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  1. #1
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    Swimming on Days not skating

    Can anyone tell me if this would be a bad idea? My daughter is asking to join a non competitive swim program that does the same layout of practice as the competitive team. Its twice a week and would either be after skating or on non skating days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by babbyrabbit View Post
    Can anyone tell me if this would be a bad idea? My daughter is asking to join a non competitive swim program that does the same layout of practice as the competitive team. Its twice a week and would either be after skating or on non skating days.
    IMO it's a very good idea because swimming is a totally different sport compared to figure skating, and it trains different muscles.

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    As long as it is recreational, it should be fine. Just make sure she doesn't go competitive, swimming tends to require and relaxes muscles while skating tightens muscles needed for pulling in for jumps.

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    We have a jr-level skater at our rink who's done competitive swimming for years. Doesn't seem to be a problem for her.

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    This is an interesting question, I have heard many coaches say to never swim. However, from a "horse " point of view it is a wonderful way to condition without putting added stress on joints etc... I will be interested to see what is posted.

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    IIRC your daughter is pre-prelim/prelim. At that level swimming a few days a week is not going to make a lot of difference to her skating. If she wants to do it and will have fun doing it, let her do it.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

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    See this thread and links therein. I think it is publicly viewable.

    All the reasons I have heard for not swimming and skating sound silly. Usually they are reasons that could apply to any sport, not just swimming, or reflect incorrect swimming training.



    IMO it's a very good idea because swimming is a totally different sport compared to figure skating, and it trains different muscles.
    Really? It's hard to think of a muscle swimming does not train. The tongue, maybe? It does use a smaller range of motion for the hip than skating. Swimming and skating use similar posture and both require toe-pointing.

    swimming tends to require and relaxes muscles while skating tightens muscles needed for pulling in for jumps
    I'm not sure what the missing word was supposed to be, but how can any exercise relax muscles?

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    Not skating, but my daughter has swum competitively and danced quite seriously for many years (currently swims varsity and is a double major that includes dance in college), and they have always seemed very complementary. Even her coaches/dance teachers seem to think so, once they get over being mad at the time she gives to the other activity.

    Also don't get the thing about the swimming and relaxed muscle comment. You need a very strong core, upper, and lower body as a swimmer!
    Disclaimer: The post contained herein represents the opinions of a fan and may or may not bear any relation to reality.

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    Swimming is a great low-impact exercise, and is very good for parts of the body like the back which the jumping in skating can, over time, damage. I think the swimming would be a nice addition.

    And IMO, as the mom of a youngster who skates and does other sports, if the kid wants to try swimming, she should be able to try it, simply due to her own personal interest in it. It's just nice to be involved in something athletic that's not skating, even if just for fun.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicklaszlo View Post
    See this thread and links therein. I think it is publicly viewable.

    All the reasons I have heard for not swimming and skating sound silly. Usually they are reasons that could apply to any sport, not just swimming, or reflect incorrect swimming training.

    Really? It's hard to think of a muscle swimming does not train. The tongue, maybe? It does use a smaller range of motion for the hip than skating. Swimming and skating use similar posture and both require toe-pointing.

    I'm not sure what the missing word was supposed to be, but how can any exercise relax muscles?
    Ok, I'll try to explain what I meant as best as I can
    Swimming develops slow muscle fibers, while skating trains more the fast fibers. When you swim you mainly use your upper body..sure, you train your legs too, but not in the same percentage (crawl is 90% arms and 10% legs, same for backstroke; for breaststroke is 60%/40%). Plus when you swim you don't use adductors as much as in figure skating.
    The postures of a swimmer and a figure skater are way different...both will give you a flat back, but with swimming your shoulder blades tend to be higher.
    Swimming requires toe-pointing but this won't train your feet muscles as much as swimming would do, as in the water there's no weight on your feet.
    I hope I've been clear

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    Variation in types of sports can only be a good thing.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu View Post
    Ok, I'll try to explain what I meant as best as I can
    Swimming develops slow muscle fibers, while skating trains more the fast fibers.
    Yea, I think when I meant "relaxed" muscles, this is what my coach meant (I actually heard about this from my first coach.) I'm not too familiar with the details with it, but perhaps is something similar to a tennis player playing badminton or vice versa with the same arm. Badminton requires more wrist action while tennis involves the whole arm motion, and doing one may actually affect the muscles in some way which change the technique of the swing in the other sport. I KNOW this is not the best comparison.

