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Thread: tricep fatigue

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  1. #1
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    deltoid fatigue

    When I swim freestyle continuously above my sustainable speed, the first thing which fails me is my deltoid - when fatigue set in I can no longer do a proper EVF catch and the exit is also affected as well.

    However I've heard that the most used muscle in freestyle swimming is the lats, but I feel my lats only when I swim longer than 3k - by that time my deltoid have fatigued so much to the extent that it affects my swimming seriously.

    What does the above symptom mean?
    Last edited by miklcct; November 7th, 2018 at 10:19 PM.

  2. #2
    Very Active Member JPEnge's Avatar
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    Re: tricep fatigue

    I know this is blunt, but it means your triceps are weak and you need to get them stronger.

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    Re: tricep fatigue

    The fact that you are utilizing your triceps is a good thing. That means you are pushing at the end of your stroke, straightening and extending your arm past your hips. Many people simply pull their hand out of the water after passing the belly instead of shifting from pulling to pushing.

    If your lats don't seem to strain, I suspect you might just be sliding your arm through the water during the front half of your stroke instead of using your hand to pull yourself through the water.

    Get some paddles like these: https://www.swimoutlet.com/p/strokem...hs-girls-1231/
    and remove the wrist strap. Try pulling using just the middle finger strap. If you don't keep your hands in a position to propel yourself, the paddles will come off.

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    Re: tricep fatigue

    I did 30 x 100 m interval today and started feeling my lats, but my triceps are still the limiting factor.

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    Very Active Member JPEnge's Avatar
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    Re: tricep fatigue

    Something is always going to be the limiting factor. Everybody's body proportions, muscle strength, and limb length ratios are going to be different, so everybody's limiting factors and strengths/weaknesses are going to be different. If your triceps are becoming tired due to a technical error, you are going to be able to see that in a video or via coaching. Otherwise, you may not need a stroke correction and you just might have to get your triceps stronger, or that might just be the way your body is built. Let's not miss the forest (swimming as well as possible overall) for the trees (exactly which muscle gets tired first).
    400 IMer/200 backstroker in another life, now sprinter/breaststroker... Yeah, I don't know how that happened either!

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    Re: tricep fatigue

    Quote Originally Posted by miklcct View Post
    I did 30 x 100 m interval today

    That's a really hard workout.

    Maybe some of the guys here do more, but from where I sit, that is huge,

  7. #7
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    Re: tricep fatigue

    miklcct,

    It will really help to have you post a video of your swimming. In one of your previous posts, you mentioned that your stroke count (for a length of a 50 meter pool) ranges from 42 to as high as 64. Your stroke count should NOT change more than 2-3 strokes/length no matter how tired you are.

    To me, coupled with your comment about tricep fatigue, you may be doing one or both of the following: a) straight arm pulling and/or elbow first pulling w/ a cocked wrist. Either of these will stress the tricep more than the lats or pecs. I also suspect you are NOT doing EVF effectively.

    We have a fellow at our pool who takes 60 strokes/25 yards. Yup - no joke. His arm is never straight, his elbow always leads the pull, and his hand exits the water in front of his hip. I swim almost 100 yards in the time it takes him to swim 35 yards and I am not going fast.

    So, putting all of your posts together suggest that your technique is severely limiting.

    Video is really the only way for this forum to help and finding a coach would also be helpful.

    Good Luck

    Paul

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    Re: tricep fatigue

    Quote Originally Posted by Windrath View Post
    miklcct,

    It will really help to have you post a video of your swimming. In one of your previous posts, you mentioned that your stroke count (for a length of a 50 meter pool) ranges from 42 to as high as 64. Your stroke count should NOT change more than 2-3 strokes/length no matter how tired you are.

    To me, coupled with your comment about tricep fatigue, you may be doing one or both of the following: a) straight arm pulling and/or elbow first pulling w/ a cocked wrist. Either of these will stress the tricep more than the lats or pecs. I also suspect you are NOT doing EVF effectively.

    We have a fellow at our pool who takes 60 strokes/25 yards. Yup - no joke. His arm is never straight, his elbow always leads the pull, and his hand exits the water in front of his hip. I swim almost 100 yards in the time it takes him to swim 35 yards and I am not going fast.

    So, putting all of your posts together suggest that your technique is severely limiting.

    Video is really the only way for this forum to help and finding a coach would also be helpful.

    Good Luck

    Paul
    I haven't got a video yet because some of the pools I use don't allow video-recording. I joined a session in a club last night and the coach identified some problems in my legs making me slow down, but the club will be suspending training in December so after a month I will be on my own again.

