General Swimming for Exercise

Huntn

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Any swimmers here? I know of at least one @AG_PhamD. :) I used to run, until knees, and then I walked, until back, and I remember thinking, ok, I’m just going to get fat now. But somehow swimming came to my attention. I had not swam since the days I was preparing to go into the Navy. Really running was my thing until cruel life forced a change and swimming saved me, it saved my physically active life Is what it did.

Swimming is the old folks exercise as well as young people‘s. The oldest person in my pool is 95, bunches in the range of 60-90. Generally speaking, I can jump in the pool and work out hard without hurting myself. I imagine most people can with some caveats. If your knees are torn up there might be issues, but you will avoid impact stress on both your knees and back. I have degenerative disk disease, my back can bother me when I take the trash to the curb, but it feels fine, as I bound out of the pool after a 90 minute session. :)

I started about 7 years ago. I started struggling through 20 laps. During the way up I experienced both elbow and shoulder issues, for a while wore straps on my bicep and forearm but those issues went away, not sure way, perseverance? Maybe my technique got better? Honestly I’m not 100% certain, but one day when my shoulder was bothering me during a swim, I decided after to go to the weight section and see how it felt lifting light weights. Surprisingly my shoulder felt fine, and I decided I would devote more time to weights along with my swimming. This has paid off, since then no elbow or shoulder issues.

I slowly worked my way up to 70 laps (briefly), but then quickly realized that was too much and cut back to 50 laps (100 lengths of the pool). I do 6 sets of 8 laps +2 to make it 50 (2500 meters), with a variety of strokes, side, breast, and crawl (freestyle) Mixing it up. My reasoning is that I don’t want repetitive motion injury and I think the variety helps.

I have some effective flippers which I use for about 14 laps, split up throughout the 50 laps. They make a significant difference for your legs. Note not all flippers are the same, the cheap silicon, lap flippers are not as effective. Arena brand is effective and reasonably priced. I use a lap snorkel for about 14 laps when I use my flippers, this because I started coming out of the pool with a sore neck. Too much neck rotation during freestyle swimming. A better technique also helps with that. And I have some hand paddles that I use for 8 laps. The caution there is don’t overdo those, work up your arm muscles slowly or you can create shoulder issues if you go too crazy with them.

My major dissapointment is that I am doing more exercise, putting out more effort time wise, then I did when I was young, but showing less for it. I’ve built some muscle, but my weight is still 218, 58 lbs above my running prime, at 71% lean body mass. At my age of 69, calories intake counts more than burning calories. I can burn 500 calories in the pool and wipe that out with one dessert, although that still is a 500 calorie net loss, it could be 1000 calories if I could get the sugar monkey off my back, a life long addiction.

My final tip is that to keep your goggles clear of fog, instead of purchasing an anti-fog product, at the end of a swim, you can simply put a small drop of shampoo on each lense, smear it around with your finger, let it sit a few minutes, and then give them a light, short (2 second) rinse with water. Then I toss them in my net bag and let them dry until the next swim.
 

Herdfan

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Too much neck rotation during freestyle swimming.

Then you are not rotating your upper body enough. When you swim freestyle your body should rotate to the side your arm is out of the water.

Here are a couple of drills:

Zipper Drill (notice how his body rotates)



Shark Fin - Used with Zipper. Note when his elbow is in the high position, for this drill you simply hold it for 3-5 kick cycles.

Another drill is called the Catch-Up drill. It teaches you to extend your arms forward. When doing your stroke, keep one hand out in front until the other hand has fully recovered and "catches" the other hand. Rinse, repeat.
 

Alli

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Swimming has long been a passion, but for a long time I've had to wait until I've gone on vacation to do any. Despite it still being coolish at night and in the morning, I've gone swimming almost every day since moving into this house with a pool.

Right now my only issue is finding a dive mask that will go over my glasses. I can't see diddly without them anymore, and it's not possible to swim with them on. I just returned the first mask I ordered, which got very good reviews, but did not fit over glasses.
 

Herdfan

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Right now my only issue is finding a dive mask that will go over my glasses. I can't see diddly without them anymore, and it's not possible to swim with them on. I just returned the first mask I ordered, which got very good reviews, but did not fit over glasses.

Take your pick:


My daughter always liked the Speedo Vanquisher 2.0, but the TYR's are nice goggles as well. And save yourself some hassle with the straps and order one of these:

 

mollyc

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Swimming has long been a passion, but for a long time I've had to wait until I've gone on vacation to do any. Despite it still being coolish at night and in the morning, I've gone swimming almost every day since moving into this house with a pool.

Right now my only issue is finding a dive mask that will go over my glasses. I can't see diddly without them anymore, and it's not possible to swim with them on. I just returned the first mask I ordered, which got very good reviews, but did not fit over glasses.
you can get prescription goggles.
 

mollyc

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oh sorry again. 🤦🏼‍♀️

my kids are competitive swimmers and they have friends who get actual prescription goggles. but i see how these let you choose a strength like reading glasses.

i’ll see myself out now, lol.
 

