in mind. I kind of wonder if the toys are bad for me as well. Especially the gloves? They create a lot of momentum but they also create a lot of resistance. It's been awesome for my upper body strength but I'm guessing maybe it's too much too fast for a total noob like me?

I live in northern california in Healdsburg (Sonoma wine country) but I was born in San Diego near La Mesa :)

Swimspire
July 26th, 2017, 04:50 PM
I agree with Elaine's points. I would be especially cautious about using the webbed gloves and the fins. If you don't have good ankle flexibility, you can put too much pressure on the ankle, causing soreness, and without a strong kick to begin with the fins can inadvertently cause you to end up kicking more from the knees as opposed to from the hips, which could cause knee pain. Depending upon the webbed gloves you use (whether they are open fingered or closed), they can potentially be very hard on the shoulders, because - unlike a regular paddle - they retain water. Which type of gloves have you been using?

As Elaine said, I would certainly recommend getting your stroke analyzed to ensure that you are maintaining proper technique and avoiding potential injuries. Good luck!

Water_Ox
July 26th, 2017, 06:33 PM
They are a closed finger gloved (I think?) Here is the link on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CP95O7S/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I always thought fins were supposed to correct your kick meaning that they force you to kick more from the hips and not the knees.

That said, I feel like I have to diligently stretch out my knees every day just to avoid any knee pain as a result of all this. So perhaps you're on to something.

I'm a little bummed to think that it's my toys because they have helped my otherwise crappy swim style turn into something formidable. haha

But now that I have some technique and muscle buildup, perhaps it's time to have a go without any gear. regroup and start from scratch, so to speak. I only hope I can make it across the pool within 5 minutes...bahaha! Just kidding, sorta. :afraid:

edit to add: here's a link to the fins I've been using https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001M0O4Z4/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

ElaineK
July 26th, 2017, 06:41 PM
Hey thanks a lot for the tips, I will definitely keep all of this in mind. I kind of wonder if the toys are bad for me as well. Especially the gloves? They create a lot of momentum but they also create a lot of resistance. It's been awesome for my upper body strength but I'm guessing maybe it's too much too fast for a total noob like me?

I live in northern california in Healdsburg (Sonoma wine country) but I was born in San Diego near La Mesa :)

Your wondering is correct in my opinion. I think it's too much resistance at this point.

My husband and I lived in La Mesa for 15 of the years we were in the San Diego area! You live in a beautiful part of the state.

cinc3100
July 26th, 2017, 11:01 PM
Swimming IS low impact, and, yes I am willing to bet you ARE doing something terribly wrong. Do NOT power through ANYTHING if you are feeling PAIN. :nono:

What are you doing terribly wrong? We (us Forumites reading your post) won't know unless we see video of your stroke technique. I highly recommend you have somebody shoot good, close-up video of your strokes. If you can get underwater footage, all the better. Upload the videos (25 yards each of your strokes is enough) and post them here on this thread. Your fellow Forumites will view the videos and offer tips on how to improve your strokes and avoid injury.

More suggestions:
1. Ditch the kickboard, fins, and webbed gloves for now until you get your stroke technique analyzed. You also need to build up strength and endurance without the toys before you add them back in.

2. Do dynamic stretching/warm-up exercises before you swim and static stretching after each swim session. Research both first to learn how to do them properly. (You say you stretch everyday, but are you doing it properly?)

3. Check out this book: https://www.amazon.com/Mastering-Swimming-Masters-Athlete-Montgomery/dp/0736074538/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1501093327&sr=8-1&keywords=mastering+swimming
It was my "bible" when I was a newbie Masters swimmer after 31 years out of the pool.

4. Get some coaching if possible. Since I didn't live close enough to a team, I trained on my own with the guidance of a part-time coach I hired by the hour. It was the best $ spent.

Good luck!
:cheerleader:
P.S. Where in California are you from? I'm a native, born and raised in Long Beach. I lived in San Diego most of my life.Eliane, I used to lived there from 1963 to 1996. Its too expensive now. I learn to swim in Gardenia Ca in red cross. I swam on a novice team there in 1969 and moved to Orange County at the end of 1969 and swaim on novice and AAU teams and high school and community college.

f1refl1es!
July 28th, 2017, 08:36 PM
Just because swimming may be low impact is NOT the same as saying that it is not stressful to the muscles and ligaments. I haven't been using many aids or toys, myself. I noticed some new muscle aches in my back, shoulders and a bit of neck stiffness, too. Stretching is a really great idea, I think, but, if you haven't previously done any strength training or other sort of muscle conditioning work, you probably are going to put strains on ligaments and muscles that aren't ready for it.

I have read that shoulder injuries are pretty common in swimmers. I think the bouyancy of water makes us feel as though we are like kids again, but, we're Masters, probably NOT flexible, agile kids. I think we need to be smart about this new love. I think you're reminding me, that it's important to stretch as well as shower when I get to the pool, and I hope you can find ways to enjoy the swimming without tearing yourself down too!

Water_Ox
August 2nd, 2017, 05:25 PM
I appreciate all the replies. As a noobie I can use all the input there is lol

I tried swimming without the gloves for the first time but the next day felt the same. Pain in the neck (literally). I wonder if I'm rotating my head too much without my body following? Can that case a lot of strain? Also, I always rotate to the left (about every 4 strokes). Would it help if I alternated and rotated right for a counter stretch (turning my head to the right as I sit here feels very good like it's stretching things out)

Or maybe it's just a matter of letting things settle down and heal before I swim again. If that is the case, how long?? Ugh, I'm bumed and scared that this could be a problem. I've been bitten by the swimming bug and now this happens. I truly hope I can figure this out because I want to get back to it soon!!!

jpetyk
August 9th, 2017, 12:25 PM
Pain in the neck (literally).

What is your head position when you are not breathing? Are you looking up towards the wall? this will put strain on your neck. You should be looking towards the bottom of the pool...keep your head in a neutral position in line with the rest of your body. This position, if kept, should also help with turning to breathe.

f1refl1es!
August 9th, 2017, 09:58 PM
Do you do any moves to warm up your neck and shoulders, before you jump in to swim? I get some slight muscle pain around my neck, too (I think for sure for me, it's raising my head too much, I am finding breathing a real challenge!). I'm trying to remind myself to do some arm swings, and maybe neck and shoulder stretches, before I jump in to swim. Or I'll just play around in the water a bit moving gently, before really working out.

It COULD also be about muscle recovery. Today, I finally remembered to sneak some of my husband's BCAA powder. I drank that instead of plain water, at the pool. I won't claim any magic from it, but, it IS supposed to help with recovery, and I figure I can use the help - I think as we age, recovery takes longer. We'll see whether it helps over the long term to use BCAAs.

You'll for sure figure it out, don't let it get you down!