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Thread: Tricep fatigue

  1. #1
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    Tricep fatigue

    All,

    In the last week been experiencing significant early tricep/rear deltoid fatigue during freestyle. It is affecting both arms but primarily right arm. It is causing me some serious stroke issues in longer (200m) swims as at the end of the swim I go from a fairly streamlined effort to flailing away.

    It is becoming extremely frustrating as I fall apart earlier than I think I should be. It is causing me some confidence issues as I tend to compensate by going out a little faster than normal in hopes of getting more rest between sets.

    Swam mid day practice today, got in 1700m in about 45 minutes but right now 2 hours later, I can feel the lactic acid in my triceps and they feel very 'heavy'.

    Currently the only activity that could be contributing to the fatigue issues is swimming. I try to swim 4 days a week, M/Tu/Th/Sat. Is this too much? Should I consider adding some weight work to try to increase strength which might contribute to more endurance?

    Or, am I just expecting too much at this point and need to just keep at it (started back 15 Sep after an 18+ year lay off)?

    Paul

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    Very Active Pirate Blackbeard's Peg's Avatar
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    Re: Tricep fatigue

    Paul,
    I think the weight work may exacerbate your fatigue problem right now, but could be useful in the long term. Are you stretching your arms out at all? You will hear different from other folks, but I am of the "stretch before and after your workouts" school. You can do a bunch free-standing, and there are some you can do against a wall or something.

    Are you also cramping up elsewhere? You may need to better hydrate yourself. If you're already contributing to the drought, eat a small snack of pretzels (or something slightly salty) in the afternoon to help absorb the water.

    I'm swimming 2x/wk right now and having similar issues. Now I am swimming with mostly arms and *no* legs, but can certainly relate to that pain.
    Why do we always run out of rum?

  3. #3
    Participating Member Tactics's Avatar
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    Re: Tricep fatigue

    Hi Paul..

    I was back in the water a week ahead of you on Sept 8...3 weeks in I also had sore triceps,delts,upper traps,and middle traps..and I had been weight training for a year prior to that...My take is you are not resting the muscle and/or body enough..those back to back workouts Mon/Tues are getting to you after a month..

    Of course, some of the shoulder issues could be bio-mechanical..Rotator cuff exs and other isolated exs could help.. What do you think?

    Edit: agree with Blackbeard...I stretch everything..before and after every workout of any kind..
    Last edited by Tactics; October 15th, 2007 at 05:57 PM. Reason: clarify
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    Re: Tricep fatigue

    Maybe build your sets, starting them out more slowly, so you don't peak too early? That way you can use the earlier repeats to get back into form, and then really push the final 2-3 swims.

  5. #5
    Very Active Member scyfreestyler's Avatar
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    Re: Tricep fatigue

    Only a month into it after an 18 year hiatus? I would say with absolute certainty that this is something that will pass with time. After swimming for three years now, I still get sore triceps and lats after a difficult workout. Using myself as an example it seems entirely logical that your body is still adapting to the stresses being placed upon it.

    Do make sure that you are getting in an adequate cool off in the way of some easy 50's or 25's..whatever suits you.

  6. #6
    Very Active Member cathlaur's Avatar
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    Re: Tricep fatigue

    OH I FEEL YOUR PAIN.

    I started back on Sept 7th. I cannot get over how much my triceps, deltoids and lats feel. I have had to pop some Ibprophen and grin and bare it. I just laugh as I complain at work. I have lifted weights over the last 3 years so was very surprised that this is how I felt. I just keep swimming through it. I have also gone for massages which have helped I mean helped immensly. I am finding that it is much better ( though I feel everything when I swim) I think like scyfreestyler said it will get better.

    Good luck it really does hurt. I just wanted you to know you are not alone

    Katie

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    Re: Tricep fatigue

    Thanks for all the comments!!!


    I think that I just am guilty of high expectations. I have minimal to no soreness post workout and am slowly building up my stamina so that's a good thing. Actually, since I have started swimming I have taken 800mg of Ibuprofin ONCE and that was for a headache . It's just that this fatigue in my tris is really starting to annoy me and the worst part is that it seems to only really hit me on crawls. So maybe I need to lower the crawls and ramp up the other 2 strokes......um 3 strokes (ok, ok, yes Evilstroke IS a stroke too).

    On a good note, I am starting to rekindle my love of Fly. I thought that had been dead and buried . Hmmm, maybe next time 20x25 Fly on the 1:00? Um, maybe not yet .

    Keep on stroking.

    Paul

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    Very Active Member geochuck's Avatar
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    Re: Tricep fatigue

    I never had sore triceps ever, back muscles yes but only after swimming a long race.

    I always protected the triceps, kept them covered when in a car I did not allow drafts to hit the arms. Guys would come up and try to hit your arms. I would not let anyone touch them.
    Keep it simple George Park
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    Re: Tricep fatigue

    Quote Originally Posted by geochuck View Post
    I never had sore triceps ever, back muscles yes but only after swimming a long race.
    It's not soreness that is the problem, it is fatigue during the workout. There might be some slight lactic acid buildup causing a sensation of heaviness post-workout but not soreness per se.

