Swimming Challenge

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Iron Muffin    pirate
11/09/2012 at 08:26

Pool for me last night. Clock was broken so no TT

Spent the hour on technique. I am getting better at bits of my stroke, it is the multi-tasking  of doing it all together that I cant master.

Bouncing Barlist    pirate
11/09/2012 at 10:01

I'll be TTing again this week, feeling like im swimmer better, knocked out a dozen consistent 1:50 100's last night and a 23 second 25 meters

Cortina5    pirate
11/09/2012 at 10:13


One of our sets was 4 x 100 off 2:30, so aimed for 2:00 to give me more rest.

The coach has noted I have no power in my arms. I know my L has nothing compared to my R. She has suggested paddles, however I know at the moment this will trash my LH shoulder and keep me out of the pool for weeks again. What strength work can I do to build the shoulder back up, and what arm//shoulder muslces are used in swimming?

WildWill    pirate
11/09/2012 at 10:27

WW ... Tip of the day

Do a few (2-4) of your intervals each week wearing a baggy T-shirt .. This will help improve strength, thus speed without the risks associated with paddles. Will only take 6-8 weeks to make a marked difference

This is equiv to doing hill reps on the bike or run

Edited: 11/09/2012 at 10:30
11/09/2012 at 10:33

Good set BB! I assume your coach knows what she is talking about, but i would have thought that if one arm is doing a lot more than the other then its more technique than power. Or have you got a previous injury that has weakened it? If so, then light weights in the gym is probably the best place to start. When you use paddles, if your hand entry isn't right you will wreck your shoulders so maybe ask her about that before getting them? WW's tip makes sense as well. Or baggy swim shorts will prob have a similar effect.

I think generally the less you use your shoulders the better. If you rotate your body as you swim you'll use your stronger back muscles more than your shoulders. Last week our swim coach pointed out that i was pulling slightly to the side of my body rather than underneath so i angled my arm a little more as I was pulling through which made me rotate more through the stroke and it feels much easier.

Bouncing Barlist    pirate
11/09/2012 at 10:35

Power will come from practise, and consitantly swimming but I guess paddles and t-shirt (never heard of that) will help.

Ive noticed ive more strength in my arms to push through the water/accelerate my pull through the main push bit.  Whats also helping me is im also improving my rotation and reaching forward further before I start the pull, im also pushing further through the stroke (still got some work to improve that though).

WildWill    pirate
11/09/2012 at 10:44

Paddles = bad 

Iron Muffin    pirate
11/09/2012 at 10:49
WildWill..... wrote (see)

Paddles = bad 


11/09/2012 at 10:52

I like using paddles. They are a good training tool as long as they are used correctly.. i actually have 2 sets.. one PT set which basically make your hand ineffective and one standard set which make your hand bigger. I think both sets are useful for drills and specific sets.

WildWill    pirate
11/09/2012 at 10:53

Unless you have a perfect stroke they will emphasise any problems and lead to you using a more sloppy stroke plus likely contribute to injury.

Plus most people over use them

That info came to me from a mate who is an Olympics swim coach 



  • Swim paddles are one of those swimming gear accessories that often do more harm than good, either by using them incorrectly or too much. Endurance swimming is a virtually injury-free sport. But the one injury you might experience could be a shoulder injury, often aggravated by the use of swim paddles.
  • swim paddles put additional (and unnecessary) strain on your very fragile shoulder muscles, tendons and ligaments, which can lead to shoulder strain and injury, especially in younger swimmers, swimmers who are using paddles that are too large, or swimmers who are using the paddles incorrectly or who have bad technique.
  • The idea behind the use of swimming paddles, often used in conjunction with pull buoys, is that they build up your upper body by adding resistance to your pull, while immobilizing your kick. At least that’s the idea. But does this swimming gear really make you swim faster? The jury is out on that one. Even if they do make you swim faster, the real question is, are there other ways to improve speed and technique without risking a shoulder injury? And the answer isYES!
Edited: 11/09/2012 at 11:01
Iron Muffin    pirate
11/09/2012 at 11:02

I like the look of the PT ones. Need to imporove my catch, will they help or should I save money and do 'fist' drills?

Cortina5    pirate
11/09/2012 at 11:07

I separated my LH shoulder about 2 years ago. This has left some muscle imbalance within the shoulder, and the wrong muslces being used to move it (according to physio). What I do know is my R shoulder has some muscle mass under my collarbone at the front, and my L has a hole.

As recent as February I was out of the pool for almost 6 weeks due to a shoulder flare, caused by hard intervals in the pool. Undoubtedly down to poor technique, and the wrong muscles pulling the shoulder. I struggled to lift my arm above my shoulder at one point.

I'm sure paddles have their uses, but until my shoulder is strong enough they're a no-no for me.

Normally I'd agree with the specificity in training. Even so far as to agree with Barlos; I'm pushing through the stroke more than I used to, and trying to glide more which is really helping. Single arm drills are fun. I don't make much progress left-handed!

11/09/2012 at 11:10

There probably isn't a huge difference between fists and PT paddles. I do think that fists give you more propulsion than the paddles but not a huge amount more. We sometimes swim with a tennis ball in each hand. That's more like what PT paddles feel like. They say another advantage of the paddles is that you still train with your hand in the correct position rather than in a fist or wrapped around a ball. My catch has certainly improved, whether thats partly down to the paddles or not I don't know.

Iron Muffin    pirate
11/09/2012 at 18:43

Cat, managing your shoulder and swimming sounds tough. A specialist physio may help (the shoulder and not the bank balance)

May be tempted to get wet tomorrow with 2 tennis balls

M...eldy    pirate
11/09/2012 at 18:48

That sounds like an interesting drill ...!!

I too am swimming tomorrow, likely to be my only visit this week due to work issues

Cortina5    pirate
11/09/2012 at 19:42
Iron Muffin wrote (see)

Cat, managing your shoulder and swimming sounds tough. A specialist physio may help (the shoulder and not the bank balance)

May be tempted to get wet tomorrow with 2 tennis balls

I had a sports physio sort me out after with lots of theraband work to try to get things back to normal. Other than the odd tri club session I stuck with distance swims or took things easier. I also have a suspicion zip drills may have been involved too.

That aside, what to do tomorrow? Swimming with Mrs Cat5 at lunch. She'll probably bang out a straight mile. I fancy a 400m TT in the middle, but beyond that, some 100s to warm up, fists, balls? Give me a 45min workout.

11/09/2012 at 21:23

Right 45 minutes!

300m warmup
6 x 50m (25m fists + 25m swim) rest 20s
2 x (3x50m slow/medium/fast) rest 20s
Rest 1 minute
400m TT
200m cool down 

Total: 1,500m

How's that?

Edited: 11/09/2012 at 21:25
Cortina5    pirate
12/09/2012 at 14:01


I think I over cooked the fast 50s; I went all out. I could feel my arms beginning to ache on the 3rd or 4th lap of the 400m TT. End result 7:47.

Lap times in reverse order:

0:30.55 0:28.81 0:30.26 0:30.50 0:31.12 0:29.88 0:30.29 0:30.61 0:28.53 0:31.17 0:29.71 0:30.00 0:28.13 0:28.04 0:25.62 0:24.62
12/09/2012 at 14:22

nice one, consistent times with a strong finish! i guess based on those lap times slow, medium, fast would be something like 33, 30, 27. Fast meaning a little faster than TT pace but yeah, not necessarily flat out. I like doing that as a build set to get used to swimming faster before starting a hard set.

Iron Muffin    pirate
12/09/2012 at 14:37

Swimming chat, love it  

Cat, how do you get your splits?

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