Improve swimming

Improve swimming

Post by Harry Y » Fri, 08 May 1992 09:19:35


        I learned to swim last term to compliment my running.  I can
now do 30 laps of 25m each time for 3 times a week.  However, my speed
haven't improved much.  My problems are:
        1. Only know free style.  I've tried other styles but they are
           less efficient and more tiring.  
           What should my approch be in learning new styles?
        2. I haven't noticed any problem with breathing technique, but
           I have to "throw-up" the air trapped in my stomach every 3 to 4
           laps.  I don't think that's normal; does anybody no what I do
           wrong?  The frequency of this breathing problem seems to be
           decreasing with experience tho.  :)
        3. What are the good way to learn to do the flip-turn?  I tried
           it many times without much success.  :(
        4. Are things like kick-board and that-thing-u-put-between-your-thighs
           helpful?  I tend to sink or move frustratings slow with these
           things.
        5. Finally.  Is it ok to swim with an empty or starving stomach?

Appreciate any help,
\\==//==\\==//==\\==//==\\==//==\\==//==\\==//==\\==//==\\==//==\\==//==\\

Quote:
>>    Harry Xu  (KB2LHA/KT)         <ARRL>  <CUARC>  <NYRRC>  <CURRC>   <<

//==\\==//==\\==//==\\==//==\\==//==\\==//==\\==//==\\==//==\\==//==\\==//

 
 
 

Improve swimming

Post by George D Emmo » Fri, 08 May 1992 12:35:00


Quote:

>    I learned to swim last term to compliment my running.  I can
>now do 30 laps of 25m each time for 3 times a week.  However, my speed
>haven't improved much.  My problems are:
>    1. Only know free style.  I've tried other styles but they are
>       less efficient and more tiring.  

As a competitive swimmer and coach, I think I can help you out.
   First of all, the other styles ARE less efficient. That's their
point- make you try like hell to make them as efficient as possible.
If you want to learn other strokes, I'd say start with Backstroke.
It's the closest thing to freestyle, and it shouldn't wreak havoc
with your breathing (If you're still having trouble after a few
months, pounding out four or five laps of Butterfly isn't the best
idea). Once you've stopped having to "throw up" air, give butterfly
a shot. Save *** 'til last, as it requires the greatest amount of
in-water coordination. When learning backstroke, remember to keep
your arms straight and your rear end up (God, it's hard to teach
strokes over a computer). Roll your shoulders, too. Number one
thing to do- find a friend who's willing to train with you and
critique your stroke periodically. It will really make a difference
(Especially in backstroke, where the water makes your arms feel like
they're coming in straight when they're really throwing your body
in all directions).

Quote:
>    2. I haven't noticed any problem with breathing technique, but
>       I have to "throw-up" the air trapped in my stomach every 3 to 4
>       laps.  I don't think that's normal; does anybody no what I do
>       wrong?  The frequency of this breathing problem seems to be

You're probably not separating the breathing out underwater with
the breathing in above the surface (This is jst a guess...feel free
to flame me...). Try breathing out, pausing while your head turns
to the side, and  then breathing in. That little "stopper" might
alleviate the problem.

Quote:
>    3. What are the good way to learn to do the flip-turn?  I tried

The way I teach the flip turn is to learn how to do an underwater
somersault accompanied by a blasting out of air through the nose.
Once you can flip over and not get the chlorine water burning the
hell out of your nares, you'll be pretty much set to move it to a
wall and push off. Practice flipping for five minutes each of the
three days a week you practice, driving your head into your chest
and pushingyour hands from your sides to behind the ears for added
propusion in the flip, and inside of two weeks, you'll be set.
Once again, I can't overemphasize the importance of having a friend
to help. Suggestions can save days of work on a skill all by your lonesome.

Quote:
>    4. Are things like kick-board and that-thing-u-put-between-your-thighs
>       helpful?  I tend to sink or move frustratings slow with these

    For building strength, yes. For isolating parts of the stroke
so they are used more in the actual completed product, yes. For a
whole practice, no. When you're strong enough in the water to use
them effectively, go to it. The pull buoys can really straighten out
the inefficiencies in your stroke.

Quote:
>    5. Finally.  Is it ok to swim with an empty or starving stomach?

