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#511335 06/13/15 08:14 AM
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ganda Offline OP
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hi,
(sorry for bad grammar/choice of words, non native english speaker).

some back story:
I'm 30 years old.
I got diagnosed with AS about 10 years ago by an orthopedic doctor, but i already feel the back pain/stiffness since i was a teenager.

current medications: My rheumatologist prescribe me immunosuppresant (sulfasalazine & leflunomide - daily) + Remicade (twice a year).
--------------------------------------------------------------
now about the topic:
I was taught swimming by my dad when i was a little kid and back then i can only managed to float on the water...like a t*rd eyes

recently i've tried swimming to ease and straighten my back, but when i swim, my head can only stay underwater, hence i can only swim a little (About 3-5 strokes) and have to stop to breathe and continue, and so on. (butterfly & the usual-backstroke? style)
(What do you expect from a guy who learn to swim mostly from video games >_<)

question:
Is it normal for a guy with AS to have a hard time trying to swim properly or it's just a general lack of training issue?

any tips?

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Apprentice_AS_Kicker
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your head shouldn't be underwater for backstroke even with severe curvature of the spine. With the other strokes severe curvature is a problem for some, if that's the problem you could try a snorkel, but without more information it could just be a technique issue though. With breaststroke you come up for air every stroke and freestyle you roll around to get air.

Butterfly isn't recommended for AS as it's a bit extreme. It's very inefficient anyway.

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ganda Offline OP
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thanks for the reply ^_^

Originally Posted By Staffy
your head shouldn't be underwater for backstroke even with severe curvature of the spine.

hmm, just to be clear (language barrier and stuff), the back stroke is the one like this right?

tried that one, but i can't spin enough to get my head above the water (tried moving my head left & right but can only stay underwater)
Quote:

.....With the other strokes severe curvature is a problem for some, if that's the problem you could try a snorkel

hmm, not sure if i can consider mine as "severe", people can notice it when i walk, but not when i sit down. A snorkel is a workaround but it feels awkward to wear a mask+snorkel in the pool crazy
Quote:

but without more information it could just be a technique issue though. With breaststroke you come up for air every stroke and freestyle you roll around to get air.

Butterfly isn't recommended for AS as it's a bit extreme. It's very inefficient anyway.

sorry for the mix up >_<, i meant breaststroke, not butterfly, breaststroke is the one i use (try to use), but still can't get my head above the water.

tried to emulate the style used by the elderly i saw at the pool, i think it's dog paddle style? (head constantly stay above water), but failed.

anyway, if you think it's just a matter of technique then maybe it's just because the lack of training, i'll keep trying then.

question: which one of the style would be most beneficial for a guy with AS? (to help straighten my back & perhaps fix the funny walk).


Last edited by ganda; 06/13/15 09:25 AM.
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That looks like freestyle not backstroke.
The back stroke stays floating on your back while your arms stay straight swinging from your side to over your head (alternating) YOur face should never be underwater.

When I swim freestyle, I cannot kick. It puts too much torque on my spine and hurts like the dickens. So, when I swim, I'll go one direction free style with just arms and then flip over onto my back and only kick while I float backwards. That way I figure that I'm getting all the major muscles.

I try to do a couple of laps with the breast stroke and find the butterfly impossible to do.

I also do aquatics for arthritis. which is like a water aerobics class meant for healing instead of a harsh workout.


Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
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I could never swim properly because my feet were like lead balloons until I got taught to swim by keeping my body fairly rigidly straight and rolling my entire body to the side to breathe. Its a fairly inefficient stroke if you want speed, but it worked for me. I gave up backstroke when my shoulders refused to rotate properly and a swimming instructor observed that one arm was pulling my body underwater because it was so stiff. I do float on my back, and kind of flutter my hands by my sides, which can propel me fairly fast backwards though. Breaststroke really got to my neck, until I learned to not try and keep my head above water, but allow myself to submerge every second stroke. Again, a fairly inefficient stroke, but it worked. I definitely avoided dog paddle - it forced my neck back too much and left me feeling incredibly stiff afterwards.

But, when I first started doing pool therapy, I didn't swim at all. I floated, stretched arms and legs out, circled arms and legs, etc - basically doing all my stretches, but under water, or floating (with the aid of floats if necessary). I don't think its necessary to "swim" to get benefit from being in the pool, though obviously swimming can be a bit more of an aerobic exercise.

Make sure you try out all the different floaty aids, as you may find one or more of them useful.

