Paddling like a girl...

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Paddling like a girl...

Postby Dantastic » Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:12 pm

Hi all,

So I have awful paddling fitness, like that of a 70 year old asthmatic gent, and need this to change.

I am 73kgs and pretty fit. I run, cycle and play football a low. I also do pull ups, sit ups and press ups at home. I can swim 80 lengths of breast stroke in an hour but cannot do more than 2 lengths of front crawl without drowning.

I have started swimming at my local pool with a float tucked under my rash vest and one between my legs and doing lengths of just arms. This feels like it will help but the biggest area of weakness is around my elbows? My shoulders need more strength but its around my elbows and forearms that get the most grief.

Can anyone recommend some out of pool excersises I can do to increase strength other than what I am doing? I am using a thick rubber band (cannot remember the name) I got from the physio to try to increase my shoulder strength and flexibility.

Cheers

Dan
Last edited by Dantastic on Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Paddling like a girl...

Postby ATTMFKH » Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:42 pm

You're doing all the right stuff.

Try interval training in the pool. 50m full blast, 50m slow etc ...... build this up. Or race against the clock on the lengths - anything you gain on your minute you get as a rest , repeat x 1KM etc.

edit : there are plenty of girls that can paddle hard as well
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Re: Paddling like a girl...

Postby Dantastic » Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:46 pm

Ok Ill try that.

By the way I do not mean in any way that girls cannot paddle! I have changed my comment.
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Re: Paddling like a girl...

Postby Chris F » Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:33 pm

Dantastic wrote:My shoulders need more strength but its around my elbows and forearms that get the most grief.


You could try some bicep and wrist curls? Just using some free weights? Or how about a pullup bar? Do pullups with palms forwards and backwards, or try just using curled fingers and no thumbs.

Using a theraband is good for targetting smaller muscles, but weights should help with bulk strength building.
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Re: Paddling like a girl...

Postby Dantastic » Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:52 pm

Ill look at some weights. Ive been doing about 40 pull ups a day on my bar at home. I inly do hands facing forward though. Ill look to try switching around and keep what I'm doing.

Hopefully it'll come with a bit of time.
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Re: Paddling like a girl...

Postby Black » Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:21 pm

If you can do all these exercises you say and 40 pull-ups etc then you are plenty fit - but can't do more than 2 lengths frontcrawl it must be technique that is up the creek?
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Re: Paddling like a girl...

Postby Dantastic » Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:49 pm

Ill do some reading up to see where im going wrong.
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Re: Paddling like a girl...

Postby ATTMFKH » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:43 pm

Dantastic wrote:Ill do some reading up to see where im going wrong.


get rid of the float and the rash vest. Keep the float (figure of 8 foam) between your upper thighs - sounds like your breathing is all to fuck if you are reasonably strong. got a good tip off a really good triathlete guy I train with - put your hand into the water at the same angle as if you were posting your hand through a letterbox - this has really helped the rotator pain I had in my right shoulder , much more balanced now :-)
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Re: Paddling like a girl...

Postby defever » Wed May 01, 2013 12:31 pm

Dan...

RELAX!

If you are really doing all that exercise, then you must be physically fit. That's physically fit (which helps massively), but as Black said, if you can't do a front crawl for more than 2 length (but 80 lengths of breaststroke) then it's likely to be your arm technique that's hindering you.

Getting your elbow and forearms knackered during front crawl is ringing a massive bell. Your arm movements should mainly come from your big muscles (the lats!) and shoulder muscles are only working to stabilise our ball-socket shoulder joint. And your elbow, wrist and hands should all be COMPLETELY RELAXED. You don't need to tense your forearms at all. Your wrists and hands should all be relaxed at all times. May be that's where you are spending our extra energy?

You might want to look into "body rolls" when you're doing front crawl: http://www.swimsmooth.com/rotation.html
I haven't read the whole thing but I think it'll give you the gist of how important the body roll is (bit technical...).

You already have the fitness so you just need to correct your swimming habit and fine-tune your technique. I hope this helps!

Happy swimming.
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Re: Paddling like a girl...

Postby Dantastic » Wed May 01, 2013 12:50 pm

Take on board the relax part. I am swimming like mr mecano.

Good link that. So its pool time for me then and learning to bloody swim properly.

Do you guys roll your body when paddling on your board as well or do you take the technique and adapt it to when your on the board?

I live pretty close to the river trent and thinking of using an old wetty and just jumping in and paddling up and down now its light. Will that be better than swimming do you think?
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Re: Paddling like a girl...

Postby defever » Wed May 01, 2013 1:06 pm

I think the gross movement of swimming frontcrawl and paddling on a board (shortboard) is broadly the same but not identical for obvious reasons.

I do roll my body when paddling, but not to an extent when I swim. Just enough to get my arms to clear the water and reach far enough to enter the water. And this is on a shortboard, which easily rolls with the body. Rotation is less effective with longer boards, I guess, as they are alot more bulky and stable sideways. Maybe this is why some paddlers have their chest up high like a proud man...?

I think swimming in the trent is a good transition from pool to the sea. Get the hang of the body roll (if that's any help) and the overall frontcrawl movement in the pool, then gradually introduce swimming in the trent and see how you feel next time you go our for a surf. Good idea, it's dandastic! he.

Good luck and let us know how you get on, it'll be interesting to see if it helped or not.
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Re: Paddling like a girl...

Postby Jamez » Fri May 03, 2013 12:12 pm

swimming and paddling on a board is totally different technique wise. However if you can master the style of front crawl in the pool you can adapt it easily to paddling on a board.

ive surfed for over 30 years and recently taken up triathlon. Recently done a lot of swim technique training which is very complicated andi couldnt go into the ins and outs here in detail

a couple of things however iver learnt which helps my surf paddling are listed below:

1. Dont go too deep in the pull stroke of your paddle you fatigue shoulders to much
2. reach out as far as you can and after your arms enters the water try to rotate at the elbow so when you start your pull strokeyour arm is vertical and all the force is transfered in a direction push water away from you. if you dont do this and you push water down and around - what hep is this to forward trajectory?
3. get balanced. i.e. if you nose of the board is up 6 inches out the of the water your working harder to push your self through the water which is 8 times thicker than air...be as streamlined and small as possible in the water...the nose of your board should generally just be breaking the surface

J
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Re: Paddling like a girl...

Postby Leven » Fri May 03, 2013 12:44 pm

Best tip I ever heard was "Don't think of it as paddling, think of it as pulling yourself along a rope through the water"....In essence, don't paddle the water around you, pull yourself through the water instead!
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Re: Paddling like a girl...

Postby ATTMFKH » Fri May 03, 2013 6:29 pm

Dantastic wrote:
I live pretty close to the river trent and thinking of using an old wetty and just jumping in and paddling up and down now its light. Will that be better than swimming do you think?


make sure you get your Hep A jag then go back for your booster in 6 months

http://www.sas.org.uk/campaigns/sewage-and-sickness/
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Re: Paddling like a girl...

Postby Leven » Fri May 03, 2013 7:38 pm

Dantastic wrote:Take on board the relax part. I am swimming like mr mecano.

Good link that. So its pool time for me then and learning to bloody swim properly.

Do you guys roll your body when paddling on your board as well or do you take the technique and adapt it to when your on the board?

I live pretty close to the river trent and thinking of using an old wetty and just jumping in and paddling up and down now its light. Will that be better than swimming do you think?



Why would you paddle down? That's a piece of piss! Paddle upstream for a work out!
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Re: Paddling like a girl...

Postby Dantastic » Thu May 09, 2013 1:02 pm

Went for a swim this morning and was still shit. Knackered after 2 lengths again. Trying to swim using just my arms and a float between my legs, my technique is abysmal.

Just thought I would let you know Im still shit but going twice a week will surely help. Ill be back when Im paddling like a machine to thank you all for your technique tips!
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Re: Paddling like a girl...

Postby Black » Thu May 09, 2013 1:49 pm

When swimming arms only with a pull-buoy between your legs look ahead not down, stretch your body right out so you are as long as possible and stroke slowly with high elbow action. Make sure your arms enter the water fully extended. You can speed up later once the technique is right.
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Re: Paddling like a girl...

Postby Murtle's magic board » Thu May 09, 2013 7:21 pm

Have a lesson and from there practice...practice..practice.. :-)
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Re: Paddling like a girl...

Postby Dantastic » Thu May 09, 2013 9:38 pm

Swimming lesson or surfing?

@black That is definitely something i do on the first length and it feels good. Second when im blowing it all goes tits up. Ill stick at it! Elbows up, head up. Boom!
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Re: Paddling like a girl...

Postby Leven » Fri May 10, 2013 6:33 am

Blowing after a length?! Are you in an Olympic pool??


Seriously though, spend as much time swimming as you can. My personal opinion? If you can't swim a mile, you've no business being in the ocean.....


Swim in the sea too if you can. It's totally different swimming in currents/chop etc.
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Re: Paddling like a girl...

Postby Chris F » Fri May 10, 2013 8:06 am

When you say knackered, do you mean worn out, or just breathing hard? maybe you are just going at it too hard? Not breathing properly? I think you should be going for volume rather than full on for a few lengths and then being blown out. I don't know much about physiology, but it might take some time to develop a capacity for sustained aerobic respiration in your upper body? Nothing wrong with mixing up the swimming with the float between your legs with some conventional crawl or breast stroke, as long as the lungs and arms are doing sustained work at 70-80%(? ish) capacity.

Stick with it it will come.
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Re: Paddling like a girl...

Postby Philshoz » Fri May 10, 2013 1:17 pm

I think you are stressing too much Dan.

Stick to doing breaststroke if you want. OK, the crawl is similar to the paddling motion of surfing but breast stroke will still build your Latissimus Dorsi.... :shock:

Failing all else, sack it off and move to the coast..... :lol:
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Re: Paddling like a girl...

Postby Dantastic » Fri May 10, 2013 4:45 pm

[quote="Philshoz"
Failing all else, sack it off and move to the coast..... :lol:[/quote]

Funny you should mention that! Sydney might be on the cards.

When I do my 2 lengths front crawl with a pool buoy between my legs at the end it feels like my arms are going to fall off. My breathing is fine. I can do my 2 lengths and have burning arms at the end and then break into 20 lengths breast stroke piece of piss. I can do a mile in under an hour and consider myself a strong swimmer as long as its breast stroke only. Believe it or not I used to be a life guard!

It has to be technique and I need to keep practising the head up, look forward, bend my elbow properly so its working my back/lats more than arms/shoulders.
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Re: Paddling like a girl...

Postby Philshoz » Fri May 10, 2013 5:32 pm

[quote="Dantastic"] Believe it or not I used to be a life guard!quote]

Now you are just making things worse...... :oops: :oops:
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Re: Paddling like a girl...

Postby Leven » Fri May 10, 2013 5:38 pm

Dantastic wrote: I can do a mile in under an hour and consider myself a strong swimmer as long as its breast stroke only. Believe it or not I used to be a life guard!

It has to be technique and I need to keep practising the head up, look forward, bend my elbow properly so its working my back/lats more than arms/shoulders.



What use is breaststroke against a rip or after a board? You may as well swim doggy paddle....How on earth did you become a lifeguard?!

Is it the outside of your triceps that hurt? Pretty common if it is. Any form of resistance training where you're pulling down will help. Tie some bands around the top of a door, close the door and pull down on them for an hour while you're watching tv. Or join a gym with those pulley machines you can set a bar on and pull down.


That'll all build stamina which is important, but bear in mind surfing is explosive too. You need to be able to paddle at a steady pace for a while, then paddle harder to get into a wave. Sprint a length, slow down for two, sprint a length etc in a pool.
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Re: Paddling like a girl...

Postby Dantastic » Fri May 10, 2013 5:56 pm

"How on earth did you become a lifeguard?!"

You only had to swim 2 lengths in under a minute in your clothes, no problem!

"Is it the outside of your triceps that hurt? Pretty common if it is. Any form of resistance training where you're pulling down will help. Tie some bands around the top of a door, close the door and pull down on them for an hour while you're watching tv. Or join a gym with those pulley machines you can set a bar on and pull down."

Yeah its acombination of back of my triceps and shoulders. Ill get some old inner tubes and do the pulling down thing. Ive got a pull up bar I can tie them to.

"That'll all build stamina which is important, but bear in mind surfing is explosive too. You need to be able to paddle at a steady pace for a while, then paddle harder to get into a wave. Sprint a length, slow down for two, sprint a length etc in a pool."

Thats what im trying to get to. Ive only been surfing for about 9 months and only twice a moth at best so theres not been much opportunity to build up the right muscles for paddling.
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Re: Paddling like a girl...

Postby ATTMFKH » Fri May 10, 2013 6:45 pm

Dantastic wrote:"How on earth did you become a lifeguard?!"

. Ive only been surfing for about 9 months and only twice a moth at best .


try the butterfly then :lol: :lol: thank you
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Re: Paddling like a girl...

Postby Black » Fri May 10, 2013 6:58 pm

ATTMFKH wrote:
Dantastic wrote:"How on earth did you become a lifeguard?!"

. Ive only been surfing for about 9 months and only twice a moth at best .


try the butterfly then :lol: :lol: thank you
:lol:
Dan breast stroke is best applied to women, I think you should give up surfing & become a gigolo!
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Re: Paddling like a girl...

Postby Philshoz » Fri May 10, 2013 8:07 pm

Black wrote:
ATTMFKH wrote:
Dantastic wrote:"How on earth did you become a lifeguard?!"

. Ive only been surfing for about 9 months and only twice a moth at best .


try the butterfly then :lol: :lol: thank you
:lol:
Dan breast stroke is best applied to women, I think you should give up surfing & become a gigolo!


More rose spat out.....
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Re: Paddling like a girl...

Postby ATTMFKH » Fri May 10, 2013 8:36 pm

^^ thought you'd be a swallower Phil :mrgreen:
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