    I think swimming is fine, up to a certain level, but I think there is some truth to the swimming vs. skating argument, but perhaps only a trained physiotherapist/doctor/health care professional which has studied how certain muscles work in those sports know a connection between them that we don't. (I do have to say though, that just because a skater does both competitive swimming and skating at the high level, it doesn't mean that one doesn't negatively affect the other, I don't have the hard facts about it, but I'm just responding from what I've heard.) However, I think, at the elite level, it's more about time committment more than anything...

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu View Post
    Ok, I'll try to explain what I meant as best as I can
    Swimming develops slow muscle fibers, while skating trains more the fast fibers. When you swim you mainly use your upper body..sure, you train your legs too, but not in the same percentage (crawl is 90% arms and 10% legs, same for backstroke; for breaststroke is 60%/40%). Plus when you swim you don't use adductors as much as in figure skating.
    The postures of a swimmer and a figure skater are way different...both will give you a flat back, but with swimming your shoulder blades tend to be higher.
    Swimming requires toe-pointing but this won't train your feet muscles as much as swimming would do, as in the water there's no weight on your feet.
    I hope I've been clear
    Swimming sprints uses fast twitch (this is what most kids teams do most of the time). Skating spirals use slow twitch.

    Someone swimming with only 10% legs is not going to go very fast. For typical kid's teams, doing short course sprints, I'd break it down as about 1/3 kick 1/3 pull 2/9 turns and 1/9 starts. Some coaches might say even more kick. It's a common swimming drill to try to increase your kick to pull ratio.

    I think the adductors are important for whip kick.

    There is no weight on your free leg when you point your toes. Just a boot.

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    There have been several articles recently published on the benefits of teenagers and children participating in two sports rather than only on one sport due to the lower risk of injuries from repetition. Lots of serious high school runners also swim competitively. The only stroke I'd be cautious about would be butterfly, which seems to be associated with more frequent shoulder injuries.

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    Quote Originally Posted by babbyrabbit View Post
    Can anyone tell me if this would be a bad idea? My daughter is asking to join a non competitive swim program that does the same layout of practice as the competitive team. Its twice a week and would either be after skating or on non skating days.
    I know of a high level coach who really frowns on his skaters swimming or getting into hot tubs. He says that if they are going to swim on the weekend, they should do it on Saturday so that they have a day to recover before coming back to skating on Monday. I have no idea what he bases this thinking on, whether it's something scientifically proven or an old wives's tale, but there is the opinion of one coach for you.

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    The frowning on hot tubs I can understand.

    The temperature (100-105 degrees F) is too warm for post-exercise bathing...If you're injured or on the verge of injury, you'd want to ice or put cool packs, to bring down swelling.

    I've never seen the pro trainers at my gym get in the spa/jacuzzi immediately after their own heavy workouts; they say will make tired muscles more swollen.

    But working out in a normal temperature swimming pool (c. 80 degrees or lower) -- or doing any other supervised exercise or dance -- why not?

    What you need worry about is recovery time between high impact/easy workouts - that's something that the primary coach (and parents of a growing athlete) would oversee.

    Perhaps the coach who forbids his skaters doing other sports or dance doesn't trust the quality of the other coaching. Or cannot trust the kid to work out on their own.

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    I'm not an expert, so this is just my common sense opinion.

    I don't see anything wrong with skaters cross training in swimming. It's good for endurance, and it's non-impact. There's a picture in Katia Gordeeva's book showing her and Sergei in a pool at a state sponsored training camp. So the Russians must have used it as cross training at least at that time.

    I think the issue is that when you have spent some time in a pool, your legs feel heavy when you get out of the water and no longer have that buoyancy supporting you. You would want to allow enough time between skating and swimming for that effect to wear off - thus, the usual coach's advice about not swimming until after skating.

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    I swim and skate. Works for me.
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