Well, not literally of course, but it only takes a few lengths of front-crawl for my arms to ache.

I only swim once or twice a week to supplement my running as I figure thaht it's nice to give my legs a rest and to use my upper body more. Thing is though, it seems that my arms are getting weaker and weaker as it's taking less lengths for them to start aching.

Should I be doing some weights down the gym - if so, what would help? I really don't want to turn into a woman with pipecleaner-esque arms!


  • squadron leader callin pantman.. we have a situation here.
  • Bring on Dr. Nic surely...?
  • I don't think you really need to go to a gym unless you want to. Building upper arm strength can be done quite easily at home.

    press-ups-close arm, wide arm,even thumbs if you want:o)
    tri dips on stairs or a dining chair
    free weights bought from Argos (xmas pressie) or baked bean tins!
    chin ups (can get a bar also from Argos)

    Do these each day and I'm sure you'll develop arm strength. Start with 3 lots of 10 and aim for 3 lots of 25 or something like that.
  • Oh btw not all women have pipecleaner arms-I wish!
  • Don't forget to strengthen your back too - it's not just your arms that work, it's your big back muscles too

    So lots of lat work (lat pull downs, etc)
  • Thanks.. was contemplating some weights as a Crimbo pressy, so they will def be added to my list now!

    Do you know if back raises (ie lying flat on your front and raising upper body off the floor) would work as well as pull-downs? I just can't be bothered to go to the gym these days, so need things I can do at home.
  • slow down a bit

    slow is smooth smoth is fast
  • Back raises are good for stretching the back, and press-ups also work the back along with chin ups. You could also always use a long broom handle and place it across back of shoulders lifting up and down.

    There's really quite a lot you can do at home if you don't want to go to the gym.
  • Do be careful that you don't overdo the back raises, particularly if you're hypermobile.
  • Will, if I went any slower I think I'd be in danger of sinking! Actually, there was a useful article in RW a little while ago which gave ideas of drills for front-crawl, so I've been trying those out a bit - they really help focus on technique and stop me from frantically flaying about too much.

    Jj, I promise to be careful! Thanks for the warning though, as I'm quite flexible and would more than likely overdo it without a reminder!
  • Back raises work different muscles to the lats (I would have thought) but am sure there are DIY ways to do lat work.

    I don't have gym membership but do quite a lot of weights/core stuff all at home.
  • any thoughts on hand paddles?
  • not too big & not too much.
  • petal, use hand paddles to really concentrate on the feel of your stroke. It should end up lengthening your pull and making it more efficient which you can tell by doing a stroke count per length before paddles, then with paddles, then again afterwards. Overuse can strain so build up slowly, but i think they're a very useful tool, especially when i start to get sloppy and lazy.
  • I had a go with some hand paddles a while back - they're really great for getting a feel for how efficient your stroke is, as they accentuate the pull of your hands through the water... but once you take them off you feel that you're going sooooo slooooowwww!!
  • ta for that.
    i'll give them a try when i get back to serious water training. used to be good then left it alone for a long (looooong) time so some stroke improvement bound to help.
    does it do anything for upper arm development - watching the wattles!!!
  • well, yes it does as it's harder work on the arms than swimming without paddles, but for upper arm wobble do tricep stuff -i guess you know that for toning do high reps low weights, but for bulk do low reps high weights? If you're coming back to swimming after a long lay off, don't get annoyed, it'll be a while of feeling cr#p and slow, but it'll come back quickly once you get past the initial cardio fitness bit.
  • Petal - seriously, what wattles? You haven't got a wattle on you, woman!
  • too kind i'm sure
    maybe not now - but how much longer?
  • Women's talk, Ed.

    Petal, never I should think, looking at you!
  • how can you tell, she's doing things to a pig.
  • i believe its how you refer to wobbly upper arm bits. but for ages i thought it meant double chin- but whatever its wobbling bits you don't really want.
  • its a dog doing it to a pig - not me!
    and wattles can appear over night i'm told
  • but petal your picture becomes your persona!!

    am now scared of wattles. are they the new cellulite?
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