Weak Swimmer.

DBenn01

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Hope all is well!

So, just finished my second swimming lesson. Started learning the Breast Stroke. It is evident I am quite a weak swimmer! I nearly drowned when I was younger, but the advice of some forum members before helped me take the fight to the water.

A few key points I need to work on;-
  • Breathing - Getting there. Alternating inhales and exhales is difficult. Obviously I am breathing in when I shouldn't!
  • My Legs I notice are very weak - In most things I do. Having a job where I'm sitting all the time doesn't help. I NEED to obliterate my legs.
  • Keeping my legs afloat - They just want to drop all the time. It is easier to keep them up when my head is underwater the whole time, but then I'm not breathing! I need to get the right Rhythm.
  • Technique - Something that will come. I pick up techniques very easily.
So my Legs are my main worry, my back, arms and core are nice and strong - my legs are considerably weaker.
 

Chelonian

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So, just finished my second swimming lesson.

Persevere and you will improve! At some point your technique, breathing and confidence will all snap into focus.

Your legs probably aren't 'weak' at all. They're simply unfamiliar with the range of muscle activity associated with swimming.
 

corvus

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Breaststroke is the hardest stroke to learn and frustratingly hard to teach. However in my experience it will suddenly start to feel 'right' and will click into place.

Your head positioning affects the rest of your body in the water, it may be that where you are 'looking' or holding your head in relation to your neck/back is causing your legs to drop unduly.
Are you trying to keep looking forward to the end of the pool? If so try looking straight down to the pool floor or about a metre in front of your path on the pool floor until it's time to breath. Like I said, lots of things to remember and tie in to each other.

Keep practising it is the only way you will get better at it, and you will.

EDIT: PS chelonian is right, your legs aren't necessarily weak at all, its just neurological pathway basically isn't there and these lessons are forcing it to develop. Basically your muscles haven't been taught how to perform this procedure before and you will be using sets of muscles (abductors and adductors) that don't get trained very often with running.
 

Rover

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Remember, Rodders, he who swims dares!;)

Or words to that effect.:cool::)
 
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Caversham

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Yep, it's all about muscle memory.

Mark Ormrod, a former RM triple amputee, recently competed at the Invictus Games in swimming. That is, he swam with no legs and just one arm!

Having been a strong swimmer when he was abled bodied, it came as a surprise when he entered the pool for the first time after his recovery and went straight to the bottom!

Since then he has trained hard and recently won two bronze in the swimming and two silvers at other events, so keep at it and just remember if someone with no legs and one arm can train himself to swim, then so can you!

Good luck!

Alan
 
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DBenn01

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Persevere and you will improve! At some point your technique, breathing and confidence will all snap into focus.

Your legs probably aren't 'weak' at all. They're simply unfamiliar with the range of muscle activity associated with swimming.

Breaststroke is the hardest stroke to learn and frustratingly hard to teach. However in my experience it will suddenly start to feel 'right' and will click into place.

Your head positioning affects the rest of your body in the water, it may be that where you are 'looking' or holding your head in relation to your neck/back is causing your legs to drop unduly.
Are you trying to keep looking forward to the end of the pool? If so try looking straight down to the pool floor or about a metre in front of your path on the pool floor until it's time to breath. Like I said, lots of things to remember and tie in to each other.

Keep practising it is the only way you will get better at it, and you will.

EDIT: PS chelonian is right, your legs aren't necessarily weak at all, its just neurological pathway basically isn't there and these lessons are forcing it to develop. Basically your muscles haven't been taught how to perform this procedure before and you will be using sets of muscles (abductors and adductors) that don't get trained very often with running.

Thats a pretty interesting point that my legs aren't used to the movement. The person teaching me did decide to focus on my legs until I am comfortable. Thank you both.

In the mean time I will work on my leg muscles.

@corvus I will try to keep my eyes down. Thanks for that.

Yep, it's all about muscle memory.

Mark Ormrod, a former RM triple amputee, recently competed at the Invictus Games in swimming. That is, he swam with no legs and just one arm!