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ganda Offline OP
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Originally Posted By Pezami
That looks like freestyle not backstroke.

sorry for the confusion >_<
Originally Posted By cemc
Breaststroke really got to my neck, until I learned to not try and keep my head above water, but allow myself to submerge every second stroke. Again, a fairly inefficient stroke, but it worked.

so you can get your head to go above water?
Quote:

I definitely avoided dog paddle - it forced my neck back too much and left me feeling incredibly stiff afterwards.
But, when I first started doing pool therapy, I didn't swim at all. I floated, stretched arms and legs out, circled arms and legs, etc - basically doing all my stretches, but under water, or floating (with the aid of floats if necessary). I don't think its necessary to "swim" to get benefit from being in the pool, though obviously swimming can be a bit more of an aerobic exercise.

Make sure you try out all the different floaty aids, as you may find one or more of them useful.


so i guess it's just a matter of technique then. i'll keep trying. thanks ^_^

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OK it sounds like your curvature is similar to mine, although your flexibility may of course be different.

With freestyle, you should be rolling your whole body with your hips from side to side.

Only your head should stay still when you ARENT coming up for air on that stroke, your head should be in a relaxed position supported by the water and looking down. Imagine a line coming out of the top of your head pointing where you are going.

It sounds like one problem might be your head is too far down in the water or you aren't looking down at the bottom of the pool as you swim, but very difficult to diagnose without being able to see.

Thinking of a clock, your stroke ends with your body slanted diagonally at 10'o'clock/4'o'clock on one side and 8'o'clock, 2'o'clock on the other side.

This is very important.

If you are rotating your whole body in this way, you should find it easier to get up for air, as you just need to turn your head slightly with your body as you roll, so as your right hip comes down you turn your head left at exactly the same time, keeping the top of your head pointing where you are going.

Most people come up for air far too late in their stroke. They try to get their head up at the end of each stroke instead of at the start. You should be turning your head at exactly the same time as your hip STARTS coming DOWN for the next stroke, this is very early!

Remember that you aren't supposed to be coming up for air like Mount Vesuvius erupting. You only need half of your face out of the water, so you can sip some air. Think of Popeye. Watch a professional swimmer - its often very hard to tell when they come up for air.

Also, when you are learning, start by coming up for air every stroke or 2nd stroke. You can then work up to every 3rd stroke. You don't want to make coming up for air into a 'big deal'.

When I say "start" and "end" of a stroke, I am defining the "Start" as being when you are about to bring your hip down and drive your arm forwards, and the "end" being when your arm is fully outstretch in FRONT of you.

This is the opposite to what many people see as the start of the stroke which is bringing the arm BACK. This is because many people think that you get propulsion in freestyle by pushing the water back behind you with your hands and legs. But really good freestylers understand that the opposite is true - real efficient freestyle is where each stroke is a drive forwards. Think of how a fish slips through the water with no arms or legs, this is what you are aiming for.

So each stroke as a hip-led thrust with your arm forwards. You are coming up for air as soon as your hip starts moving, much much earlier than you think. You should now find it easier to get up for air and have a lot more time than you need once up.

You want to be as straight as possible in the water, think of a boat. Not easy with AS, but good dynamic stretching. Along with the rotation of the torso, this is the reason freestyle is recommended for AS.

Backstroke is also good because it opens up the chest and shoulders.

I combine freestyle with breaststroke and backstroke to prevent repetitive strain injuries. So I do "sets" of 2 lengths of breast, 4 x freestyle, 2 x back.

Interesting that you aren't getting up to air doing breaststroke. Would need to watch you to see why.

Last edited by Staffy; 06/15/15 10:53 AM.
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Remember also that we are not swimming to beat Olympic records. This will only result in injury. We are swimming for pain relief, flexibility and cardiovascular benefits. We are therefore not aiming to swim fast, we are instead aiming to swim at a steady rhythm with style.

Inspiration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJpFVvho0o4

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Very_Addicted_to_AS_Kickin
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I fiind freestyle very difficult and can't even imagine butterfly.

I used to do breast stroke, but more recently, the leg motion is too much for my SI joint.

strokes that are still OK for me for the most part:

back stroke where you swim on your back.

"freestyle" kick but using a paddle board to keep the head above water, but you can't use your arms that way, you just hold onto the paddle board.

side stroke.

so, i'd say its partly because of your back and maybe partly because of your training. could you take some swimming instruction? but don't let anyone pressure you into doing anything that makes you feel more pain....you know your body.



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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I use a swim saddle . Your legs aren't involved as much but you can pretend you are on a bicycle and that works the legs .
I use my saddle all summer and the swim exercise is so good for our AS! http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&key...z_b]swim saddle

Last edited by hawkman; 06/21/15 08:34 PM. Reason: url

Bruce

Still kicking AS with the No Starch Diet !
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