 Actually, empty to "haven't eaten in about three or four hours" is
best for me, especially when I start to pound out thousands under
ten minutes for an hour or two. I wind up heaving up Mr. Lunch
because my body's so worked up. Starving...no. I wind up getting
the same breathingstitches I'd get if I just ate.
                             Glad to help...
                                 George...

 
 
 

Improve swimming

Post by The Jest » Fri, 08 May 1992 12:35:27


Quote:

>    1. Only know free style.  I've tried other styles but they are
>       less efficient and more tiring.  
>       What should my approch be in learning new styles?

This isn't as large a problem as you make it out to be.  Different strokes
use different muscles, and a very linear stroke like crawl stroke is just
fine for complementing running.  If you feel like you really need to learn
new strokes, you might try registering for some American Red Cross swimming
courses, at about the Intermediate level.

Quote:
>    2. I haven't noticed any problem with breathing technique, but
>       I have to "throw-up" the air trapped in my stomach every 3 to 4
>       laps.  I don't think that's normal; does anybody no what I do
>       wrong?  The frequency of this breathing problem seems to be
>       decreasing with experience tho.  :)

Essentially, you are not breathing efficiently.  When you exhale, you need to
make sure you exhale as much air as possible.  If you can, exhale for as long
as your face remains in the water.  I used to have this problem too, but
it is solvable.

The reason the frequency of the problem is decreasing is because your lungs are
adapting to hold the "dead air" longer.  You really need to get rid of it, thus
the exhale.

Quote:
>    3. What are the good way to learn to do the flip-turn?  I tried
>       it many times without much success.  :(

Learn from a competitive swimmer.  Such a person would best be able to teach
you.  Until you learn it efficiently, I'd suggest staying with open turns;
they're much easier, and let you get that extra breath at the end of a lap.

Quote:
>    4. Are things like kick-board and that-thing-u-put-between-your-thighs
>       helpful?  I tend to sink or move frustratings slow with these
>       things.

If you are attempting to work legs, swimming with a kickboard is a great
idea.  A common exercise is to swim about 200 or so using your kickboard
with swim fins on your feet, and then swim another 200 without the flippers.

Quote:
>    5. Finally.  Is it ok to swim with an empty or starving stomach?

Its not harmful to swim on an empty stomach, but you should always try
to eat something a few hours before you swim.  Swimming while starving, I've
found, gives me dry-heaves, especially in the morning.  :)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"There's a place I like to hide,
 A doorway that I run through in the night."               - Geoff Tate
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 
 
 

Improve swimming

Post by Peder Lars » Fri, 08 May 1992 13:43:46


Quote:
>    3. What are the good way to learn to do the flip-turn?  I tried
>       it many times without much success.  :(

           All the flip turn is, is a summer (sp?) sault in the water.
           Practice doing these away from the wall.  Plug your nose if you
           have to.  Some people need to start with a dolphin kick but
           you should try to not do this if possible because it is a
           waste of time and energy.

Quote:
>    4. Are things like kick-board and that-thing-u-put-between-your-thighs
>       helpful?  I tend to sink or move frustratings slow with these
>       things.

           For training they are very helpful.  They can also serve to give
           certain parts of your body a rest while other parts work hard.
           BTW, that thing is a pull boey.

Quote:
>    5. Finally.  Is it ok to swim with an empty or starving stomach?

           It is not wise to swim on an empty stomach because you may become
           faint or light-headed.  Never swim on a full stomach.  You will
           stand a good chance of getting cramps or a *** stomach ache.
 
 
 

Improve swimming

Post by Judge R » Fri, 08 May 1992 19:04:18


Quote:

>>        3. What are the good way to learn to do the flip-turn?  I tried
>>           it many times without much success.  :(
>       have to.  Some people need to start with a dolphin kick but
>       you should try to not do this if possible because it is a
>       waste of time and energy.

           ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I have to disagree here. The small dolphin kick gets your legs moving and
makes it a _lot_ easier to lift your legs over your head. In short it
makes the tumble both quicker and easier.