    Your have mentioned something about elbow first pulling w/ a cocked wrist. That may be exactly my problem when I get tired, at that time I no longer had the ability to do the pull properly. In a drill using paddles, even the first 50 seems very difficult for me despite using small paddles.

    Let me clarify about my stroke count - 42 is done using excessive gliding and unreproduceable even long period of rest in the same session; 46 is done in the beginning of a session when starting slowly as a kind of warm up; 50 is the minimum sustainable at "continuous slow swimming" (about CSS + 10"), requiring me to mentally count it every lap; 54 is about the number where I start an interval set at my maximum sustainable pace; 58 is when I start to get tired and working hard to sustain the pace; and 62 is the number where I am breaking down, telling me to stop my set. i.e. the vastly different stroke counts are done at different combinations of speeds and intensities.

    Btw, what I am doing in these weeks are:

    • 1 - 2 USRPT sessions (at most 30 x 100 m on 15 - 20 s rest, upgrading my target when I can do them all - just passed the 2'5" / 100 m target on Monday and will do 2'0" / 100 m afterwards)
    • ​1 sprint session - swim 50 - 200 s as fast as possible with long recovery periods, may include a little technique work if time allows
    • 1 coached session in my swim club - this session is labelled "improvers" and suitable for people in 2'0" - 2'20" / 100 m range - with a lot of drills
    • 1 open water session
    Last edited by miklcct; October 31st, 2018 at 12:52 AM.

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    Re: tricep fatigue

    For whatever it is worth in benchmarking, my sprint 25's take 19-20 strokes per 25 yards. I'm pretty short, 5'8", or about 1.7M by non-US standards. My 100's are 16, my 200's are 14, and my 500's are 13 (I was hitting 14 about half the time at the end of a 40x50 set this AM). Extrapolating (which one shouldn't do!!!!!), for longer sets, I'd probably be about 30 per 50M. If you are at 50 for a regular stroke, I suspect that you are not getting good reach and you are not engaging your lats. For whatever strange reason, what killed me this morning was leg cramps in my quads from pushoffs. Never had that happen before.

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    Re: tricep fatigue

    Thanks for the info:

    Two things to keep in mind:

    a) Your stroke count should not change very much (1-3 strokes/length) regardless of the speed you are swimming. The more strokes/length you take, the slower you will go.

    b) Spend some time counting the strokes of the other people in the pool who are so much faster than you (you mentioned this in another post). They are probably consistently in the low 40s/50 meter length.

    Like 67king, I am 5'8" and, regardless of speed, take 14-15 strokes/25 yd pool. In my younger, faster days, I was down in the 11-12 strokes/length - probably because I pushed off further. In a 50 meter pool, I take 34-36 depending on my focus on the finish of each stroke. Again, this is regardless of speed.

    When a swimmers' stroke count increases as they go faster, it is because they are NOT finishing the stroke. This will negatively impact their entry, their catch, the timing of their kick, and they will feel like they spin their wheels.

    Will be interested to hear how many strokes the other swimmers are taking.

    paul

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    Re: tricep fatigue

    16-17, and I am 5'7-1/2"
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    Re: tricep fatigue

    Quote Originally Posted by Windrath View Post
    When a swimmers' stroke count increases as they go faster, it is because they are NOT finishing the stroke. This will negatively impact their entry, their catch, the timing of their kick, and they will feel like they spin their wheels.
    Thank you! I had been assuming I was pretty normal. I know my sprints are pretty atrocious. My 100 feels "best" and I practice much closer to NQT in that one than the others. I'm probably overextending a little on the longer ones. Circling back to the OP, I suspect that boxes pretty well, though I'd be a little more inclined to focus on the start, rather than the finish, based on what I see other inefficient swimmers do.

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    Re: tricep fatigue

    When we talk about stroke count, we count left hand then right hand entry as 2 (i.e. both hands are counted), right?

    And why would the SPL be larger when sprinting 25 than going 500m? For me, it would be at the lower end of the range when sprinting. As long as I'm only doing 25 / 50 a single time, my SPL does not vary much between different speeds, but between 50 / 500, there is a great difference.
    Last edited by miklcct; October 31st, 2018 at 09:00 PM.

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    Re: tricep fatigue

    Yes, we are counting strokes the same way.

    Yes, SPL should not be much different when sprinting vs longer distances. SPL is more a function of fatigue. You are suggesting that your SPL changes alot between both distance and speed. Based on your earlier posts, your SPL does change alot between both effort and distance. Neither should happen.

    Bottom line, your stroke technique needs alot of improvement in efficiency. Watch the faster swimmers around you, count their strokes, see if you can imitate them. Without video, we cannot help. Without video, anything we offer is purely speculation.

