I still remember nigh everyone telling me what a natural swimmer I was – am – even though for most of my life I’ve done nothing but breaststroke – and not technically the correct way either, head above water.
Now, that has advantages no doubt, none more so than in natural water body (ocean for me) swimming where you can’t stare down at a white line, where you have huge waves coming at ya and such.
But thinking about it, I’m not sure who taught me that incorrect style of training. Trainer no doubt, but my only memory was being ghearoed into a wall corner by my mother when I was all of 3, threw up after being forced to attend swimming class right after lunch and such…
Exactly what happens in life , fitness, finances, anything when ruled by a nazi feminist with no real world or even any experience. For years, I thought that was the real way to do it or “right” and my core strength which improved dramatically in 7th or 8th grade “that feelingof being able to handle anything” disappeared in ninth as I wasn’t allowed to continue Taekwondo. Ah yes, the almighty exams and studies… Ugh – anyway, my core kept getting weaker and weaker, and my hamstrings kept getting shortened more and more – sitting etc when I should have been allowed, encouraged to do the polar opposite of course contributed a lot too.
No doubt it’s good to swim breaststroke with head above water – but – only if you NEED to.
If not,stick to the head down – arms coming over head Olympic style.
The former is a swimming version of the bench press, taxes the chest overly and incorrectly while completely ignoring back and core – and ruining the latter. No doubt it’s better than doing zilch all, any form of swimming including the doggy paddle is – but, the regular version of breaststroke – including the kicks is really where lats, upper back and CORE come into it.
For years, I tried to power through flutter kicks in front crawl via thighs alone.
Not how to do it.
Lower abs plus core, as with martial arts kicks.
I couldn’t understand why despite trying I barely felt those areas work.
It was because of the permanent arch backwards in my back which doing breaststroke INCORRECTLY for long periods contributed to.
Hardly noticeable, especially because of my fitness routines – but it was there until a few years back.
My upper chest and triceps, upper abs were perennially pumped, looked great.
But at what cost, Jeeves?
It led to digestion issues down the line, weak and weaker hamstrings – poor posture – poor form on some pushups – and much more.
Powering through hill climbs with my quads, doing so on Hindu squats was great.
But it only papered over the cracks my friend.
Weak links are meant to be strengthened yes, I know that, I say it repeatedly. And I’m damn right there. (Aren’t I always hehe).
But for most of my life I did not even know I had those weak links in the manner I did. As for swimming, and tennis, two things my father told me I was talented at?
Well, I never heard others praise my tennis though it was good back in the day yes. Perhaps because noone was nuts enough to show up at 9am on blazing hot Indian summers to play it with Dad on Sundays – another one of Mom’s dumb orders which literally made me dread the one day of the week I should have enjoyed most as a kid.
But swimming, even when done incorrectly, even when I was fat as hell, everyone would praise me at it – genuine praise. You can feel that sorta thing.
Truly meant for it. Hehe.
Of course Mom had to encourage me to do things other than what I was damn good at naturally..
..or wanted to get good at, like soccer. “Only for those boys, they’re strong”
How do you think – if you even think that is – Mom – “those boys got there”?
It was only until I really got into isometrics and therefore , by default, extension – back to my martial arts roots – that I truly started to realise all this.
And I still am..
So will YOU once you get into it a serious level. If you can get past the it’s too simple BS, you’ll unlock a whole, massive, mammoth world of health, strength and fitness benefits you never imagined existed, let alone “knew”.
That’s that then, my friend.
Back soon !
PS – Lots of folks have this erroneous thinking about “it’s ok to be fat if you swim. Fat floats. It makes it easier to swim “.
Only if you do it incorrectly, pal.
Only if you do it incorrectly!
PS #2 – Swimming done right doesn’t just make you as an ex once said “make you hungry as hell. I ate 10 burgers once after a swim”!
I’m sure you did, Em. You were wrong on some things, very right on some (hair being one. Hehe).
It doesn’t just burn fat and train core right (if you do it correctly).
It is a great,great way to workout in general.
Any sort of workouts can be modified to fit water. The resistance provided by “just water” can be hard as hell (hey, water can and does wear down just about anything – think about it!).
Animal like workouts as I teach in Animal Kingdom Workouts work especially well in water.
The Acquatic version of this book might show up very soon if enough of you are interested and speak with your wallets as opposed to just “talk” and then do nothing.
No, truly interested doesn’t mean secretly wanting to buy it and then saying “it’s too expensive” – if you’re truly interested you’ll do , pay, what it takes. That goes for anything in life.
Anyway, for now, the land based workouts are key to get good at first. Book above will get ya there and might be all you need for your entire life fitness wise!
Check it out now.