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marsky
November 10th, 2007, 05:32 PM
I'm 59 and started swimming laps in January. It takes me 50-60 min. to swim a mile. I swim 3 times a week. I started swimming to strengthen my back and it has certainly helped. I had also hoped to see some overall change in my body (more toned, less sag), but that hasn't happened.

Do you have to swim fast to reap the benefits of swimming?

I don't have much power in my kick and am not sure how to improve it. I've tried using a kickboard, but am not able to kick as vigorously when I swim without the kickboard.

Any advice would be appreciated.

tomtopo
November 10th, 2007, 07:30 PM
If you haven't started a resistance training regime in addition to your swimming, you’re short-changing yourself. Cardiovascular health and muscular fitness and strength go hand-in-hand as far as a person's quality of life is concerned. The average 70 year old man and woman cannot lift a 5lb bag of sugar off of a shelf above their head.

I think that resistance training can be accomplished with a pair of stretch-cord and a dumbbells. The swimming you're doing is great and as long as you're not trying to compete in some swim meets, master’s meets, or triathlons, you’re doing very well in the cardio dept.

I suggest that you workout opposite muscle groups and a series of twelve exercises done in a progressive manner and with the permission of your physician, will get you some great results in a matter of six of eight weeks. You will notice a feeling of greater strength in less than two weeks, - a great motivator.

The muscle groups that you need to grow are:
Stomach
Lower Back
Biceps
Triceps
Quads/ Thigh
Hams/ Back of the upper legs
Shoulders
Lats
Calf muscles -Gastrocniemius and Soleus
Chest
Upper Back
Forearms - Gripping

These exercises represent opposite muscle groups that will allow you to maintain flexibility and body symmetry. Good luck Marsky, we’re in this boat together, and nothing that you're going through hasn't been experienced by some of our brothers and sisters in this forum. Coach T.

Two websites that you can look through so you can develop your own exercise routine, - tailored specifically for you. I think you'll enjoy it.

http://www.exrx.net/Exercise.html
http://www.exrx.net/

Ripple
November 10th, 2007, 07:40 PM
...I don't have much power in my kick and am not sure how to improve it. I've tried using a kickboard, but am not able to kick as vigorously when I swim without the kickboard.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Kicking doesn't actually add much to most swimmer's forward momentum. Most of us are not Ian Thorpe, with size 17 feet and extremely flexible ankles. The main purpose for the kick is to aid body rotation, and less is more. If you are kicking outside of your body's slipstream, you're just creating more drag and slowing yourself down.
Kickboard sets don't really teach you how to do this because you're just lying flat on your stomach. Go to the deep end of the pool, or into a diving tank, cross your arms in front of you, and kick vertically from the hips. (Put on a float belt if you feel you need to.) Exaggerate every third kick and see what happens. (left right LEFT, right left RIGHT...)
When you return to swimming, slow down your stroke drastically for a session and try to time your kick so that, when your recovering hand is entering the water, the leg on the opposite site of your body is kicking forward. It may help to put on short fins. You may not get it straight away, it might take several sessions to get the timing right.

Jigoro
November 11th, 2007, 05:54 AM
The average 70 year old man and woman cannot lift a 5lb bag of sugar off of a shelf above their head.
Realy? It shocks me.



I suggest that you workout opposite muscle groups and a series of twelve exercises done in a progressive manner and with the permission of your physician, will get you some great results in a matter of six of eight weeks. You will notice a feeling of greater strength in less than two weeks, - a great motivator.

They say about fitness that it takes aproximately 2 months before the muscles have gotten stronger. However, in the first month the efficiency of using the muscles can highly improve thanks to a better coördination (more muscle fibers are being activated at the same time).

tomtopo
November 11th, 2007, 09:10 PM
The kick does two things. A great kick adds propulsion and a decent kick prevent too much drag. Think of a great kick as a great asset and a decent kick as your chance for you feet "not to be anchors". The lack of flexion make your feet a great hinderance to forward propulsion. Work on improving you ankle flexion and strength. A flexible foot is a great asset to forward propulsion. Good luck.

marsky
November 12th, 2007, 10:52 AM
Thanks so much for your encouragement advice and links.

marsky
November 12th, 2007, 10:54 AM
Thanks - I'll try this today.

christineL
November 12th, 2007, 02:20 PM
Coach T,

I went to your site and found it to be a bit overwhelming for myself who is taking a short break before I resume my duties. Is there a "dummy's guide for those needing to do strength training at home where this dummy does not have any equipment"?

Thanks:help:

tomtopo
November 13th, 2007, 01:33 PM
Coach T,

I went to your site and found it to be a bit overwhelming for myself who is taking a short break before I resume my duties. Is there a "dummy's guide for those needing to do strength training at home where this dummy does not have any equipment"?

Thanks:help:

It is a very comprehensive site but the video that shows how to do the exercises is simply too cool. Just take your time and look at the exercises and the equipment that is similar to yours and you'll get into the site. Good luck, Tom

TRYM_Swimmer
November 13th, 2007, 05:50 PM
Coach T.
www.early-vertical-forearm.com

Very nice site, and I must say, that having been on the Internet since about 1995, that's probably the coolest site name I've ever seen!