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Thread: Weight and swimming.

  1. #1
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    Weight and swimming.

    Can anyone learn how to swim? Does weight of the person make a difference?

  2. #2
    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    Re: Weight and swimming.

    1) Yes

    2) Not really

  3. #3
    Very Active Member Gary P's Avatar
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    Re: Weight and swimming.

    If anything, it seems super skinny people struggle more to learn than those on the other side of the spectrum.

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    Re: Weight and swimming.

    They don't call me Sumo for nuthin.

  5. #5
    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: Weight and swimming.

    Overweight people with a high percentage of fat can definitely float better!
    http://ElaineiaKsTravels.wordpress.com

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

  6. #6
    Very Active Member ddl's Avatar
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    Re: Weight and swimming.

    I don't think weight is that important, but I wonder if people with certain body shapes can never swim well?

  7. #7
    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    Re: Weight and swimming.

    Quote Originally Posted by ddl View Post
    I don't think weight is that important, but I wonder if people with certain body shapes can never swim well?
    Some may have disadvantages, but I think you can overcome this by trying to minimize them and by focusing on strengths. For instance, I naturally suck at UW dolphin kicking due to my shape and proportions, yet I can naturally flutter kick quite well. I just spend much more time training the SDK then flutter kicking. I also surface early from starts before my momentum falls too much because I am faster on the surface

  8. #8
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    Re: Weight and swimming.

    I'm definitely overweight. In my prime I was 130 pounds and only 5'4" heavy for a swimmer. Now, I over 200. Trying to swim again to control some weight gain and pre-diabetes.

  9. #9
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    Re: Weight and swimming.

    I have lost about 50 pounds over the past several months and have definitely noticed changes in my swimming that seem to be more related to my weight than my increased endurance, speed, etc. I used to be so buoyant that when I used an adult sized pull buoy for pull sets I was too buoyant and would have difficulty controlling my rotation. i used to be able to easily float vertically without doing much in the way of treading. I've lost some buoyancy as I've lost the weight. I still float fairly easily, but I don't pop to the surface quite as quickly when I push off the wall and I have to tread a little to stay vertical. Luckily since I lost the weight in a slow 2 pounds per week way, these are things my body has adjusted to without me noticing along the way. I only notice them when I think about what swimming and floating used to be like.

    I agree with the other comments about sometimes people who are leaner and/or more muscly having more difficulty that people who are rounder or overweight. Being naturally buoyant can provide some comfort while learning to swim that "sinkers" don't really have.

  10. #10
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    Re: Weight and swimming.

    I've always been a big guy, been swimming since I was 6, quit competitive swimming at 18 with university around the corner. Even at 6'3 and 280 pounds now, I swim just fine. Would I be a better swimmer if I lost more weight? Obviously, so that's what I'm doing and on the right track again.

    I am more easily out of breath and my speed has definitely suffered as opposed to when I was younger, but my technique is still good and while I am definitely overweight, I'm more on the athletic side of being overweight (if there's a good side to it at all).

    Short: get in the pool, don't fret over your weight. There's only 1 way to work on it and that is to start working out.

  11. #11
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    Re: Weight and swimming.

    Keep doing the swimming that you are do, add more dryland stuff if you haven't already.


    Therein is certainly the challenge. The weight has come down since i started again this past december (280 then). The good thing is that I've been more excited about swimming in the last few months than I have been since before college. Hopefully that will stay and it won't feel like work anytime soon.



  12. #12
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    Re: Weight and swimming.

    I remember a former college swimmer on here who posted a 50 m sprint video. He just had started swimming again, was around 30 and was severely overweight. His competition at the race were all young and ripped college kids. He still came in first and was pretty fast in general.
    He was fast from being a good swimmer. His weight didn't change the fact.

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    Re: Weight and swimming.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lui View Post
    I remember a former college swimmer on here who posted a 50 m sprint video. He just had started swimming again, was around 30 and was severely overweight. His competition at the race were all young and ripped college kids. He still came in first and was pretty fast in general.
    He was fast from being a good swimmer. His weight didn't change the fact.
    Severely might be a strong word, but I was heavy coming in at 260 at the time.

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    Re: Weight and swimming.

    Quote Originally Posted by fmracing View Post
    Severely might be a strong word, but I was heavy coming in at 260 at the time.
    Yeah, sorry, the word severely is maybe a bit strong but you did have quite a belly compared to the shredded swimmers next to you. That's what made the video so impressive because I bet everybody would have thought that one of the shredded swimmers would come in first and you proved how important a good technique is.

  15. #15
    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Weight and swimming.

    Yes anyone can learn to swim. I taught a war vet [ Iran/Iraq] how to swim starting from how to breathe up to swimming 800 yards . He is 6'2" 265. He learned and practiced even week and he and I are proud of his efforts. He is now certified as an open water scuba swimmer!!

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    Re: Weight and swimming.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lui View Post
    Yeah, sorry, the word severely is maybe a bit strong but you did have quite a belly compared to the shredded swimmers next to you. That's what made the video so impressive because I bet everybody would have thought that one of the shredded swimmers would come in first and you proved how important a good technique is.
    Its funny, I haven't really been on here more than once a month or so, and I came on to happen to see a post about me within an hour. haha.

  17. #17
    Very Active Member ForceDJ's Avatar
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    Re: Weight and swimming.

    During my career in the Navy, I was usually my department or command fitness test coordinator. In the Navy (during that time) in addition to sit-ups and push-ups you had the choice of doing either a 1.5 mile run for time or the 500 yard (or 450 meter) swim for time. One test cycle, a couple of young gym rats in my department decided to try the swim for the upcoming fitness test. They were in good shape but they'd usually done the run and always passed with no problem whatsoever. They said they knew how to swim. I told them that swimming laps, for the test, is a lot different than just splashing around in the pool. They figured they were in good enough shape that they could "muscle their way through 500 yards." Well, they failed miserably. Their trace amounts of body fat made them much less buoyant and required considerable "muscle" to keep them from sinking. They didn't have the technique to swim efficiently. They were quite embarrassed when they got assigned to remedial fitness until I had the opportunity to retest them...doing the run instead.

    Dan

  18. #18
    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Weight and swimming.

    Very true! Every sport has it's required muscle use. Take a big burly HS football player in the pool and almost any girl on the swim team can run them into the gutter

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