If you love swimming and injure yourself, it’s actually not as bad as it could be if you are into another sport…. Swimming with injuries is totally doable, depending on the situation. Last November I injured my knee (too much ballet barre) and basically was told by my physio that I wasn’t to do any exercise… this was about a week before I started Can Too training and before I got the swimming bug.
I didn’t want to not swim because I’d committed to it and was doing it with a friend, plus I felt that I wanted to do something, rather than just sit about all the time.
Swimming with Injuries – Legs
The first week of lessons at the pool I told the instructor and was given a pull buoy, you can see here how it works, it’s basically a bit of foam that goes between your legs and means that you can’t kick – in my case I couldn’t be tempted to use my dodgy leg.
Pull buoys are used by swimmers to focus on arms strokes, the float between your legs keeps your legs up and makes it a bit easier than without – depending on where you usually place your legs in the water.
For, I think it was, 10 weeks I used this in the pool and in the ocean I just didn’t kick – I was kind of used to not kicking after using the pull buoy.
Swimming with injuries is totally possible, if you have injured your legs and it’s not bandaged/you are allowed to get it wet there is no reason not to get in the water. The unintended by-product of me using a pull buoy (sometimes 2 – one between my thighs and one between my calves, try that it is SUPER hard) is that now my legs and bum sit close to the surface of the water which means…
a) I get a great tan on my bum
b) I move more streamlined through the water
See every cloud has a silver lining!
Swimming with Injuries – arms
Then more recently in October, I damaged my wrist putting together furniture, this time the physio gave me a wrist brace and said you can swim if it doesn’t hurt… To be honest, it hurt, but I didn’t want to miss out on swimming with friends and being in the water. This time I donned a pair of fins, grabbed a kickboard and could be seen in the ocean merrily kicking away. It wasn’t the best look, and let’s face it apart from kids you don’t really see people using kickboards in the ocean, but it works, the kickboard forced me to not use my arms (because I had to hold onto it) and the fins gave my legs a good workout.
This time the side effect of a dodgy wrist was getting more practice with my breathing, I’d swim in for 4 out for 4 for the distance, which is a great drill to improve your breathing.
I am not saying that you should just jump in and do something different without checking with your physio/doctor, but if you go to them with an issue ask if you can swim using x or y instead and would that be ok? For example, I had to have a plantar wart cut out in July and it was “minor surgery” they kept telling me, and I wasn’t allowed to get it wet for 2 weeks, no swimming no showers nothing. There was no real way to get around that. The only option would have been to lie on a milk crate in the lounge and pretend…. My swimming instructor does that on a Wednesday morning when he is demoing strokes to us – it’s not the best work out.
In my plantar wart situation I could have focused on upper body weights and used it as a chance to improve my arm muscles, but as you know I am keen, but in that situation, I wasn’t that keen and just sat on the sofa eating ice-cream!
Hopefully, this post has inspired you to start swimming with injuries by getting more creative and finding tools to help you get back out in the water, as let’s face it nothing is as good as a dip in the ocean.
PS Today I am wearing my Choppy ocean waves LOLL poncho towel and loving it!