How To Assess The Problem
a) Stand on one leg on dry land trying to perform small kicking flicks with the foot. Aim to let the ankle simply flick around like a leaf in the wind as you shake the leg quickly up and down .
If you can honestly see that your ankle IS relaxed and does flick around as you move the rest of the leg, then this is a good sign. For most of us however, you will realize that you are in fact tensing the shin to pull up and then pointing down in order to move the foot. In this case, you have some major relaxing to learn in the water. This confirms the reason why cramp will be occurring you are not relaxed through the ankles when kicking.
b) Take your proper nutritional vitamins, minerals and supplements. HYDRATE. HYDRATE. HYDRATE. Drink lots of water. Below are the BEST vitamins and supplement recommendations that are beneficial for ADULT swimmers:
USANA Multi-Vitamins & Minerals: EssentialsEnergy and endurance levels are important for swimmers looking to perform their best. The demand for energy increases as the swimmers intensity and stroke increase. The most important vitamins responsible for energy and other essential chemical reactions within the body are B vitamins especially B6 and B12 for top swimming performance.
To view ingredients and to learn more about USANA click HERE
What Leg Cramps Feel Like
Leg cramps are most common in the calf muscle, but they can also happen in the thighs or feet.
Normally, leg cramps last just a few moments before the muscle loosens up and the pain dissipates.
When To See A Healthcare Provider
If you are having toe and foot cramps frequently, you should see a healthcare professional. They will check to determine whether your symptoms are caused by a medical condition that may require treatment, like multiple sclerosis or diabetic neuropathy. And they can advise you about what to do next even if your cramps aren’t caused by a serious medical issue.
Read Also: Are Intex Pools Worth It
How Do You Treat Leg Cramps While Swimming
How do you treat leg cramps while swimming, amazing flexibility and swimming drills to change your muscles forever in WEST swimming technique.
Many swimmers and triathletes feel cramps in their biceps and feet, a thing which could be quite bothering while swimming. The good news is you can get rid of it using certain simple drills.
This phenomenon, very much akin to what happens to pregnant women, happens mainly after hard legwork, swimming with fins, pushing hard off the wall or even ordinary swimming.
Before we get to the drills its important to rule out a number of other things in order to succeed, and that means not only stopping the cramps but elongating the muscle, creating elastic, flexible muscles and swimming with no cramps.
What causes the cramps?
Lack of sleep, Magnesium deficiency, entering the water without a proper warm up or stretching , heading out to practice without eating or drinking. 50% of the cramps will not happen if you eat and warm up the muscle. The problem is that lack of sleep, stress and tense muscles are a part of our lives, and so we have to do several other things.A tip Small tip from Olympic swimmer, What do they do before a race to prevent cramps in the competitionWe always recommend adding Magnesium to the food, especially before practice. We can find it in nuts, legumes, banana, avocado, soy, tahini, almonds and other foods.
Drills for a 5 minute warm up and 2 minute stretching
*You can just lightly run instead of the whole warm up.
Treatments For Muscle Cramping
How to prevent foot cramps while swimming? Snorkelers who are wearing fins can also use them to relieve a calf cramp or muscle spasm in the foot arch area.
Simply grab the tip of the fin blade and pull it towards your body to stretch out the leg muscle .
This technique is similar to bending forward at the waist to touch the toes while exercising. One of the group members can assist you if you are following the snorkeler buddy system for in-water activities.
Recommended Reading: How Much Do Custom Pool Covers Cost
Swimming And Muscle Cramps
According to an article in Extreme Tri magazine, cramping while swimming is fairly common. They attribute the cramping to an inappropriate action of plantar flexing in your foot. Plantar flexing occurs when all the muscles of the leg form a rigid line from your calf all the way to the toes. It’s an ideal position for the foot in that it allows the foot to maximize the water contacted, allowing for more speed. The problem is, holding this position is the chief cause of the cramp.
- According to an article in Extreme Tri magazine, cramping while swimming is fairly common.
- They attribute the cramping to an inappropriate action of plantar flexing in your foot.
It Can Come From Muscles Around The Foot Or In The Foot
Toe cramps, specifically, tend to be the result of muscle contractions in your feet or legs. “When someone experiences a toe cramp, it may be stemming from contractions of muscles insert into their feet and toes,” says Jack Levenson, DPM, attending physician at the Foot and Ankle Surgeons of New York.
“On the other hand, it may contraction of muscles inserts into the toes,” he adds.
Also Check: How Much Is Pool Sand At Lowes
Dehydration & Electrolyte Deficiency
- Cause: Exercise accelerates fluid and electrolyte loss, caused by elevated body temperature and perspiration levels . Depletion of water and electrolytes sensitizes motor nerve endings that control muscles and also reduces interstitial spaces. This overcrowding of the nervous system subjects nerves to increased mechanical pressure, causing them to fire off contractions.