Having been a strong swimmer when he was abled bodied, it came as a surprise when he entered the pool for the first time after his recovery and went straight to the bottom!

Since then he has trained hard and recently won two silvers, so keep at it and just remember if someone with no legs and one arm can train himself to swim, then so can you!

Good luck!

Alan

Thanks for that, He truly is a beast.
 

Old Man

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Swimming, and treading water, is easy - THINK long and slow, long and slow.

When doing breast stroke try going as slowly as you can. Start off with half a width in the shallow end. Think long and slow. Stretch into the stroke. Slowly. Long and slow. Once you realise how slowly you can go, go for the width, then length then multi length.

Once you've cracked that and want to go faster, think more effort but still long and slow.
You should crack it in a session.

Treading water - first practise not-drowning.

While slightly out of your depth, stay still. You will sink.

Move your arms or your legs. You will resurface.

If you keep moving you will stay afloat.

How then to do so without tiring.

THINK long and slow, long and slow. Move your arms and legs slowly. Stretch them out.

Long and slow equals ability to breath easily.

Within a short time, if you think long and slow, you should be able to tread water or swim endlessly, without tiring.

Did I mention think long and slow?

THINK long and slow, long and slow.

https://www.royalmarines.uk/threads/swimming.87071/#post-552937
 

DBenn01

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Swimming, and treading water, is easy - THINK long and slow, long and slow.

When doing breast stroke try going as slowly as you can. Start off with half a width in the shallow end. Think long and slow. Stretch into the stroke. Slowly. Long and slow. Once you realise how slowly you can go, go for the width, then length then multi length.

Once you've cracked that and want to go faster, think more effort but still long and slow.
You should crack it in a session.

Treading water - first practise not-drowning.

While slightly out of your depth, stay still. You will sink.

Move your arms or your legs. You will resurface.

If you keep moving you will stay afloat.

How then to do so without tiring.

THINK long and slow, long and slow. Move your arms and legs slowly. Stretch them out.

Long and slow equals ability to breath easily.

Within a short time, if you think long and slow, you should be able to tread water or swim endlessly, without tiring.

Did I mention think long and slow?

THINK long and slow, long and slow.

https://www.royalmarines.uk/threads/swimming.87071/#post-552937

Thanks for this advice, I will apply it. I have been making very , quick, jerky and incomplete movements, making myself very tired.

So this will help. I have to be in control, not let the water be in control. Or my fear of it.
 

Old Man

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Thanks for this advice, I will apply it. I have been making very , quick, jerky and incomplete movements, making myself very tired.

So this will help. I have to be in control, not let the water be in control. Or my fear of it.
Start in the middle of the pool about chest deep. P push off towards the side, arms first then legs.

THINK long and slow, long and slow.

Don't forget to report back.
 

ivywavexxi

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@DBenn01

Another idea is to separate each movement so you can focus on the specifics. Try using a snorkel and then you can stay head in the water. Practice breathing through it first standing. First breath is a spit out to clear any water from the tube. Then relax and practice the slow strokes. Hold a float to isolate your legs and practice legs only. Then put a float between your thighs and practice the arm stroke, using the snorkel both times so you can keep your body flat in the water and don't need to keep stopping or feel panicked. Once you have the confidence, put it all together.

Good luck.
 

ThreadpigeonsAlpha

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Good effort and keep it up. Talk about facing your fears.

The advice is all great in this thread, but keep the lessons going. As much as all the advice is good and to bear it in mind but there's a difference between reading it, and having someone physically critique you as you do it.

Keep us updated.
 

DBenn01

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Start in the middle of the pool about chest deep. P push off towards the side, arms first then legs.

THINK long and slow, long and slow.

Don't forget to report back.

My next lesson is next Monday. I will apply this, thank you.

