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Spaghetti arms

I'm hoping that someone can help......

Having spent the last year working on my swimming technique, I'm now building up my stamina in three sessions a week. Trouble is, while my swimming fitness is improving, my arms don't get any stronger and now I find that the spaghetti arms, rather than the general swimming tiredness, are preventing me from swimming as strongly as I should be.

I'd like to avoid the gym if possible, because it's less economical time-wise. Does anyone have any exercises (or a book recommendation) that could help? I suppose I'm thinking press-ups, that sort of thing; something I can do at home in a spare half hour.

Any advice would be gratefully received.


  • BlurredgirlBlurredgirl Posts: 292
    A swiss ball, a basic set of weights and this book:


    may be all you need.

    I do about 20mins of general stuff on the ball, using weights too, about 3 times a week at home in front of the TV/DVD and have strange new muscles....


  • BARNYBARNY Posts: 157
    Just buy a pair of Paddles / gloves: Its what they are for.

    DOnt us ethem to much though.

    Maybe more what you need is some swim stroke analysis - I doubt strength is the problem.
  • julesojuleso Posts: 279
    Thanks. I worry though with paddles that if I hit someone (accidentally!) they might actually bleed. That could put me off swimming for a long time!

    Barny, I think if you saw my arms you might rethink! They are actually like spaghetti, but perhaps a bit less muscular.

    Blurredgirl, thanks for your input. If I get a red Swiss ball, perhaps my muscles will grow faster.
  • BlurredgirlBlurredgirl Posts: 292
    Only if it's made from carbon.
  • Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    And filled with a 50/50 porridge/soreen mix.

  • MGMG Posts: 470
    You dont need huge muscles to be fast in the water. A guy at my pool swims 18min 1500m and hes complete streak of p**s!! With swimming, technique is king. If you look at fast triathletes (Don, Hayes, Brownlee etc) they all have fairly "weedy" arms, VERY STRONG, but weedy.

    To build up strength paddles are a good bet as youll be strengthening the specific muscles you use for swimming. I wouldnt do weights (IMO) because its difficult to reconstruct on weights the EXACT muscle groups used in the pool. However dont over-use paddles as injuries can occur.

  • jon_gjon_g Posts: 318
    check with your pool if youre allowed paddles. mine doesnt allow them for that reason, if you hit someone with them you will hurt them! only allowed the gloves with the webbing between the fingers which i dont like using cos it affects the way you hold your hand in the water. so no toys for me!
  • FlavadaveFlavadave Posts: 749
    Try swimming with fists as a drill... Forces you to excecute a half decent 'catch' using your forearm otherwise you go nowhere... slowly. Definitely works the right groups as well. I can only manage one length at a time with this drill. Exhausting.

    Just watch you don't give the old dear doing the breaststroke a left hook by mistake as you flail past.
  • md6md6 Posts: 969
    @Flavadave - isn't that the perfect training for the open water start?
  • julesojuleso Posts: 279
    I've gone for the gym ball option. My physio says that not only my arms but my middle are more spaghetti than muscle. Almost an entire lady made of spaghetti. Bit disappointing, really!

    Mark Foster is very muscly (yes, I know that from Strictly Come Dancing) - apparently a lot of his work is done in the gym. Surely he can't be wrong?

    Obviously most of swimming is technique, but even the best technique done with arms that have yet to do five pressups in a row would not lead to a reasonable swim time. IMHO.
  • MGMG Posts: 470
    Mark foster is also a sprint, 50m 100m, specialist, look at track sprinters and 1500m-5000m runners, totaly different build. So Foster is relying on massive power (and good technique) for a limited time, where-as you and I are looking for a better endurance.

    By all means work on strength but dont get hung up on it, work on your core (tummy) in the gym as you'll find this improves your posture in the water. The more you swim the stronger your arms become, and the more you swim the better your endurance will be.

    Good luck.

  • julesojuleso Posts: 279
    Many thanks everyone for your responses. Most helpful, as usual!
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