- Conveniently locate replacement fluids in a sports bottle at the pool wall.
- Make sure your diet includes adequate sources of magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Obvious choices are leafy greens, dairy, and bananas.
- Find a good sports drink that compensates for electrolyte deficiencies.
What Causes That Cramp
1. Electrolyte Imbalance or Hard Exercise Prior to Swimming generally this can be ruled out as the primary cause unless youve done a 4-hour bike ride or 2 hour run immediately before the swim. Any hard physical activity can counterbalance your muscles. These long session can be a possible reason for cramp though, as they can upset your bodys electrolyte balance due to salt loss through sweating.
2. Muscular Conditioning when you are very unfit and are just starting back into swim training , you may find cramping to be more prevalent, than when you are fit. If this is the case, then your muscle fibres may be less conditioned to the pull on them with each kick movement. Due to this they may react negatively and cramp. Generally though, this is not the main reason why cramp will occur.
3. Unnecessary Tension the primary cause of leg cramps in swimming! This underlying tension is usually an unconscious reaction as well rather than as a conscious error. This can make the problem hard to identify for the swimmer unless you can be very aware of what you are doing, voluntarily or not. Sometime this tension may also exist due to a lack of flexibility in the ankle joint. If the ankle has become tense over time and lacks range of movement due to this then cramp may occur more often. The answer to this aspect should be obvious.
Don’t Miss: How Much Does It Cost To Get An Inground Pool
Massage The Inflamed Tissue To Prevent & Manage Leg Cramps While Swimming
A new and different workout regime can end up making the muscles ache and can even lead to minor injuries. If one experiences pain post swimming, they should gently massage the affected region, focusing on loosening the muscle knots. These individuals are advised to not return to swimming until the pain alleviates. They should rather continue with their massaging schedule and repeat it twice or thrice daily to prevent leg cramps when swimming. This would help to enhance the blood flow in the affected area and promote healing of the eg cramps.
Causes Of Muscle Cramps
It is important to know the cause so you can prevent cramps in the future. I wish I could tell you there was one clear cause of muscle cramps because then they’d be a lot easier to fix. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact reasons muscle cramps occur so frequently in swimmers, but there are a few likely causes. Here are some
Dehydration or Electrolyte Imbalance
All athletes need to properly hydrate and most know this fact. However, it’s often easier said than done. One problem is not realizing you haven’t hydrated properly until it’s too late. Swimmers are often more susceptible to dehydration than other athletes due to the fact that their sport occurs in the water. Because of this, it’s sometimes difficult for a swimmer to determine how much they are actually sweating. This is one possible cause of muscle cramps that have been researched extensively, though there is conflicting evidence as discussed in this study. What some researchers have found is that when an athlete experiences an improper balance of hydration and electrolytes , cramping is a byproduct. This is due to the “sensitization of select nerve terminals” which cause the muscle to stay contracted.
Swimming in Cold Water
Lack of Proper Conditioning and Overuse
Swimmers who haven’t built up proper kicking strengthand the neuromuscular firing patterns required for this range of motion, put themselves at risk for muscle cramping throughout the feet, calves, and hamstrings.
Also Check: De Filters For Above Ground Pools
Snorkeling Fins Can Cause Foot Cramps
The trouble comes from overworking your leg muscles to produce enough power to move through the water. Blade fins which are too long may also cause problems. It depends on the stiffness of the blades and whether you are using a paddle fin design or split fin technology.
What causes cramps in the arch of your foot? In most cases, a poor fin-kicking technique will be a contributing factor to leg cramping and excessive muscle spasms.
Here’s the bottom line:
Forceful, excessive, and continual kicking almost guarantees some kind of a strain in the leg or foot area. For example, beginners and novice snorkelers are prone to bicycle kicking or using an improper ‘finning’ style.
Most cramping occurs while swimming at high speeds. It comes from plantar flexing your ankles for speed and power. That means pointing your toes like a ballerina.
It is an unnatural position for your ankles. This may cause tightness, tension, and cramping in your calf. It is better to slow down allowing your ankles to relax rather than holding them in a tight position.
Side Effects Of Some Medications
Certain medications can have the unpleasant side effect of foot and leg cramps. Examples of medicines that can cause cramping include some diuretics, antipsychotics, beta-blockers, fibrates and statins, ACE inhibitors, beta2-agonists, and angiotensin II-receptor blockers. 8 If you suspect your medication is causing your foot cramps, talk to your doctor to see if you could be switched to a different medicine.
realistic images isolated on white background.
Also Check: Cost To Build Inground Pool
Reasons Snorkelers Get Cramps When Swimming
Follow these snorkeling tips and learn how to help prevent severe hyperkinesia. More importantly, learn what to do and how to fix aching or excessive leg cramps in water while you are swimming or engaged in scuba diving activities.