    Paul

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    Very Active Member geochuck's Avatar
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    Re: Tricep fatigue

    Is it possible you are using the arm muscles to swim when you should use the larger muscle groups.
    Keep it simple George Park
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    Very Active Member scyfreestyler's Avatar
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    Re: Tricep fatigue

    I don't know how you can make a proper catch and maintain a vertical forearm without using the muscles in your arms.

  12. #12
    Very Active Member geochuck's Avatar
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    Re: Tricep fatigue

    I have only had a tricep cramp once and it was from swimming in cold water. That was after swimming a 15 mile cold water race on Sat afternoon and another 10 mile race on the following Tuesday. My legs were more into the fatigue feelings not the arms.
    Keep it simple George Park
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    Participating Member Tactics's Avatar
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    Re: Tricep fatigue

    Quote Originally Posted by scyfreestyler View Post
    I don't know how you can make a proper catch and maintain a vertical forearm without using the muscles in your arms.
    I hear what George is saying...The lats should engage more than the tris..He said that the back would get sore after a long swim..that is what should happen.. The tris would get sore and fatigued more from improper form(assuming that they were well toned and strong) form is everything in any type of exercise..

    Is that right George?
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  14. #14
    Very Active Member geochuck's Avatar
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    Re: Tricep fatigue

    That is how I feel Tactics - improper technique in the crawl is a great problem for many. I always swam with technique and felt the arms were relaxed but engaged.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tactics View Post
    I hear what George is saying...The lats should engage more than the tris..He said that the back would get sore after a long swim..that is what should happen.. The tris would get sore and fatigued more from improper form(assuming that they were well toned and strong) form is everything in any type of exercise..

    Is that right George?
    Keep it simple George Park
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    Very Active Member scyfreestyler's Avatar
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    Re: Tricep fatigue

    Quote Originally Posted by Tactics View Post
    I hear what George is saying...The lats should engage more than the tris..He said that the back would get sore after a long swim..that is what should happen.. The tris would get sore and fatigued more from improper form(assuming that they were well toned and strong) form is everything in any type of exercise..

    Is that right George?
    The lats need to do the pulling, but the triceps aid in maintaining a high elbow pull and become even more important when you begin to finish your stroke.

  16. #16
    Participating Member Tactics's Avatar
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    Re: Tricep fatigue

    Quote Originally Posted by scyfreestyler View Post
    The lats need to do the pulling, but the triceps aid in maintaining a high elbow pull and become even more important when you begin to finish your stroke.
    That is true..However, the lats are much larger muscles than the tris..If you can get them to do most of the work with proper form...endurance will be greater with less fatigue on the triceps..which will fatigue sooner..simply because they are smaller...transfering work to the largest muscles makes sense since they are stonger and will endure longer...pulling engages lats,lower and middle traps,primarily...
    Status: Novice swimmer..Intermediate class weight trainer..YMCA..

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    Very Active Member islandsox's Avatar
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    Re: Tricep fatigue

    But if a person has not used their triceps like their other muscle groups, then swimming with a "finished" stroke will cause great fatigue, technique or not. The triceps are normally the least exercised muscles unless a person is a swimmer. I mean, how many people use their triceps every single day?

    Of course you are having fatigue; you are taxing them as you build them!! I think it is normal.

    donna
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    Re: Tricep fatigue

    Quote Originally Posted by Tactics View Post
    That is true..However, the lats are much larger muscles than the tris..If you can get them to do most of the work with proper form...endurance will be greater with less fatigue on the triceps..which will fatigue sooner..simply because they are smaller...transfering work to the largest muscles makes sense since they are stonger and will endure longer...pulling engages lats,lower and middle traps,primarily...
    Actually, try this little test, put your right arm in position like you were just about to start a stroke then take you left hand and pull slightly backwards on your fingers of your right hand, what muscles engage to keep your right hand in position? Yep, that's right, the triceps. And if the triceps engage, you can be sure the rear delts are also engaging.

    The more I think about this the more I think it is because I am swimming with longer, stronger strokes and not all the muscles involved have kept up. I think my triceps are just behind my lats and RC muscles. I'm gonna give it another week and see what happens.

    Paul

  19. #19
    Very Active Member geochuck's Avatar
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    Re: Tricep fatigue

    You are using wrong technique if you feel it in your triceps. You are using too much force, pushing with the left hand on the the fingers of the right hand. Are you sure your elbow is pointed at 90 degrees from the body???
    Keep it simple George Park
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  20. #20
    Very Active Member scyfreestyler's Avatar
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    Re: Tricep fatigue

    Quote Originally Posted by geochuck View Post
    You are using wrong technique if you feel it in your triceps. You are using too much force, pushing with the left hand on the the fingers of the left. Are you sure your elbow is pointed at 90 degrees from the body???
    Wrong technique? Hmm...okay. Sorry George, I'm not buying what you are selling.

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