Calf cramping during long swims

Calf cramping during long swims

Post by B. Kissac » Fri, 07 Jan 2000 04:00:00


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 I
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 exercises
or other)?

Thanks, Graham

 
 
 

Calf cramping during long swims

Post by trifr.. » Sat, 08 Jan 2000 04:00:00



Quote:
> 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
I
> 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
exercises
> 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,
Frank

Sent via Deja.com http://SportToday.org/
Before you buy.

 
 
 

Calf cramping during long swims

Post by TriGho » Sat, 08 Jan 2000 04:00:00

On Thu, 06 Jan 2000 22:22:33 -0800, "B. Kissack"

Quote:

>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 I
>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 exercises
>or other)?

The cramping is basically caused by the muscle getting tired towards
the end of the workout. The best thing to be able to do would be kick
with your calves (relatively) relaxed. This most likely means  working
on your ankle flexibility. Check with a good trainer for stretches
designed to increase it...

FWIW

John

"Ad astra per aspera"
"A rough road leads to the stars"

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Calf cramping during long swims

Post by dangercor » Sat, 08 Jan 2000 04:00:00

I have had similar experiences, but it is usually when my legs are fatigued
from other training. I also have trouble if my legs are fatigued and I try
to train with my Zoomers on. Then the cramps are awful. I've tried several
things including, calcium, potassium, fluids, whirlpools, and stretching and
the only thing I can find that really works is rest. Yes rest. I just have
to swim without fins or cut back somewhere else.

But if there's another way?...Im all ears : )

-todd


Quote:
> 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 I
> 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 exercises
> or other)?

> Thanks, Graham

 
 
 

Calf cramping during long swims

Post by Mathew Luebber » Mon, 10 Jan 2000 04:00:00

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
http://SportToday.org/

Hope you get rid of those cramps!

Mat

Mathew Luebbers
About.com Guide to Swimming
http://SportToday.org/

bbs:  http://SportToday.org/
newsletter: http://SportToday.org/

Quote:



> > 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
> I
> > 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
> exercises
> > 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,
> Frank

> Sent via Deja.com http://SportToday.org/
> Before you buy.

 
 
 

Calf cramping during long swims

Post by InterZone Onli » Thu, 27 Jan 2000 04:00:00

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
workouts.

-Andy


Quote:

>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
>http://SportToday.org/

>Hope you get rid of those cramps!

>Mat

>Mathew Luebbers
>About.com Guide to Swimming
>http://SportToday.org/

>bbs:  http://SportToday.org/
>newsletter: http://SportToday.org/




>> > 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
>> I
>> > 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
>> exercises
>> > 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,
>> Frank

>> Sent via Deja.com http://SportToday.org/
>> Before you buy.