I love swimming. I’ve always swum since a young kid, but I’ve never been any good. At best I could swim a lap or two before feeling completely out of breath. As for the breathing, my style was unorthodox, to say the least. I would lurk my head up and forwards and then bring it around the left (never the right) before diving it back under the water again. Suffice to say my neck suffered and I soon gave up.
Hi, this Dr. Andrew Arnold from Cranbourne Family Chiropractic and Wellness Centre.
Dr. Andrew Arnold talks about his swimming journey and managing what he calls ‘swimmers’ neck.
About 12 months ago I decided to get good at swimming once and for all. I joined my local swimming venue and started on the laps. At first, it was the same old problem. My technique sucked, and my neck pain was not good. In fact, my entire left neck and shoulder complex was in constant spasm and pain and my spine subluxated.
So, I decided to start watching other swimmers, the squad guys and got on YOUTUBE and watched the Olympians. My focus was freestyle and later breaststroke.
It actually wasn’t rocket science. There were several basic principles none of which I was doing.
I made a pact to swim 3x per week every week no matter what and my goal was 40x25m with only one break. That was 12 months ago.
At first, it was clumsy. In particular, I needed to re-adapt to bilateral neck turning. Turning just one side was creating what I call ‘swimmers’ neck’. This is when your sterno-cliedo-mastoid muscles on one side are repeatedly twisted and shortened causing it to cramp and subluxate-fixate-sprain your upper cervical spinal joints.
So, I kept thinking one lap at a time, just slow it down and focus on technique. Of course, like any habit I just kept wanting to turn left so to speed things up I started ‘tapping’.
Tapping or EFT (emotional freedom techniques) is used to re-program the brain for all sorts of reasons, from phobia’s to addictions, from trauma recovery to improving sports performance. My wife, Dr. Linda Wilson uses this in her work at our practice (www.drlindawilson.com).
At the end of each lap, I stopped and tapped, engraining my new-found technique in my neurology. It was working.
After 3 weeks I found I could bilaterally breathe, I was on my way to reaching my goal.
My next challenge was the equipment. I started developing chronic swimmers’ ear which led to ear infections and tinnitus. After professional ear cleaning and medically prescribed drops, a patient at my practice suggested ‘doc’s pro-plugs’. I haven’t looked back. These comfortably plug my ears without pushing wax deep inside. Next was eyewear. Most goggles are just too small. The skin around our eyes are super thin and sensitive and goggles really irritate this. I started using a larger goggle called ‘Vista’. Seals beautifully and instantly and comfortably.
At this point, I was starting to knock over 10 or so laps without a break, but not reaching 40.
Again, I looked to the internet and noticed swimmers using hand paddles. These not only provide momentum in the water, but they also keep your technique really true and build endurance.
Other props I reckon worth trying include paddle board so that you can focus on leg kicking; flippers so you build your kicking; inner thigh foam separator to help build your upper body, swimming caps for a greater glide thru the water and the proper swim attire – you don’t want baggy, saggy, floppy, clingy bathers, trust me!
So, with the kit right, the technique right things were looking good.
Fast forward to today and it’s a very different story.
I now swim 80×25 (or 50M if available ) without breaking and without breaking a sweat. My record is 4km non-stop using paddles. I bilaterally breathe effortlessly and easily and just love it. It’s a meditation for me.
My next challenge is 5km in 90 minutes.
To achieve this, I’m starting high-level interval swimming, i.e. fast and slow laps. I also throw in the breaststroke.
Recently also, I’ve started weight training prior to swimming. Swimming is a non-weight bearing of course and therefore does little to help build bone strength. Specific swim gym techniques are a great adjunct, and necessary.
Finally, make sure you use an anti-chlorine shampoo in the shower room afterward. Help keep your hair and skin healthy.
Good luck with your swimming.
P.S. Whenever you’re ready…
…here are 10 ways you can super-charge your health journey.
*With our ‘Discovery phone sessions’, please let us know your best contact # and best 3 times to get in touch.
- Grab a free copy of our mini-e-book titled, ‘The real reason you need to beat the smoking habit’. Click here to download.
- Grab a free copy of our mini-e-book titled, ‘How to beat anxiety naturally’. Click here to download.
- Find out more about our QUIT SMOKING program. Book a FREE phone *Discovery session with one of our QUIT SMOKING experts Click here to email.
- Find out more about our WEIGHT LOSS programs. Book a FREE phone *Discovery session with one of our weight loss experts. Click here to email.
- Find out more about our STRESS-LESS programs. Book a FREE phone *Discovery session with one of our stress-less experts. Click here to email.
- Join our online community and like our Facebook page and stay up to date with awesome health news, offers and promotions Click here.
- Visit our blog Click here
- Subscribe to our monthly newsletter Subscribe here.
- Send us an inquiry. Click here for our inquiry form.
- Reach out. If you want to make an appointment but still have questions either call us on 5998 4554 or click here to email and we’ll get back to you. Happy to chat.
About the Author:
Dr. Andrew Arnold is a Chiropractor and ACTP accredited Business Coach.
Founder: 12 Keys – The ‘Ultimate Wellness Practice Workshop’, Cranbourne Family Chiropractic and Wellness Centre and Million Dollar Wellness.
Andrew is married to Dr. Linda Wilson, the Stress Specialist and has two children, Isaac and Bella. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.
Disclaimer for Cranbourne Family Chiropractic & Wellness Centre
If you require any more information or have any questions about our site’s disclaimer, please feel free to contact us by email at email@example.com
Disclaimers for Cranbourne Family Chiropractic & Wellness Centre
All the information within this downloadable document and on this website – www.cranbournefamilychiro.com.au – is published in good faith and for general information purpose only. Cranbourne Family Chiropractic & Wellness Centre does not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information. Any action you take upon the information you find on this website (Cranbourne Family Chiropractic & Wellness Centre), is at your own risk. Cranbourne Family Chiropractic & Wellness Centre will not be liable for any losses and/or damages in connection with the use of our website.
From our website, you can visit other websites by following hyperlinks to such external sites. While we strive to provide only quality links to useful and ethical websites, we have no control over the content and nature of these sites. These links to other websites do not imply a recommendation for all the content found on these sites. Site owners and content may change without notice and may occur before we have the opportunity to remove a link which may have gone ‘bad’.
Please be also aware that when you leave our website, other sites may have different privacy policies and terms which are beyond our control. Please be sure to check the Privacy Policies of these sites as well as their “Terms of Service” before engaging in any business or uploading any information.
By downloading this document and /or using our website, you hereby consent to our disclaimer and agree to its terms.
Should we update, amend or make any changes to this document, those changes will be prominently posted here.