You are viewing as a Guest.

Welcome to skatingforums - over 10 years of figure skating discussions for skaters, coaches, judges and parents!

Please register to be able to access all features of this message board.

Author Topic: Pros and cons of swimming for skating?  (Read 6126 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline jjane45

  • Clean Skate
  • ********
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Posts: 3,880
  • Total GOE: 161
  • Gender: Female
Pros and cons of swimming for skating?
« on: February 20, 2011, 11:05:49 PM »
Here is an old 2003 thread discussing swimming and skating.

http://skating.zachariahs.com/skatingforums-onice/www.skatingforums.com/archive/index.php/t-8452.html

Quite a few posters think swimming on the day of competitions is detrimental because it loosens the skating muscles too much. I wonder what you think about the pros and cons of regular swimming for a skater? (recreational laps, not competitive)

Offline FigureSpins

  • CER-A, CER-C
  • Asynchronous Skating Team Leader
  • ********
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: Center Ice: Bullseye of the Deranged
  • Posts: 5,506
  • Total GOE: 142
Re: Pros and cons of swimming for skating?
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2011, 11:15:51 PM »
I was a competitive swimmer in high school before I took up figure skating.  It's excellent for building core and upper-body strength and control.  Swimming is excellent cross-training for skating, but not right before you have to skate.  Made me feel weak and sluggish.
"If you still look good after skating practice, you didn't work hard enough."

Year-Round Skating Discussions for Figure Skaters - www.skatingforums.com

Offline jjane45

  • Clean Skate
  • ********
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Posts: 3,880
  • Total GOE: 161
  • Gender: Female
Re: Pros and cons of swimming for skating?
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2011, 11:18:13 PM »
How close is too close? Say 12 hours before a skating practice? I love to pick up swimming again for core strength but would hesitate if it is detrimental to skating practice on the same day...

Offline ESk8s

  • Homologating Quadrubles
  • **
  • Joined: Dec 2010
  • Posts: 136
  • Total GOE: 4
  • Gender: Female
  • skating CW in a CCW world
Re: Pros and cons of swimming for skating?
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2011, 11:20:59 PM »
When I was a teen I was a competitive swimmer and a skater.  I'd have swim practice after school, shower, change in to my skating clothes, and head to the rink.  I was in the best shape of my life, and the only problems it ever caused were scheduling ones - practice times two, meets, lessons and test sessions, oh my.

That said, I was a swimmer first, so I wasn't taking skating trained muscles and making them do something new - that might make a difference. 

Offline drskater

  • Blade Runner
  • ***
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: Northern Virginia
  • Posts: 537
  • Total GOE: 49
  • Gender: Female
Re: Pros and cons of swimming for skating?
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2011, 04:27:59 PM »
My coach doesn't want her skaters to swim before competitions, which can be a bit of an issue when competitions are located at resorts  :P. But she really forbids getting into a jacuzzi or hot tub, that kind of thing. Ha ha, ask me how I know this...

I suspect that swimming must be great for core strength, but it could possibly develop leg muscles in ways that don't help skating. I doubt it is much of an issue for us recreational/ non-competitors.

Offline pikachu314

  • Mohawk of Doom
  • *
  • Joined: Dec 2010
  • Posts: 41
  • Total GOE: 0
  • Pikachu skates!
Re: Pros and cons of swimming for skating?
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2011, 02:38:17 PM »
oh no!

I'd heard this before but I'd forgotton! This is really bad because I love skating, but I also want to get back into swimming (I used to swim 3 times a week after school) and do a lifeguarding course - I don't want them to clash!

I have swimming at school last thing on one day of the week before heading straight off to the rink and skating (with my once weekly lesson as well!) I hope the thing about loosing spring isn't true!

I mean, sure, it makes me a little tired but I didn't think it would actually mess up my leg muscles for skating  :o

I'll keep an eye out after my next swimming/skating day and see if I can notice anything.  :-\
ice ice baby

Offline Isk8NYC

  • Administrator
  • Asynchronous Skating Team Leader
  • *****
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: At the rink, where else?
  • Posts: 4,314
  • Total GOE: 131
  • Gender: Female
    • Ten Years of Figure Skating Discussions!
Re: Pros and cons of swimming for skating?
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2011, 03:04:55 PM »
Just plan your on-ice workout accordingly.  If you feel that jumps are really too much, make it a Moves day.
-- Isk8NYC --
"I like to skate on the other side of the ice." - Comedian Steven Wright

Offline rsk8d

  • Homologating Quadrubles
  • **
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Posts: 133
  • Total GOE: 12
    • Sk8Strong
Re: Pros and cons of swimming for skating?
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2011, 10:23:07 PM »
You can check out my audio interview at icemom.net at the link: http://icemom.net/2010/05/ask-the-expert-physical-therapist-lauren-downes-of-sk8strong-com.html.

The swimming topic is the first question.
Visit www.sk8strong.com for off-ice training information, DVDs and more

Offline jjane45

  • Clean Skate
  • ********
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Posts: 3,880
  • Total GOE: 161
  • Gender: Female
Re: Pros and cons of swimming for skating?
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2011, 01:08:56 AM »
Thank you rsk8d! So at least 3+ hours between swimming and subsequent skating session is the rule of thumb I guess.