    Paul

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    Very Active Member Swimspire's Avatar
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    Re: tricep fatigue

    Without seeing you swim, it's very difficult for us to determine where your stroke technique issues lie. What aspects did your coach point out regarding your legs? There might be an overall issue with your technique that is causing you to rely primarily on your upper body, thus tiring your triceps very quickly. In order to eliminate weaknesses in your stroke, however, you need to isolate and work on improving those areas. You obviously have a large workload in terms of fullstroke, but how are your practices designed? Try to find a coach - remotely or on-deck - who can design workouts that target your overall swimming needs, especially the triceps.

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    Re: tricep fatigue

    Did I miss it ? Do you go to the gym to improve muscle strength?

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    Re: tricep fatigue

    I never go to the gym, at least not in these few years.

    My coach told me that, at the moment I was tired, my legs were wide open when I took a breath.

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    Re: tricep fatigue

    Quote Originally Posted by miklcct View Post
    I never go to the gym, at least not in these few years.

    My coach told me that, at the moment I was tired, my legs were wide open when I took a breath.
    If you're not able to get to the gym, you should still work on incorporating dryland training in your routine if you want to strengthen swimming-specific muscles like your triceps. One way to do it is to use stretch cordz (according to your level) - that will allow you to work on your pull to a limited extent. The better way of working the correct pulling technique is with a Vasa Ergometer. The Ergometer is an excellent swim bench that allows you to work on the proper pull -technique specifically the early vertical forearm. This will strengthen triceps and lats, and will help you to swim with the correct technique at the same time. If you want more details, here's an article about the Ergometer: https://www.swimspire.com/my-journey...-depth-review/

    Based on your coach's observations, it also looks like there is a disconnect between your upper and lower body and some instability in your stroke while you are breathing. If you have a wide kick when you breathe, you are slowing yourself down and trying to compensate by placing more of the burden on your upper body. Coupled with weak triceps, and high intensity training, this could lead to shoulder injuries in the future, so, again, find a coach who can give you specific sets and variety in your workouts that will be geared towards correcting your stroke and strengthening the muscles you need to swim more efficiently. Good luck.

  19. #19
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    Re: tricep fatigue

    Miklcct,

    I will comment on a couple of things:

    a) I do NOT believe you need to do more tricep strength work - at this time. Everything about this thread suggests, to me anyway, that your technique results in the triceps being used in a non-efficient way. Your time would be better spent on technique instead of strengthening.

    b) I am gonna speculate about your legs during your breathing - without seeing a video. My speculation is that you have excessive rolling onto your side when you breathe. If this is the case, your legs will open (I read this as spreading apart) to counter-balance your upper body rotation. To confirm this, if both of your goggles are out of the water when you breathe, you are rotating too much. When you breathe, keep one goggle in the water. Excessive rotation while breathing will reduce your distance per stroke and can lead to elbow first pulling as well as huge cross overs during the pull. These will lead to excess tricep fatigue.

    c) Have you counted the strokes of other swimmers who are faster than you? In my opinion, this is an important learning opportunity. I get the feeling you think that increasing stroke count/length is ok if it comes with increased intensity or distance of the repeat. These are incorrect assessments if you think this way.

    Watch a video of Caleb Dressel and try to swim like he does - not in terms of speed though. Try to emulate his technique. He is among the best at "holding" onto the water regardless of his speed. See what happens.

    Good Luck

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    Re: tricep fatigue

    I haven't got the time to observe the others yet - my schedule is currently very tight, perhaps will do it on Friday.

    I joined the squad training this morning and the coach told me to do some drill which was contrary to what I was trying to do before joining the squad:
    • She told me to use more of my legs (kick more) - previously I always tried do no more than 2-beat kick because I heard that 6-beat kick would cause my legs so tired such that I couldn't do any bike / run afterwards.
    • She also told me that I glided too much such that I stopped during the glide and to do my stroke faster (!) - as mentioned before I was working at about 58 spl / 58 strokes per minute before, making slightly more than a minute per 50-meter length - but what I previously tried to do was to reduce both numbers - until spl goes down to 45 and sr goes down to 52 (by training with various amount of gliding) - to conserve my energy for running afterwards. What she told me to do was the EXACT OPPOSITE of what I did previously! Near the end of the session, she put a tempo trainer in my cap and told me to do as fast as it beeped - but at that stroke rate I couldn't sustain anything more than 100 meters!


    I tried the swim smooth swim type questionnaire but it suggests I am an arnie - which is impossible and totally insane! I matched basically NONE of the description of an arnie! The description suggests I might be a bambino or an overglider instead.

    I am a software engineer and develop PHP applications in my work. I have recently joined an OWS race of 3.7 km with negligible current, and completed at 1 hours, 25 minutes and 45 seconds.

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