Judge Raz.


                       |    o-o    |  Now can't have none of that
National Swim Team     |     ^     |  Tell her whatta say Mace
Ireland                |    `-'    |  Say no go         -- De La Soul

 
 
 

Improve swimming

Post by Charlie Cockre » Fri, 08 May 1992 20:53:04


Quote:

>    I learned to swim last term to compliment my running.  I can
>now do 30 laps of 25m each time for 3 times a week.  However, my speed
>haven't improved much.  My problems are:
>    1. Only know free style.  I've tried other styles but they are
>       less efficient and more tiring.  
>       What should my approch be in learning new styles?
>    2. I haven't noticed any problem with breathing technique, but
>       I have to "throw-up" the air trapped in my stomach every 3 to 4
>       laps.  I don't think that's normal; does anybody no what I do
>       wrong?  The frequency of this breathing problem seems to be
>       decreasing with experience tho.  :)
>    3. What are the good way to learn to do the flip-turn?  I tried
>       it many times without much success.  :(
>    4. Are things like kick-board and that-thing-u-put-between-your-thighs
>       helpful?  I tend to sink or move frustratings slow with these
>       things.
>    5. Finally.  Is it ok to swim with an empty or starving stomach?

We just got this newsgroup at my site - as a former competitive swimmer, I'm
glad to see one exists for this sport. Here's my comments to your
questions.

1. Whether or not you learn other strokes depends on what you want to
do. If you want to compete, I recommend progressing from freestyle to
backstroke to ***stroke to butterfly, although there are some
differing philosophies on this. If you are just swimming for conditioning,
freestyle is fine.

2. I have never heard of this problem before. I suspect maybe you are not
forcing out all of the air in your lungs while your head is in the
water and then taking a full breath when turning your head to the side.
I have seen people try to breath out and in again while turing to the
side and therefore take shallow breaths.  If this is wrong - just disregard.

3. Use a "piecewise" approach. First, practice swimming into the wall and
flipping, trying to place your feet on the wall in the proper position
without trying to push off. A couple of points to remember are to tuck you
head and simply follow the final stroke through while flipping. After you
have master that, you can work on body position coming off the wall.

4. The pull-buoy (the thing between your thighs) is useful for working
on stroke technique while not worrying about your kick. Kickboards
help you do just the opposite. However, I strongly recommend not using
a pull-buoy until you have the basic stroke down - one common problem with
freestyle is not keeping the kick going while breathing. So, work in
some swimming with and without the pull-buoy to make sure you don't
neglect kicking. Kickboards are helpful, but don't lay on top of the
board when using it - keep it out in front of you. After a while, you may
also want to try using hand paddles with a pull buoy for strength and
stroke technique.

5. I've never heard of this being a problem before - I swim in the
morning before work and have never had a problem.

--
Charlie***rell                          VV     VV 1991 Men's Soccer Champs.
NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va. VV   VV  1992 Men's NIT Champions  
U.Va. School of Engineering, Class of 1990  VV VV   1991 Women's ACC BB Champs.
(These are my opinions only)                 VVV                        

 
 
 

Improve swimming

Post by charyl ann per » Fri, 08 May 1992 23:24:06


Quote:
>    I learned to swim last term to compliment my running.  I can
>now do 30 laps of 25m each time for 3 times a week.  However, my speed
>haven't improved much.  My problems are:
>    1. Only know free style.  I've tried other styles but they are
>       less efficient and more tiring.  
>       What should my approch be in learning new styles?

        A. Since freestyle is the easiest stroke, you may want to just concentrate
           on improving that.  Butterfly would be too hard for a beginner to use
           for a workout.  ***stroke, and elementary backstroke  require lots
           of practice, but they would be good strokes for a warm down.  I
           recommend taking a class to learn either of these strokes.  That
           brings us to backstroke.  Depending on how comfortable you are on your
           back, you could probably pick up backstroke on your own.

Quote:
>    2. I haven't noticed any problem with breathing technique, but
>       I have to "throw-up" the air trapped in my stomach every 3 to 4
>       laps.  I don't think that's normal; does anybody no what I do
>       wrong?  The frequency of this breathing problem seems to be
>       decreasing with experience tho.  :)

        A. I don't know how other people teach rythmic breathing, but I like to
           give my students a beat to follow.  1-2-blow-breath.  If you want to
           breathe on your right side, start with your left arm.  1- pull with
           your left hand.  2- pull with your right hand.  3- while pulling with
           your left hand, blow all of the air out of your lungs. 4- Turn your
           head to the right side and breath while your arm is comming out of
           the water.  There's a pocket of air around your armpit.  Make sure
           your don't lift your forehead out of the water.  Look slightly
           towards your shoulder.  I hope this helps.