Make sure your snorkeling flippers fit properly. Wearing fins too tightly on your feet can result in a decrease of blood flow to your foot. It is important to be aware that foot pocket sizes also vary according to the manufacturer .
We see some common mistakes when people with extremely large or small feet try to buy products from our snorkeling shop online.
They sometimes consider choosing the next higher or lower size as a makeshift solution.
Foot arch cramps are quite common for swimmers who use full foot fins especially if you have a high arch in your foot.
The foot pocket portion may cause undue stress on the muscles in the arch of your feet. It can put excess downward pressure on the top of your feet.
The general guide is to ensure that most of your foot arch rests inserted inside of the foot pocket after adjusting the strap. If the fit is too big or too small it may also cause muscle cramp in foot arches.
Furthermore, diving fins with a very stiff blade may cause cramping in the arch, through the hamstring, or in the calf muscles.
Sleeping In An Awkward Position
Other experts have observed that, when lying face down in bed, the foot is often in a plantar flexion positionmeaning the toe points away from you, shortening the calf muscles. When the foot rests in this position for long periods, even small movements of the feet could trigger a cramp. Sleeping on your side, with your feet off the bed, or in some other position that keeps your toes neutralnot pointing away from youmay be a better position for these muscles.
Also Check: How Lower Ph In Pool
Common Foot Problems For Swimmers And How To Avoid Them
When it comes to swimming, your feet probably arent your first concern. But should they be? Many people dont realize healthy feet are just as important for swimming as they are for running and other non-aquatic activities. And foot injury and infection are more common than you might expect. But dont grab your towels just yet the following tips can help keep you kicking all summer long.
How To Prevent Muscle Cramps While Swimming
Muscle cramps are a common condition experienced by competitive swimmers over the course of their swimming career. Here is what you need to know about preventing muscle cramps for swimmers.
They are the worst
They jump up and bite you sometimes out of nowhere, leaving you helpless and gasping for air and your leg as you hang off of the side of the pool or the lane rope.
The ones in the toes and heel arent so bad, but a calf or hamstring cramp?
Sweet chlorinated molasses.
After gingerly stretching it out on the pool deck you slide back into the water and do the rest of your workout at half speed for fear of firing off another wave of paralyzing muscle contractions.
During my age group days, coach would always emphasize drinking lots of water , while making sure that we ate lots of bananas in order to maintain potassium levels.
Gotta keep them electrolytes and nutrients up!
But with a handful of bananas under my belt already that day, and half a 4L of water already down, something always seemed to be missing in the explanation that it was just dehydration.
The reality is
We dont know for sure what it is that causes muscle cramps.
But we have a pretty good idea.
You May Like: Built In Hot Tub Cost
Foot Cramps While Sleeping
Some people experience foot cramping only at nighttime, often when theyre sleeping. Why does this happen only at this one time of day? Well, most medical professionals believe its because youve finally stopped for the day and your body is finally catching up with you. Especially in the form of muscle fatigue.
For example, if youve been standing all day, especially on hard floors, when you finally lay down and relax your feet start to cramp. Likewise, not drinking enough water or getting enough electrolytes from the food you eat can come back to haunt you when you finally lay down to rest.17
The pressures of pregnancy on the body, or the fact that the foot is passively pointed while youre sleeping, have also been illuminated as potential causes of nighttime foot cramping. While medication-induced cramping also seems to hit a vast majority of people at night. Though there is no real reason why this happens, it is a frequently reported occurrence.18
Nocturnal foot cramps can also be related to circulation disorders, especially in older people, so its important that you talk to your doctor if your cramps are persistent or stopping you from sleeping.19
Toe Cramps In Swimming: What Can We Do
Toe Cramps in Swimming
Toe cramps are one of those annoying things that many people in the triathlon and swimming world have to deal with on occasion during their swim training.
I get them occasionally as well. There is a lot of debate as to the cause of toe cramps. Here are some ideas on how to prevent them from coming on, or at least minimize their occurrence:
1. Feet are too rigid. Many coaches will tell you to point your toes when you kick. This is good advice, but it needs further explanation. Your toes should be pointed, but this does not mean to make your feet rigid. This can cause cramps and a poor kick.
2. Dehydration. Sometimes cramps come on late in a workout because you are dehydrated. Its easy to forget to drink water when you are surrounded by water! A little water or a diluted sports drink during your workout can go a long way.
3. Cold muscles. Most of the time when Ive experienced toe cramps, its on a cold day in cold water. In this case, theres not much you can do but wait out the cramp and stretch your toes.
4. Being out of shape. When you are coming back from a long layoff, you are susceptible to cramps. Just dont do too much too soon!
5. Lack of ankle flexibility. Triathletes in particular have inflexible ankles due to all that running and cycling. Consistently sitting on your heels when you can will help loosen up your ankles, improve your kick, and decrease your amount of toe cramps.
Don’t Miss: How Many Btu For Pool Heater