@DBenn01

Another idea is to separate each movement so you can focus on the specifics. Try using a snorkel and then you can stay head in the water. Practice breathing through it first standing. First breath is a spit out to clear any water from the tube. Then relax and practice the slow strokes. Hold a float to isolate your legs and practice legs only. Then put a float between your thighs and practice the arm stroke, using the snorkel both times so you can keep your body flat in the water and don't need to keep stopping or feel panicked. Once you have the confidence, put it all together.

Good luck.

I have a snorkel. Just got it so I have yet to try it out, thank you for your suggestion. The float idea is something I tried last time, worked very well, I think it will help me nail the physical technique.

Good effort and keep it up. Talk about facing your fears.

The advice is all great in this thread, but keep the lessons going. As much as all the advice is good and to bear it in mind but there's a difference between reading it, and having someone physically critique you as you do it.

Keep us updated.

Your posts are always very helpful, I consider them very valuable. It was your advice a good while back that actually helped me take the fight to the water! A massive Thank you.

I have definitely got a few things to have a whack at. I will get stuck in and be sure to let you know how it goes. As I said my next lesson is on monday. In the mean time I will be practicing breathing in the bathroom sink.

Thanks again.
 

Welshy

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Hope all is well!

So, just finished my second swimming lesson. Started learning the Breast Stroke. It is evident I am quite a weak swimmer! I nearly drowned when I was younger, but the advice of some forum members before helped me take the fight to the water.

A few key points I need to work on;-
  • Breathing - Getting there. Alternating inhales and exhales is difficult. Obviously I am breathing in when I shouldn't!
  • My Legs I notice are very weak - In most things I do. Having a job where I'm sitting all the time doesn't help. I NEED to obliterate my legs.
  • Keeping my legs afloat - They just want to drop all the time. It is easier to keep them up when my head is underwater the whole time, but then I'm not breathing! I need to get the right Rhythm.
  • Technique - Something that will come. I pick up techniques very easily.
So my Legs are my main worry, my back, arms and core are nice and strong - my legs are considerably weaker.

I am currently in training and am myself a weak swimmer too don't worry I Found if you work hard and are willing to be outside of your comfort zone they will try their best to help you, if i could have given myself advice it would be try to get into the habit of making sure to keep your breathing in check and stay calm also try to get good at hypoxic training if that's how you spell it (Under water lengths with as little surfacing for breaths as possible or widths if your confidence isn't the best) it's a gradual progression just stick at it and ask your teacher to check your technique and just fine tune it, like i have seen said your legs wont be weak it will just be the moment and placing them in at the right time, i wish you luck and all the best
 

DBenn01

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I am currently in training and am myself a weak swimmer too don't worry I Found if you work hard and are willing to be outside of your comfort zone they will try their best to help you, if i could have given myself advice it would be try to get into the habit of making sure to keep your breathing in check and stay calm also try to get good at hypoxic training if that's how you spell it (Under water lengths with as little surfacing for breaths as possible or widths if your confidence isn't the best) it's a gradual progression just stick at it and ask your teacher to check your technique and just fine tune it, like i have seen said your legs wont be weak it will just be the moment and placing them in at the right time, i wish you luck and all the best

Thank you and I wish you the best of luck too. I need to push out of my comfort zone a bit more, that is, not having the bottom of the pool close enough that i can just reach it with my feet. I need to train like the bottom isnt there, like at Lympstone and the ocean. Regarding hypoxic lengths i can go about half a length before i need to breathe, that is only by using my legs so it might be different with a full technique.

Thanks for the advice!
 

Welshy

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Thank you and I wish you the best of luck too. I need to push out of my comfort zone a bit more, that is, not having the bottom of the pool close enough that i can just reach it with my feet. I need to train like the bottom isnt there, like at Lympstone and the ocean. Regarding hypoxic lengths i can go about half a length before i need to breathe, that is only by using my legs so it might be different with a full technique.

Thanks for the advice!
It's no worries bud all the best and I hope it all goes well for you
 

JWJ

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Maybe when your confident with all your strokes and the actual swimming part of it, and want to start pushing your mentality away from being fearful when you can't touch the bottom - arrange a day to go out with some mates to the beach or lake near you, and ensuring there isn't a strong current or rip current, take it slowly, spending some time in the shallow bits before the seabed drops away and gently spend more time out in the deeper part - taking confidence from your mates around you and the annoying kids who swim past you.