Quote:
>    3. What are the good way to learn to do the flip-turn?  I tried
>       it many times without much success.  :(

        A. Practice doing flips away from the wall.  Take some good strong pulls
           then bend at the waist, and flip your legs over.  It sounds weird,
           but if you try and tuck up in a ball, you miss the wall, or hit the
           wall.  I find that one arm's length from the wall is close enough.
           Once you flip, roll over, and spring off the wall.

Quote:
>    4. Are things like kick-board and that-thing-u-put-between-your-thighs
>       helpful?  I tend to sink or move frustratings slow with these
>       things.

        A. Kick-boards are great!!  They take awhile to get used to.  You have
           to remember to remain relaxed and calm.  They're great for building
           up your legs.  You can also use them inplace of buying seperate
           pull-buoys.  In a well rounded workout, you should do about 100-200m
           (4-8 laps in a 25m pool) of kicking, and pulling.  The pull-buoys or
           kick-board between your thigh allows for a great pulling workout.
           This is my personal fave workout.  Your shoulders, and forearms get
           plenty of attention.  Once you're more comfortable will the pull,
           you might want to get some hand paddles.

Quote:
>    5. Finally.  Is it ok to swim with an empty or starving stomach?

        A. I wouldn't eat on a full stomach, that's for sure.  I used to be a
           lifeguard here at OSU, and the kids on the team hit the water at
           6 or 6:30 AM!!!! (I HATE the AM)  I can assure you they didn't have
           any breakfast.  Besides, when you're done swimming, you can really
           enjoy a big breakfast, or lunch.

        I hope I gave you some good tips.  Happy swimming!!!
        BTW, the Finals out of NJ has a great line of swimming gear.


 
 
 

Improve swimming

Post by jaffst » Sat, 09 May 1992 00:45:57


Quote:
>    I learned to swim last term to compliment my running.  I can
>now do 30 laps of 25m each time for 3 times a week.  However, my speed
>haven't improved much.  My problems are:
>    1. Only know free style.  I've tried other styles but they are
>       less efficient and more tiring.  
>       What should my approch be in learning new styles?
>    2. I haven't noticed any problem with breathing technique, but
>       I have to "throw-up" the air trapped in my stomach every 3 to 4
>       laps.  I don't think that's normal; does anybody no what I do
>       wrong?  The frequency of this breathing problem seems to be
>       decreasing with experience tho.  :)
>    3. What are the good way to learn to do the flip-turn?  I tried
>       it many times without much success.  :(
>    4. Are things like kick-board and that-thing-u-put-between-your-thighs
>       helpful?  I tend to sink or move frustratings slow with these
>       things.
>    5. Finally.  Is it ok to swim with an empty or starving stomach?

>Appreciate any help,
>\\==//==\\==//==\\==//==\\==//==\\==//==\\==//==\\==//==\\==//==\\==//==\\
>>>    Harry Xu  (KB2LHA/KT)         <ARRL>  <CUARC>  <NYRRC>  <CURRC>   <<
>//==\\==//==\\==//==\\==//==\\==//==\\==//==\\==//==\\==//==\\==//==\\==//


The fact that you're only swimming freestyle isn't bad at all.  In fact,
a lot of people can only swim freestyle.  Throwing up every few laps is a
problem, thought, and may be due to swallowing water.  You should make sure
that you breathe out completely before turning your head to take a breath. If
you don't you will be trying to breathe out AND in while your head is turned,
which may take too much time, and cause you to get some water while you're
inhaling.

Learning the flip turn: There are literally a million ways to learn this.  
Some of the most common are practicing somersaults in the water and then doing
this close to the wall and pushing off.  You should push off almost on your
back and twist as you come off the wall, while you pull with the arm closest
to the bottom of the pool to help the twist. If you understood this explanation
you are a genius.  If not, ask someone at the pool who is doing it.  The
important thing is to keep doing it at every turn.  It feels like you run out
of breath when you first start, but keep it up.

The-thing-between-your-legs is called a "pull buoy" and is used to build
strength in your upper body.  Don't worry about that now.

