Wednesday, February 11, 2009

More swimming advice

Since Thursday, my days have pretty much consisted of laying on my couch, crutching to the kitchen, or crutching to the bathroom. I started physical therapy on Tuesday, and started working from home today (Wednesday). I still can't walk, though I am starting to put more weight on my leg, which is some progress I guess.

The doc says I should be able to start swimming again sometime in the next few weeks, once I have some more strength and it's ok to soak my knee (i.e. once the stitches are out and the wounds have healed), as long as I use the pull buoy.

So, I figure, to give me something to look forward to, I would hit you all up for some more advice, since you really helped me out last time. For the next four months, I will be able to do nothing except swim with a pull buoy (no running, no biking, no nada that involves strain, stress, or any real use of anything from the waist down). I've really enjoyed the swimming I've done for the last 5-6 weeks, so I'm excited I can continue with it.

My question is, first, is there any danger in doing nothing but freestyle swimming 4-5 times a week for about 4 straight months in terms of strain or muscle imbalance, and if so, what can I do to balance it out, keeping in mind that I have to use the pull buoy, so I have no access to my legs?

Oh, also, on a completely unrelated note, for everyone who checks us out via RSS, in my boredom, I added a little poll to the blog. We'll be changing the polls around once a week, so if you want to come check us out at some point during the week to vote, please do. :)


Jenny Davidson said...

You can do backstroke with a pull buoy perfectly well, though it is perhaps not as often done as freestyle that way. Backstroke is the stroke that balances out the muscles as they are strained in freestyle, so if you don't know it, get someone to teach you - it is the easiest of the other strokes to learn, I think, and it at least will let you mix things up a bit!

Wendy said...

What Jenny said about backstroke is true -- it works the opposing/ complementary muscles to freestyle. (Triathletes are encouraged to incorporate backstroke into their swim training for that reason.)

Using your pull buoy you can do a variety of drills, too -- one arm back + free, catch-up back + free, double-arm back ... the list is actually fairly extensive and includes sculling drills and breaststroke pull as well.

If I remember correcty you had a friend with a strong swimming background that offered to help you out, right? It would certainly be worth taking advantage of that, because many overuse injuries relate to poor stroke mechanics. (Plus there's no sense ingraining bad habits, which is easily done.)

Glad to hear that physio is underway!

Audrey said...

is no one going to comment on your no activities from the waist down comment?!!??!?! am i the only one with no class?!?!! it's TOO funny :)

Joe said...

audrey: yeah, i kind of had the lame double entendre in mind when i wrote it, because while i'm quite gimpy, i've had bad luck on the dating front lately, and it helps to laugh at myself.

Joe said...

oops, forgot, also meant to thank jenny and wendy for their advice. i'll hit up my friend once i get back in the pool and get some pointers on backstroke, drills and technique with the pull buoy to get me through the winter/spring.