Herdfan

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oh sorry i just saw you mention the speedo vanquished which are not prescription. 🙂

Yep. The Vanquisher 2.0 Optical is a prescription version. Click the link, all are prescription versions of regular goggles.
 

Alli

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Take your pick:


My daughter always liked the Speedo Vanquisher 2.0, but the TYR's are nice goggles as well. And save yourself some hassle with the straps and order one of these:

Nice - thank you! I would have thought they were more expensive. Of course, I tend to think in terms of bifocals. I imagine single lens would work just for swimming. I’ll give it a try.
 

Herdfan

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Nice - thank you! I would have thought they were more expensive. Of course, I tend to think in terms of bifocals. I imagine single lens would work just for swimming. I’ll give it a try.

You're welcome.

Depending on your vision, if one eye is stronger/weaker than the other, you might need to get 2 pairs, one with each power and combine them. My daughter had to do that for at least one season.
 

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For all the fitness swimmers I have a question.

I love swimming… being in the water.

Now, I am a reasonably accomplished swimmer, even though my technique obviously harks back to the 70s when I swam competitively at school.

But!

I cannot swim long distance in a pool. It is not a fitness thing, but a mental thing.

I get bored out of my tiny mind!

How do you guys do it?

Lap after lap after lap after lap after lap… I have tried but it drives me insane!

🙂
 

Herdfan

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I cannot swim long distance in a pool. It is not a fitness thing, but a mental thing.

I get bored out of my tiny mind!

How do you guys do it?

Lap after lap after lap after lap after lap… I have tried but it drives me insane!

🙂

Couple of options. My daughter was a mid-distance swimmer, 500 & 1000. She would find a song at the pace she wanted to keep per lap and sing it in her head. Really put her in a zone and when the song or songs were over, so was the race.

Plus now you can get water proof ear buds and actually listen to a song.
 

AG_PhamD

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No they don't. ;)

After years of guys wearing jammers, for some reason one local HS team put all their guys in Speedo's. Not a good look. :)

Because jammers are for newbs and self-conscious high school freshman😄. They’re good for sore quads and as tech suits but otherwise they impede range of motion.
For all the fitness swimmers I have a question.

I love swimming… being in the water.

Now, I am a reasonably accomplished swimmer, even though my technique obviously harks back to the 70s when I swam competitively at school.

But!

I cannot swim long distance in a pool. It is not a fitness thing, but a mental thing.

I get bored out of my tiny mind!

How do you guys do it?

Lap after lap after lap after lap after lap… I have tried but it drives me insane!

🙂

It can be boring. I find swimming to put me into a state of meditation I suppose (so called “the zone”) where I’m not really thinking about anything. It’s tough if you’re out of shape and you’re thinking about your stroke or how tired you are or how many yards you have left or how much your arms hurt, but once you get into the grove of things you can kind of clear your mind and think about nothing. I suppose it’s not much different than running or walking for some people.

When I was in college I remember I would think about organic chemistry structures I had to memorize. Study them the night before, then the next morning recite them threw my mind while swimming.

Couple of options. My daughter was a mid-distance swimmer, 500 & 1000. She would find a song at the pace she wanted to keep per lap and sing it in her head. Really put her in a zone and when the song or songs were over, so was the race.

Plus now you can get water proof ear buds and actually listen to a song.
Finis used to make “headphones” that used “bone conduction”- basically speakers that went on the bone in front of your ear so you didn’t have to deal with water getting stuck in between the headphone and ear. The sound quality was pretty poor and as I recall they were not particularly reliable, at least the early generation. I think they were called Swimp3. Not sure if they still make them.

Some pools are nice enough to have (and use) underwater speakers.
 

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Plus now you can get water proof ear buds and actually listen to a song.
Thanks. I think that'd be my option… certainly to start with.


Exactly what I was going to suggest.
👍


Because jammers are for newbs and self-conscious high school freshman😄. They’re good for sore quads and as tech suits but otherwise they impede range of motion.
👍 😁

It can be boring. I find swimming to put me into a state of meditation I suppose (so called “the zone”) where I’m not really thinking about anything. It’s tough if you’re out of shape and you’re thinking about your stroke or how tired you are or how many yards you have left or how much your arms hurt, but once you get into the grove of things you can kind of clear your mind and think about nothing. I suppose it’s not much different than running or walking for some people.

When I was in college I remember I would think about organic chemistry structures I had to memorize. Study them the night before, then the next morning recite them threw my mind while swimming.
This is something I did do when in High school… I'd do Latin conjugations and declensions. I'll have to start doing something similar.


Finis used to make “headphones” that used “bone conduction”- basically speakers that went on the bone in front of your ear so you didn’t have to deal with water getting stuck in between the headphone and ear. The sound quality was pretty poor and as I recall they were not particularly reliable, at least the early generation. I think they were called Swimp3. Not sure if they still make them.
Thanks.
Some pools are nice enough to have (and use) underwater speakers.
The one I have access to is not quite that fancy. And being stuck with "other people's" music choice? Aaargh! 🤣
 

AG_PhamD

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No they don't. ;)

After years of guys wearing jammers, for some reason one local HS team put all their guys in Speedo's. Not a good look. :)

It may not be pretty, but I assure you it’s much more comfortable and it gives you better range of motion, often resulting in better times. At least when it comes to regular (non-tech) suits.

Can I also say Nike makes the worst suits ever. Back in high school I was on a private team that bought Nike suits for our regular team suits. They were of the brief style. First, despite the elastic drawstring and most people opting for 1 size down (a normal practice in suit sizing), the waist of the suit would roll over on itself. Secondly, the material (as I recall a combo of nylon and Lycra) when wet would become waterlogged and heavy, and stretch out. The elastic in the leg openings wasn’t great either, which in conjunction with the last issue would result in the suit riding up into what could have been a thong. You could call it a wardrobe malfunction on mass scale. It was so bad that after our first meet everyone, including our parents, came to the conclusion we needed to buy different suits. And we did. Unfortunately we didn’t get them until a couple meets later.

I took your advice and tried out the square-leg suit. I found one on sale for like $25 from Nike… I figured they might have made some improvements 15+ years later. This was a full polyester suit. Unfortunately, I found the legs to ride up which seems to be a common complaint with this style of suit. I didn’t find that to be a huge problem. The bigger problem I found was that despite having reinforcement in the crotch and being black, it was very… revealing… let’s just say the furniture doesn’t stay in place. If you think a Speedo/brief is revealing you definitely don’t want to see this.

Speedo in Europe sells square-leg suits they call aquashorts. Unlike the ones they sell in the US, they don’t have the seam going through the crotch, instead on either side (v-cut). Most of the Speedo ones in the US aren’t designed for sport anyways, rather “fashion”. I ordered a pair of aquashorts from the UK and found them to be a much more comfortable, no leg riding up issues, and not revealing at all. And they’re the Endurance+ material (full polyester) so they won’t disintegrate after a month.

In use I’d say they’re pretty good. Not quite the range of motion from briefs but still better significantly better than jammers.
 

Huntn

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It may not be pretty, but I assure you it’s much more comfortable and it gives you better range of motion, often resulting in better times. At least when it comes to regular (non-tech) suits.

Can I also say Nike makes the worst suits ever. Back in high school I was on a private team that bought Nike suits for our regular team suits. They were of the brief style. First, despite the elastic drawstring and most people opting for 1 size down (a normal practice in suit sizing), the waist of the suit would roll over on itself. Secondly, the material (as I recall a combo of nylon and Lycra) when wet would become waterlogged and heavy, and stretch out. The elastic in the leg openings wasn’t great either, which in conjunction with the last issue would result in the suit riding up into what could have been a thong. You could call it a wardrobe malfunction on mass scale. It was so bad that after our first meet everyone, including our parents, came to the conclusion we needed to buy different suits. And we did. Unfortunately we didn’t get them until a couple meets later.

I took your advice and tried out the square-leg suit. I found one on sale for like $25 from Nike… I figured they might have made some improvements 15+ years later. This was a full polyester suit. Unfortunately, I found the legs to ride up which seems to be a common complaint with this style of suit. I didn’t find that to be a huge problem. The bigger problem I found was that despite having reinforcement in the crotch and being black, it was very… revealing… let’s just say the furniture doesn’t stay in place. If you think a Speedo/brief is revealing you definitely don’t want to see this.

Speedo in Europe sells square-leg suits they call aquashorts. Unlike the ones they sell in the US, they don’t have the seam going through the crotch, instead on either side (v-cut). Most of the Speedo ones in the US aren’t designed for sport anyways, rather “fashion”. I ordered a pair of aquashorts from the UK and found them to be a much more comfortable, no leg riding up issues, and not revealing at all. And they’re the Endurance+ material (full polyester) so they won’t disintegrate after a month.

In use I’d say they’re pretty good. Not quite the range of motion from briefs but still better significantly better than jammers.
These seem to be a bargain, holding up nicely:
BALEAF Men's Athletic Quick Dry Compression Square Leg Jammers Swim Brief Swimsuit Black Orange

Lately I’ve noticed persistent soreness in my shoulders swimming 2500 yards. Sequentially, stopped using paddles, stopped doing push-ups (outside of swimming :)), and I’ve cut back to 2000 yard. If this persists thinking about a visit to an orthopedic doc.
 
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