Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Switch Around Your Muscle Focus

I confessed in a post some months back that when I'm doing freestyle, I occasionally will imagine that as I reach and pull the water, I am pulling the rungs of a ladder, yanking myself along the line in the bottom of the pool. There are of course alternatives. Late last week, I found myself unusually fatigued during my swim. My arms were inexplicably aching. To ease the fatigue - I didn't want to quit - I tried focusing my attention to different muscle groups at different times. First I tried focusing on my shoulders. I straightened out my arms and allowed my shoulder muscles to do the pulling. By doing this, I found my arms relaxing - my upper body took over the work and my arms took on an unintended relaxed, almost whip-like motion that still propelled me sufficiently but lessened the fatigue (it was nice). Next I tried focusing on my elbows. Pointing my elbows back toward my feet, I pulled through with the upper part of my forearm. This didn't lessen my fatigue much, but pulled me through fairly efficiently. Last, I tried focusing on my hands, putting as much pull as I could into the stroke by grabbing and holding the water so little slid past. This promoted the greatest feeling of fatigue but seemed most fast for the short period of time I could support it (remember, I was tired). I suppose a combination of these three approaches is best, but when a muscle group gets tired it's nice to switch around. Experiment and see what works best for you.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are welcome and can be a great contribution to this blog, but comment spam including those with links to external promotional sites may be deleted.