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Swimming with a kickboard - Likely to be of any help?

whyamiherewhyamihere Posts: 7,598
I have an annoying problem with my shoulders, in that they tend to dislocate quite easily. This makes most strokes rather painful. I can swim enough to get me out of trouble, but try to avoid doing much more.
A friend suggested swimming with a kickboard (float which allows you to just kick). I know that it will likely have some effect on my aerobic capacity, but due to the effort only being from my legs, I'm uncertain how much when compared to regular swimming.
Also, does anyone know if pools are likely to take issue with the use of a kickboard? I can't see why they would, but it's good to check...

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  • GavHGavH Posts: 933
    I swim like a brick, so in the past when I've HAD to swim, I've used a kickboard. I can manage breast stroke ok, but can't do crawl unless I keep my face in the water, which obviously has limitations! Likewise, I haven't the co-ordination to do back stroke. As such, I used to use the board to do leg-only lengths using flutter kicks eitehr on my back or front. I could occasionally leave it at the end of the pool and dod a few lengths of breast srtoke. This would be for about 45 mins continuous and I think it definately helped me aerobically and in terms of leg strength, but I wasn't cycling back then so I have no way of knowing how it would have helped in this regard.
  • woody-somwoody-som Posts: 1,001
    ask at your pool about kickboards, both pools I use will allow and provide them, I even take fins and hand paddles sometimes.

    I find kickboard work very hard work, I only learnt to swim just over 2 years ago, and find front crawl the easiest, especially if I don't try to keep my head above water. Aerobically swimming is really great. I was cyling fit before, but struggled to have enough breath to swim, but that took some working, and I now find swimming a great advantage. The largest muscles are in the legs, and if you only try swimming with them, then you will really know it. I, like many triathletes swim mostly using arms, and save the legs.

    As for the shoulder problem, I'd visit a physio, and get them to take a look, and recommend some strengthening exercises, one of which would be swimming front crawl.
  • whyamiherewhyamihere Posts: 7,598
    woody-som wrote:
    As for the shoulder problem, I'd visit a physio, and get them to take a look, and recommend some strengthening exercises, one of which would be swimming front crawl.
    Thanks for the input. Regarding this point, I am under the care of a physio, but because I've always been too flexible, it's hard for me to know the 'normal' limits of movement, and if I go too far I'll damge something. I've been advised to do work to build up the muscles keeping in a restricted range of movement, essentially weights. In a year or so we'll have a review, when I may be able to add front crawl in.
  • MettanMettan Posts: 2,103
    whyamihere wrote:
    Also, does anyone know if pools are likely to take issue with the use of a kickboard? I can't see why they would, but it's good to check...

    Similar to what Woody said above, just ask one of the life guards to get a kick board out for you. People often use them (and paddles/buoys etc) when training (stroke etc).
  • Hi there.

    You could also try kicking without a kickboard - try it with your hands stretched out in front of you with your face in the water. You can either lift your head to breath or take a single front crawl stroke and breath to the side every so often.

    The advantage of not using a kickboard is that holding yourself in this position is very good for your core stability. If you want to make it harder still, then keep your hands by your side.

    The other things to remember with kick drills are to kick from the hips, emphasising the down stroke more than the up - don't kick too deep and only your heels should break the surface. Try and point your toes back the way you came - the more flexible your ankles are the better.

    Cheers, Andy
  • ps I've never heard of a pool complaining about kick boards. Some of them get shirty if you're using fins, but kickboards are no problem.
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,693
    You could easily do some intervals as well. Say 30seconds hard, 15 easy for 5 minutes. You soon feel the burn in your legs. If you wanted to work your core, in particular your abs, then butterfly kick is very good, but you probably need to be relatively good to do fly kick well. Back in the day we used to be taught it by having our feet tied together with elastic band. Dare say that'd be considered rather cruel now though :lol:

    Of course an alternative to no-board kick on your front is to flip over and do it on your back. Slightly easier because you obviously don't have to worry about breathing. I guess the problem with backstroke though is that you'd be in a public session so you might bump into people quite frequently.

    If you wanted to use your arms you could do sets such as 10 kicks for each arm pull, so you get all the workout on your legs but still do the arms to organise your breathing. You'd probably need to be able to breath both left and right side though.
  • .

    The other things to remember with kick drills are to kick from the hips, emphasising the down stroke more than the up - don't kick too deep and only your heels should break the surface.

    Good advice. I was always taught the example of a motor boat. You don't see the propeller splashing around on the surface, and it's the same with your feet, you'll only waste energy splashing about.

    Mind you I never used my feet anyway, and as a result was often banished to another lane to practise for a couple of hours. Still never learnt my lesson like :lol:
    "A cyclist has nothing to lose but his chain"

    PTP Runner Up 2015
  • whyamiherewhyamihere Posts: 7,598
    phreak wrote:
    Of course an alternative to no-board kick on your front is to flip over and do it on your back. Slightly easier because you obviously don't have to worry about breathing. I guess the problem with backstroke though is that you'd be in a public session so you might bump into people quite frequently.
    Yes, that is the problem, the only stroke I can do pain free is the back stroke for some reason, but in a busy public session it's a bit dangerous.

    Thanks for the input guys, much appreciated, I'll give it a go in the new year.
  • woody-somwoody-som Posts: 1,001
    I wouldn't worry about doing back stroke. Does your pool have session with lanes, if so, can you use it then, it's easier to do Back stroke within the confines of a lane, even with other people in the lane.
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