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Thread: Coming back to swimming?

  1. #1
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    Coming back to swimming?

    Hey guys and gals,

    I have a quick question. I haven't swam rigorously since high school which was 4 years ago. I'm getting back into it right now, and my shoulders start hurting after doing just 2 100s. Is it just because I haven't used them in this manner in a long time? What can I do to swim longer without having this pain? I stretch a lot before working out, so that can't be it. Do I just need to keep swimming so that I can get used to it?

    Thanks,
    Greg

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    Re: Coming back to swimming?

    I don't know if I qualify, but I started swimming as an adult, and was swimming a lot until I got a job with long hours. I'm back to it now, and I've experienced some shoulder issues, but changing my stroke helps. Of course, I'm not fast and I don't compete.

  3. #3
    Very Active Member Swimspire's Avatar
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    Re: Coming back to swimming?

    Hi Greg, Welcome back to swimming! Getting back into training after several years away from the pool is tricky. As a competitive swimmer, you are now tempted to put the same amount of effort into swimming as you did before, expecting that you will be at the same level. However, four years away is a long time and your body may not be able to do what your mind thinks it can - at least for now. If you approach your training with the understanding that you are starting off at a lower level, it will be much easier to build back up to competitive shape while avoiding injuries. I actually wrote an article on The Motivation to Train which you might find helpful (http://www.swimspire.com/the-motivation-to-train/). The shoulder pain is likely coming from your technique (whether from the way you are executing the pull, the recovery, the entry into the water or from an imbalance in your stroke overall, etc) which may have even been present when you were training previously but was not as apparent since you were in good swimming shape. I would suggest getting your stroke analyzed to see what areas you need to improve upon. This way, you can continue to build endurance while placing less pressure on your joints. Good luck! Julia

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    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Coming back to swimming?

    At 22 or so , I sure you went back into it FULL TILT , so try to swim longer distances with more thought of stroke rather the speed.
    And welcome back. I hope you stay with us/it for a lifetime!

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    Re: Coming back to swimming?

    Good news and bad news. Good is that at only 4 years out and assuming you kept in decent shape otherwise, you will probably be back at lot sooner than if you waited 10 + years.

    The bad news is that recovery always goes downhill with age.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

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    Re: Coming back to swimming?

    I'm suffering from a burnout phase, which you wouldn't expect from someone who's only been swimming about six months. I'm just tired of not making progress with my speed or stroke efficiency and not getting a good enough workout. I'm pretty stressed about something else that's not related to swimming, but I feel if I don't get back into the pool soon I'll lose any little bit of progress I did make over the last months.

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    Re: Coming back to swimming?

    I just started swimming again, and it's been 15 years since I swam laps. I swim about a true mile +, but I rotate between freestyle, breaststroke, and kicks to avoid overworking any one area of my body that might not be used to all this movement. I also am not swimming for time yet, and take breaks at the 100 yd marks. So far, no undue pain. It doesn't seem run of the mill that you would have shoulder pain after doing 2 100s, but then you might be swimming at a brisker pace than me.

  8. #8
    Active Member evilwatersprite's Avatar
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    Re: Coming back to swimming?

    Quote Originally Posted by BurtonTricks View Post
    Hey guys and gals,

    I have a quick question. I haven't swam rigorously since high school which was 4 years ago. I'm getting back into it right now, and my shoulders start hurting after doing just 2 100s. Is it just because I haven't used them in this manner in a long time? What can I do to swim longer without having this pain? I stretch a lot before working out, so that can't be it. Do I just need to keep swimming so that I can get used to it?

    Thanks,
    Greg
    What helps me is warming up primarily with dolphin or flutter kicking on my back -- the big muscles do warm up faster, after all. Other than initiating my turn, I don't bring the arms in for a good 1,000 meters. Doing lots of kick helped me ramp up my endurance and total distance in a relatively pain-free manner after a three-year layoff.

    Fins and/or a swimmer's snorkel may may also help you take the load off your shoulders. On the flip side of that equation, you may want to lay off pulling, at least not with big paddles.

    Technique wise, make sure your arms aren't crossing over the centerline in free/back -- that seems to be a common culprit for shoulder pain.

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    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: Coming back to swimming?

    Quote Originally Posted by BurtonTricks View Post
    Hey guys and gals,

    I have a quick question. I haven't swam rigorously since high school which was 4 years ago. I'm getting back into it right now, and my shoulders start hurting after doing just 2 100s. Is it just because I haven't used them in this manner in a long time? What can I do to swim longer without having this pain? I stretch a lot before working out, so that can't be it. Do I just need to keep swimming so that I can get used to it?

    Thanks,
    Greg
    What kind of stretching do you do before workouts? Slow motion stretches that warm up the muscle are fine,but static stretches(what most people think of as stretching) can actually be harmful if done before the muscle is warmed up. I have had shoulder injuries a couple of times and when coming back I am careful to ease back to full intensity.I start with fist swimming dog paddle with a swim snorkel.This puts less strain on the shoulders and is a great drill to work on EVF. A coach told my wife that if her shoulders starts to get twitchy, she should swim holding tennis balls to take the strain off the shoulders.
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
    Allen

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    Re: Coming back to swimming?

    A half hour with a private coach this morning and I learned more than in a whole semester of group lessons. She even got me into the deep end, which is a huge accomplishment. I'm giving myself some well-deserved pats on the back.

  11. #11
    Very Active Member gobears's Avatar
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    Re: Coming back to swimming?

    As you should Keep it up!!!

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    Very Active Member flystorms's Avatar
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    Re: Coming back to swimming?

    Going back to the stretching part, when I was going through PT for my shoulder a while back, the therapist would work out some knots below my scapula pretty regularly (as does my massage guru). He then brought out a tool that is AMAZING to get the knots out at home. I bought one on Amazon and it helps get those knots out between sessions.. http://www.theracane.com/
    "If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to meet it." - Jonathan Winters, actor and comedian

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    Very Active Member ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: Coming back to swimming?

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseMW View Post
    A half hour with a private coach this morning and I learned more than in a whole semester of group lessons. She even got me into the deep end, which is a huge accomplishment. I'm giving myself some well-deserved pats on the back.

    WooHOO! That's great, Denise! By the time we meet up at Nationals, you'll be looking back and saying, "I remember when..."
    http://ElaineiaKsTravels.wordpress.com

    ~ Believing in your dreams can be far more rewarding than living by your limitations ~Karla Peterson

  14. #14
    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Coming back to swimming?

    Way to go Denise !!!

  15. #15
    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Coming back to swimming?

    Burton - do lots of drills at the start of practice to warm up.

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    Re: Coming back to swimming?

    Thank you. Knew my kick sucked but didn't know how badly, or how much energy an efficient kick requires. I'm sore today but it's all good.

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