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swimmers cramp?

Can anyone out there help me? Everytime I swim front crawl I experience cramp in my calves. It happens after pushing away from the wall but is at its worse if just using front crawl leg kick on my back or front. My leg kick is pretty weak and the harder I try the quicker the cramp occurs. I have tried taking onboard fluid during training sessions but it makes no difference. What am I doing wrong? [:(]


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    I have no words of wisdom but I do have the same problem. My calves are generally weak anyway and I have problems on long runs as well. Do your calves cause problems on runs as well or just swims?


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    Hi Mike, no its just the swimming. I am new to this sport - did my first event last year, and this is the first time Ive done any real swim training. Last night I had to stop cos the cramp was so bad. Its so frustrating.
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    [:)]ive suffered with cramps when swimming .. i was told that drinking tonic water helps.. its worked for me... its the quinine... you can get quinine tablets as well... dont know if i spelling is correct?
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    Somebody raised a similar question in 220 a while ago. I think the problem was to do with pointing their feet instead of allowing the ankle to flex.
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    Calf stretches regulary, and if you've been training in other disciplines have you enough salt on board. That doesnt mean to say go ott with salt in your diet though.

    I sometimes get cramp going from fc kick to bc kick but usually a stretch against the wall ccures it.

    Our swim coach also said bananas can help as they have potassium? (or someething) in them.
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    Thanks 'the belly' (how rude does that sound?) dont like tonic unless accompanied with gin [:@]- and that wont help the swimming! However if it works I will give it a try (without gin). Do you drink it just before swimming or do you drink it as a matter of routine anyway? May try the tablet version.

    Man of steel - pointed toes would fit as the cramp is defintely triggered by pushing hard off the wall. Wonder if some gym exercises or skipping would strengthen the right muscles. I will explore.
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    Hound dog, I eat bananas daily cos someone else said potassium was good. It may be lack of salt as I dont tend to use it on food or when cooking, but I always have sports replacement drinks after exercise (usually Taut endurance which has the electrolytes). Will get some advice re calf stretches and strengthening
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    OK folks - this is a 'common' problem, whether you are an advanced and experienced swimmer or a beginner - it happens to the best of us - I know! LOL and I have been sea and pool swimming competitively for over 40 years

    The 'cramp syndrome' usually occurs under the following conditions;



    contraction instead of relaxation of muscles

    Lack of natural body electrolytes

    Lack of warm up prior to training

    Cold water - yep that's the one!!!

    How do we counteract the problem!!??

    Point your toes back toward your chin - quickest method

    Stretch a cramped leg muscle with one hand and alternately squeeze and release the muscle with the other hand- restores blood circulation

    Ice massage if none of above work

    Drink fluids - and keep on sipping water etc

    If you are sweating - DO NOT TAKE ANY SALT TABLETS etc it draws fluid out of muscles into stomach

    Yes - quinine does work - in moderation

    I have also heard - by a reputable authority - that pinching your upper lip may help - yep pinch with your finger and thumb - it appears to be a pressure point thar relaxes the muscles - tried that in the sea once..pinched so hard the pain was such I forgot about the cramps LOL

    Potassium from bananas is also good

    Hope that helped

    From an 'old sea dog' and veteran triathlete from the 'dark ages'

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    Thanks stormchaser - I certainly ticked a few boxes last night - tired, possibly dehydrated - cos I'd been on the treadmill for 20mins beforehand (although at least I had warmed up so dont need to tick that box) sweating (although I am a lady and my mommy said only horses sweat so I was 'glowing') and probably contracting muscles in an effort to swim intervals (something quite new to me)

    will definitely try the rubbing and pinching and let you know!.[:)]
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    Well...running on a treadmill would explain it [;)] - muscles build up acids etc on exercise - and while they were warm, they were also fatigued - rest for short while with stretching - and drink fluids... also - if u can, space out your training sessions - just your body calling for 'time out' really [:)]

    Best of luck in your training -

    PS - yes horses sweat - men perspire and ladies 'glow' while camels - well, we don't go there!!
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    bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    Had leg cramps frequently during first two years of swimming. I was advised by my coach not to push of the wall that hard, because that could trigger the cramps and you definetely dont learn to swim faster in open water by pushing the wall hard in the pool. I often go to a 50m pool and never had the problem there, so maybe you could try this.

    Have you had these cramps during open water swims?
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    Hi Benny, no actually I dont get cramp in open water - but I havent done this sort of interval training before either. Anyway good news, last night managed a whole session in the pool and no cramp - ate banana beforehand also drank tonic water earlier in the day (yuk[:-]) didnt push hard off wall and sipped water throughout the session. Something worked but dont know exactly what!
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    bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    What the heck, it worked, thats what counts.Now leave out one thing at a time and you'llknow which one did it for ya. Now thats what we call a succesfull training day, wouldn't you agree??[8D]
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