Good luck!
aron

 
 
 

Improve swimming

Post by Sungzoon C » Sat, 09 May 1992 01:06:04

  A lot of people, responding "How to improve swimming" question,
mentioned that free style and back-stroke are relatively easy.

  I find "free style" more strenuous than "***-stroke."  I always
get out of breath after a few laps while I can do more than 50 laps of
*** stroke without a problem.   Do you think I have a problem with
breathing in free style ?  

  Also, I find it difficult to go straight doing backstroke for the obvious
reason.  Can't see where I am going :-(   Any tips ?   Thanks in advance.


 
 
 

Improve swimming

Post by Scott Schect » Sat, 09 May 1992 02:50:28


Quote:

>1. Whether or not you learn other strokes depends on what you want to
>do. If you want to compete, I recommend progressing from freestyle to
>backstroke to ***stroke to butterfly, although there are some
>differing philosophies on this. If you are just swimming for conditioning,
>freestyle is fine.                              ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I couldn't disagree more.  In swimming for conditioning, it is important to
get get a cardiovascular workout as well as to work as many muscle groups as
possible.  While freestyle will work out the lats very well, they will get
tired long before the chest gets any sufficient exercise, and at that point
***stroke will be best.  Also many people have trouble getting a good leg
workout doing flutterkick, and once again ***stroke is good to work on the
quadreceps.  Backstoke will work the shoulders without putting so much strain
on the lats.  

In addition, as you swim for longer periods of time, swimming only one stroke
becomes very boring, and other strokes add variety as well as giving a better
workout.

Quote:
>2. I have never heard of this problem before. I suspect maybe you are not
>forcing out all of the air in your lungs while your head is in the
>water and then taking a full breath when turning your head to the side.
>I have seen people try to breath out and in again while turing to the
>side and therefore take shallow breaths.  If this is wrong - just disregard.

This is good advice, but in addition, you may be turning your head too far
which will constrict your throat and cause air to go down your esophogus into
your stomach.  Try not turning your head so far,and make sure you don;t look
back when you breath.  After you become proficient, when you turn your head to
breathe, your lower eye should remain underwater (again turning your head more
forward instead of back will help.)
Quote:

>3. Use a "piecewise" approach. First, practice swimming into the wall and
>flipping, trying to place your feet on the wall in the proper position
>without trying to push off. A couple of points to remember are to tuck you
>head and simply follow the final stroke through while flipping. After you
>have master that, you can work on body position coming off the wall.

>4. The pull-buoy (the thing between your thighs) is useful for working
>on stroke technique while not worrying about your kick. Kickboards
>help you do just the opposite. However, I strongly recommend not using
>a pull-buoy until you have the basic stroke down - one common problem with
>freestyle is not keeping the kick going while breathing. So, work in
>some swimming with and without the pull-buoy to make sure you don't
>neglect kicking. Kickboards are helpful, but don't lay on top of the
>board when using it - keep it out in front of you. After a while, you may
>also want to try using hand paddles with a pull buoy for strength and
>stroke technique.

>5. I've never heard of this being a problem before - I swim in the
>morning before work and have never had a problem.

>--
>Charlie***rell                          VV     VV 1991 Men's Soccer Champs.
>NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va. VV   VV  1992 Men's NIT Champions  
>U.Va. School of Engineering, Class of 1990  VV VV   1991 Women's ACC BB Champs.
>(These are my opinions only)                 VVV                        

 
 
 

Improve swimming

Post by Jill Butterfie » Sat, 09 May 1992 03:03:07

I, too, consider the ***-stroke to be the easiest. I've been
swimming for years, had an advanced life-saving certificate, etc.,
but I always found free-style to be too much work -- my guess is
that my kick was too weak, because I never could go anywhere with
a kickboard. But my side-stroke and ***-stroke kicks (I use
a modified side-stroke kick) are very strong. In fact, while lap
swimming, I usually swim just as fast using the ***-stroke as
all the free-stylers do.

So, anyone have any recommendations on how to improve my free-style?
My guess would just be to use kickboards over and over, but it's
so frustrating to not seem to go anywhere! My free-style stroke, though,
must be pretty strong, because my speed is pretty good. It's only
when I can't use my arms that I have a problem...

jib
--

Georgia Institute of Technology, GTRI Modeling and Analysis Lab
"Happiness is e***ment that has found a settling down place..."
-E.L. Konigsburg, _From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler_