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#507252 - 10/22/14 02:03 PM Learning to swim
skinnycow Offline
New_Member

Registered: 12/16/10
Posts: 3
Loc: Louisville, KY
Hello everyone

It has been some time since I have been to this site. You are always very helpful and filled with good advice. I just turned 60 and one of the items on my bucket list is to learn how to swim. I am in my fourth lesson and the progress is going very slow. Would you please offer some advice for a first time swimmer such as strokes, breathing, etc.? My spine is fused from top to bottom so, of course, I am limited. I am pretty active in other areas such as cycling, walking, weightlifting and other cardio exercises, however, learning to swim is throwing me for a loop. Thanks to any advice in advance.

Best,

Pat

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#507288 - 10/23/14 09:55 PM Re: Learning to swim [Re: skinnycow]
copen Offline
Member

Registered: 01/19/14
Posts: 35
Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
Hello skinnycow
Good on you for getting on with your bucket list. And for staying so active. I learned to swim as an adult and then went on to compete reasonably competitively as a triathlete. I still squad swim 3-4 times a week. Four lessons is early early days. I imagine you are focussing on breathing as well as the basics of a stroke. In my mind the most important things to master are:
- breathing comfortably
- having a body position that is forward and down - it should feel like you're falling forward as you glide (or try your darndest to glide but in reality imitate a piece of flotsam - we've all been there).
So my tips are:
1. When you get in the water and before you start swimming, spend a minute or so bobbing up and down with your head out of the water and then submerged. Practice breathing in rhythm with this - breathe out under water, bob up (gently, rhythmically), take a breathe in, bob down, breathe out. Do this until you have comfortable, rhythmic breathing. I think it helps tremendously in making breathing more comfortable when you swim.
2. Think about stretching forward and falling downwards, chest-first as you stroke through the water.
3. Enjoy no matter how it feels!

Good luck.

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#507295 - 10/24/14 12:10 PM Re: Learning to swim [Re: skinnycow]
skinnycow Offline
New_Member

Registered: 12/16/10
Posts: 3
Loc: Louisville, KY
This is exactly what I needed in terms of instruction. I'm still figuring out how to breathe and getting used to the feeling of falling forward. Thank you so much for your great advice.

Pat

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#507322 - 10/25/14 11:25 PM Re: Learning to swim [Re: skinnycow]
Sue22 Offline
Very_Addicted_to_AS_Kickin

Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 21302
Loc: Upstate NY
I don't swim anymore as it was really flaring my SI joint.

But when I did, I enjoyed it.

Freestyle was the hardest to do, so i did a lot of breast stroke (but probably the hardest kick for the SI joint) and back stroke (love back stroke, very easy, and of course breathing is easy since you are face up).

or using a kick board could be a good way to start.

as i said, i did freestyle, but was the most challenging.
_________________________

sue

Spondyloarthropathy, HLAB27 negative
Humira (still methylprednisone for flares, just not as often. Aleve if needed, rarely.)
LDN/zanaflex/flector patches over SI/ice
vits C, D. probiotics. hyaluronic acid. CoQ, Mg, Ca, K.
chiro
walk, bike
no dairy (casein sensitivity), limited eggs, limited yeast (bread)

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#507337 - 10/26/14 03:33 PM Re: Learning to swim [Re: skinnycow]
EricaK Offline
Royal_AS_kicker

Registered: 06/23/10
Posts: 3784
Loc: Colorado, USA
Originally Posted By: skinnycow
Hello everyone

It has been some time since I have been to this site. You are always very helpful and filled with good advice. I just turned 60 and one of the items on my bucket list is to learn how to swim. I am in my fourth lesson and the progress is going very slow. Would you please offer some advice for a first time swimmer such as strokes, breathing, etc.? My spine is fused from top to bottom so, of course, I am limited. I am pretty active in other areas such as cycling, walking, weightlifting and other cardio exercises, however, learning to swim is throwing me for a loop. Thanks to any advice in advance.



Yay Pat!!! cheerleader

My only advice is to take it slow and use a lot of time to warm up and cool down. I learned how to swim with AS as well, and I have to say that YouTube has really helped me. Thatís how I learned to flip turn. roll

Please join us in the KickAS FITNESS TEAM !

We will cheer you on as you go! clap 1cup cheerleader
_________________________
ANA+ RF+ Rh- HLAB27+
Dx JRA 1967, GAD 1997, AS 2009, HMs 2010, CPS 2013
pulmonary edema w/ NSAIDS 2009

Movin' it so I don't lose it!


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#507854 - 11/30/14 03:28 PM Re: Learning to swim [Re: skinnycow]
Soco11 Offline
New_Member

Registered: 03/27/13
Posts: 16
Hey Pat!

Congrats on learning to swim. I learned to swim as an adult - I think it's a lot harder than learning as a kid.

I learned with the Total Immersion method of swimming - you can look them up on Google. Total Immersion specializes in teaching adults.

Breathing is difficult - no doubt about it. The way that Total Immersion teaches breathing is by starting with drills where you rotate to face the sky when you need to breathe. So you will literally flip up and take a few breaths. When you are ready to swim again, you will rotate face down and take a few more strokes. When you need to take a breath, you rotate up again.

After a while, you get proficient so that you don't need to rotate all the way. It is definitely an evolution.

One tip I can offer is to make sure that you are looking straight down while you swim. Then, when you rotate your head to breathe, your mouth will be closer to the surface of the water. One mistake that a lot of beginners make is that they look forward as they swim. Then when they rotate their heads to breathe, their mouths are below the water line (because your mouth is at the bottom of your head).

Hope this helps!

Mike

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#508523 - 01/08/15 11:17 PM Re: Learning to swim [Re: skinnycow]
MikeGinnyMD Offline
Active_Member

Registered: 01/24/09
Posts: 71
Loc: SF Bay Area, CA, USA
Speaking as a life-long competitive swimmer, I have only a few pieces of advice:

1) Swim in it; don't drink it. And definitely don't try to breathe it.
2) Inhale when your mouth is OUT of the water. Exhale when your mouth is IN the water. If you are exhaling when your mouth is out of the water, you are wasting perfectly good inhalation time.
3) Practice, practice, practice.

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#508534 - 01/09/15 10:51 AM Re: Learning to swim [Re: MikeGinnyMD]
Lon Offline
Very_Addicted_to_AS_Kickin

Registered: 09/11/01
Posts: 8360
Loc: Gillette, Wyoming
Mike- so very true, yet also just a real hoot- as I thought back to the mis-steps the flops and strokes that went wild. I an too stiff to get my face into the air.. so I stay where I can stand up after swimming face down across the pool.

thanks again for the memories and the reminder to not drink the water!!

Ah, I love it here!
_________________________
I keep the New Covenant,
when I fail....I am pulled
back into place by HIM.

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#508535 - 01/09/15 11:24 AM Re: Learning to swim [Re: skinnycow]
elmerfudd Offline
Veteran_AS_Kicker

Registered: 09/11/11
Posts: 526
Loc: north central indiana
You could maybe bring a Wilson volleyball with you to hold onto for extra floatation. Just learn to float first, keep you lungs as full as possible with shallow breathing, and lay on your back and use your arms and legs as needed. Then learn to swim under the water also, it may actually be easier to start with. Have fun with it and good luck.

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#509128 - 02/03/15 12:12 AM Re: Learning to swim [Re: skinnycow]
rumble Offline
Supreme_AS_Kicker

Registered: 01/31/09
Posts: 4478
Loc: NE Oklahoma
I'm not a strong swimmer, so a little fearful of the water and getting in over my head. On several vacations to Hawaii, the people told us of the beautiful fish in the waters and that snorkling is so easy. Even bobbing in buoyant salt water was too much for me, so we got a foam pool noodle which I put under my armpits. That wouldn't work for strokes, but a buoyant vest might help.
_________________________
DX: Psoriatic Arthritis, Osteoporosis, Psoriasis
Meds: MTX since Oct 2009, 15mg/week. Cosentyx (6th biologic) starting soon.
Epidural Steroid Injections x7; Lumbar Radiofreq Ablation x2
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