Although I agree with the other responses about stretching and relaxing,
I think one of the causes of cramping is pushing off the wall hard, then
immediately pointing your toes to kick (contracting the calf muscle.)
The solution is not to kick off the wall quite as hard, and simply putting
in more yards to get used to it. As well as the stretching, etc. If it
matters to you, I find I almost never have problems with calf cramping while
swimming in open water, while I cramp fairly often in the pool during long
>I'd also recommend letting your legs relax - don't try and point your toes;
>use what natural kick you have. Instead of a focus on kicking for
>propulsion, let your legs work as counterbalances for the rest of your body.
>You may get some other kicking ideas - including some on flexibility - from
>Hope you get rid of those cramps!
>About.com Guide to Swimming
>> > I have been slowly ramping up my continuous long swims towards 4000
>> > meters and just finished my first 4000 earlier this week. I was a bit
>> > disappointed that after the swim (taking 85 minutes ugh!) both of my
>> > calves were cramping pretty badly. At a recent swim clinic, I was told
>> > had poor ankle flexibility since I could only flex my toes within six
>> > inches of the ground when sitting flat on the floor. What have others
>> > done to relieve cramping in their calves during long swims (ie ankle
>> > stretching for better flexibility, weight training, kick board
>> > or other)?
>> > Thanks, Graham
>> The ankle flexibility is definitely a problem. You are having to
>> contract your calves a lot to point your toes=isometric calf work for
>> 4000 yards. Fin work can help loosen the ankles. Also, concentrate on
>> using the quads and hamstrings to kick and relax the calves. I would
>> stay away from weight training for this.
>> I also ran across some information on using flexbands for stretching
>> (www.flexband.com) for a different flexibility problem I have. These
>> things are like big *** bands. The company has a toll free number
>> and they are happy to send you some lit. There are some interesting
>> ankle flexibility exercises provided with the literature. I think the
>> pricing starts around $20 for a single band and $35 for a pair. I will
>> be trying these things.
>> Swim as I say, not as I do?
>> Good luck,
>> Sent via Deja.com http://SportToday.org/
>> Before you buy.