Swimming Lesson Number 1

Its no secret that I am on a mission to ‘Beat the Belly’. I’m not a FATTY… but I do have a sizeable belly.

For over a year I’ve been half heartedly going to the gym, with no real motivation, and no real consistency. For the past 3 week I have managed to stick to my routine. Whats more, for over two months now I’ve went swimming once a week. Therein lies the problem: I’m not a strong swimmer. A couple of weeks ago I managed to swim 10 lengths in a row (breast stroke) and after a sauna/rest break I completed another 7.

I registered my interest for Adult Swim Lessons at my local pool and I was contacted to start this week. Last night. During the day I ended up winding myself up and was very nervous, however the lesson was AWESOME! I was seriously buzzing at the end of it. It was a group lesson, me with two others, and the instructor was a lovely patient guy called Paul.

First point on breast stroke:    Keep your feet flexed… like in a walking position.

Flexed foot for swimming breast strokeMy toes were pointed… and this means that about 85% (possibly more) of my effort was coming from my arms and upper body.

Sounds easy to fix?

I guess practice will make perfect on this one. My first length like this resulted in a wee bit of cramp in my calves, not a full-on spasm, but there was definitely a twinge. There still is, so I have been stretching all morning and will continue to do so and hope thats its better for my second run tonight. If not I may have to cancel as injuries are NOT GOOD!

Calf and Solus Muscle IllustrationI massaged my leg this morning and found the precise source of the niggle – its actually the soleus muscle thats situated to the side and under the calf. A – ha! I didnt even know that there was another muscle tucked in there; the joys of living with a Remedial Sports Massage Therapist. I will endevour to learn as I go.

Second Point on Breast Stroke:  Stretch and Glide.

Stretch and glide image of breast strokeThe stretch is important as it sets you up for the circle movement of the stroke. Try and keep your eyes forward all of the time, and if you can see your hands then it makes life easier.

When you stretch out, glide for a moment in the water before moving straight onto the stroke. As of yet I have been unable to accomplish this; because I dont have the power in my frog kick. Because I don’t flex my feet and push the water away. I am working on it.

Third point on breast stroke: Relax!

During my lesson I was taught how to swim with my head under water, breathing while coming up and stretching forward. EVERY time my head came up I could hear the instructor say, ‘Relax!’ He asked if I was scared of water. I don’t think I am. Am I comptetive? Definitely not. Then why am I so rigid, and so tense when swimming? Almost like I’m rushing the moves. I have no idea. I need to work on this. Especially as I know that every time my head comes up I have an opportunity to breath… so I’m not going to die.

Quite a lot to think about. I haven’t included other top tips from Paul, as I’m no expert and dont want to give bad advice. By writing a couple down I am reinforcing them in my mind, and *hopefully* I will put them into practice while practising.

Stretch. Pull. Breath. Kick. Glide.

Image Credits: The image of the swimmer was taken from the BBC website, and the others I found on Google Images. If anyone requires credit let me know.

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About misselletea

30 year old female who's interested in all sorts, but not very good at most. I love life, love, colour, friends... and I love being.
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One Response to Swimming Lesson Number 1

  1. Pingback: Swimming lesson 2 | theworldoflt

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