Baring in mind of course that during training you will have to swim in the ocean, and in bodies of water where it is far too deep to touch the bottom, and be able to remain calm and continue to do whats expected of you, breaking yourself into the open water in a controlled, relaxing and fun way with mates is probably a good way to do it.

If you're not confident with it, try to find a beach with a lifeguard actually monitoring it, or if you're feeling particularly pessimistic, one with a nearby lifeboat station ;). If you're mates or whoever would go with you are supportive and understand that you're not relaxed in water, then I'm sure it would actually be a fun and rewarding experience for you.
 

DBenn01

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Maybe when your confident with all your strokes and the actual swimming part of it, and want to start pushing your mentality away from being fearful when you can't touch the bottom - arrange a day to go out with some mates to the beach or lake near you, and ensuring there isn't a strong current or rip current, take it slowly, spending some time in the shallow bits before the seabed drops away and gently spend more time out in the deeper part - taking confidence from your mates around you and the annoying kids who swim past you.

Baring in mind of course that during training you will have to swim in the ocean, and in bodies of water where it is far too deep to touch the bottom, and be able to remain calm and continue to do whats expected of you, breaking yourself into the open water in a controlled, relaxing and fun way with mates is probably a good way to do it.

If you're not confident with it, try to find a beach with a lifeguard actually monitoring it, or if you're feeling particularly pessimistic, one with a nearby lifeboat station ;). If you're mates or whoever would go with you are supportive and understand that you're not relaxed in water, then I'm sure it would actually be a fun and rewarding experience for you.

Reading that was daunting I'm not going to lie! But its a necessary thing and when I am more comfortable I will certainly give it a whack. Just to add, all that stuff about training, I have no doubt theyd be at it in kit too. Boots and all.

Thanks for the tip!
 

JWJ

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Reading that was daunting I'm not going to lie! But its a necessary thing and when I am more comfortable I will certainly give it a whack. Just to add, all that stuff about training, I have no doubt theyd be at it in kit too. Boots and all.

Thanks for the tip!
Top tip, don't expect the water to be warm, even in Summer. Warmest time is probably August/Oct, but it stays pretty chilling year round. Just dive in, if you pass out you'll enjoy swimming in artic water so its a holiday compared! Once your body gets over the shock it isn't that bad.
 

Rover

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Top tip, don't expect the water to be warm, even in Summer. Warmest time is probably August/Oct, but it stays pretty chilling year round. Just dive in, if you pass out you'll enjoy swimming in artic water so its a holiday compared! Once your body gets over the shock it isn't that bad.


As a well respected SNCO would say,

“No such thing as cold. Just varying degrees of warmth”.o_O:)
 

Caversham

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Baring in mind of course that during training you will have to swim in the ocean, and in bodies of water where it is far too deep to touch the bottom, and be able to remain calm and continue to do whats expected of you, breaking yourself into the open water in a controlled, relaxing and fun way with mates is probably a good way to do it.

Unless RT has changed, you will not do any open water swimming per se. What you may do, as part of the range weeks, is a run down to the beach and into the sea and out again, the purpose being is to get you wet and out of your comfort zone. PWs are like that :).

Additionally, you will get wet when training with landing craft. I never had a dry landing disembarking. LC rates are also like that. :)

All swimming will be carried out in the pool at CTC with PTIs in attendance, although they will also take a while to decide if you are feigning drowning. PTIs are also like that!:)

In all seriousness don't worry about it! The advice offered is sound and with hard work on your part, you will overcome and when you have passed out and on board an RN ship and the pipe is sounded, "HANDS TO BATHE!" and the stern gate is lowered and everybody jumps in. The fact that you're in the middle of an ocean and a few hundred miles from shore, with an armed safety boat, (as shark protection), adds to the fun!

Alan
 
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