Offline pikachu314

  • Mohawk of Doom
  • *
  • Joined: Dec 2010
  • Posts: 41
  • Total GOE: 0
  • Pikachu skates!
Re: Pros and cons of swimming for skating?
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2011, 12:08:13 PM »
hmmm, bad news for my swimming/skating day I guess? Anyhow I dare say I'll see soon enough. I know my lesson will be on a different day after the rink timetable changes, but perhaps I'll be able to move my swimming to another day for the meantime.
ice ice baby

Offline nicklaszlo

  • Walloping Walleys, Batman!
  • ****
  • Joined: Mar 2011
  • Posts: 1,110
  • Total GOE: 215
Re: Pros and cons of swimming for skating?
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2011, 06:52:51 PM »
I've been a swimmer for 7 years and a skater for 1 year.  It sounds like the reason people object to swimming before skating is that they think it will cause overheating.  This is ridiculous!  If you're swimming for exercise, don't swim in hot water!  Without regard for skating, swimming fast in hot water will make you sick.  I have swum on the same day as skating several times and had no difficulty.  I've never done them back-to-back because it's not possible with my schedule.  As I see it, why would you want to do any exercise right before skating?  Ice time is hard to get, so I don't want to be tired before I start.


Offline Isk8NYC

  • Administrator
  • Asynchronous Skating Team Leader
  • *****
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: At the rink, where else?
  • Posts: 4,314
  • Total GOE: 131
  • Gender: Female
    • Ten Years of Figure Skating Discussions!
Re: Pros and cons of swimming for skating?
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2011, 10:50:46 PM »
It doesn't take hot water to bring on illness or fatigue, although hot tubs are definitely a no-no.  No one's said anything in this thread about overheating.  Most kids who upchuck after swimming are dehydrated and have excess lactic acid in their bodies.  Which is why you should always let a young swimmer use the restroom when they ask - that's how they can eliminate the problem and save the pool staff the trouble of cleaning up yuck.  (I was a swimmer for ten years and a age-group/head coach for 12.)

There are valid reasons to avoid combining swimming and skating within a short time frame.  Most coaches who travel to competitions with students will put restrictions on their swimming at the hotel.  With synchro, I think the restrictions are also to prevent injuries from fooling around - put 16 teens in a pool and someone's going to get pushed or dunked too hard.

Lactic acid will build in muscles as they warm up and expand when you swim, even in the 70-degree pools.  That's what causes that weary feeling after exercise.  It's great for stretching muscles, not so great for contracting them for sharp movements.

Swimming also uses muscles differently than skating.  Think about the flutter kick vs. toe-assisted jump.  They are completely different - one points your foot constantly, the other blunts, then points, then blunts again. 

Trying to go from one sport to the other too quickly, without proper stretching, hydration and cool-down/warm-up will make your skating less effective.  Swimming is awesome cross-training for skating, when done properly as an off-ice workout.  Many dryland training drills correspond to skating off-ice drills, too.

I agree that you don't want to do strenous exercise before skating, but it's far from ridiculous, as you called it.
-- Isk8NYC --
"I like to skate on the other side of the ice." - Comedian Steven Wright

Offline nicklaszlo

  • Walloping Walleys, Batman!
  • ****
  • Joined: Mar 2011
  • Posts: 1,110
  • Total GOE: 215
Re: Pros and cons of swimming for skating?
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2011, 11:40:10 PM »
It doesn't take hot water to bring on illness or fatigue, although hot tubs are definitely a no-no.  No one's said anything in this thread about overheating.

You didn't listen to rsk8d's interview.

Any anaerobic exercise produces lactic acid.

As for toe pointing, on ice jumps are a bit like starts, turns, and roll-ins.  And for dance, don't they want the free foot pointed continuously (okay, I'm getting outside my expertise)?

So there's nothing in particular about swimming, as opposed to other sports, that makes it incompatible with skating.

In the thread jjane45 linked to, someone said "The reason being that Skating needs what's known as the "fast twitch muscle response" (think plyometrics) where as swimming trains the muscles to do the opposite. There are some terrific exercises for skaters that you can do in the pool, I know Lake Placid has a swim class meant for skaters (though they don't really swim in it). It's really the training such as distance swimming that is a problem for skaters."

Most young swimmers train for sprints (I don't) which require fast twitch.  And my old swim coach always taught me you needed to build slow twitch strength before fast twitch anyway.  Only training fast twitch probably contributes to those shaky spirals.

Offline Isk8NYC

  • Administrator
  • Asynchronous Skating Team Leader
  • *****
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: At the rink, where else?
  • Posts: 4,314
  • Total GOE: 131
  • Gender: Female
    • Ten Years of Figure Skating Discussions!
Re: Pros and cons of swimming for skating?
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2011, 11:45:49 PM »
You're right, I didn't listen to it, but you didn't refer to it in your post.  You said "It sounds like the reason people object to swimming before skating is that they think it will cause overheating."  I didn't see anyone say that in this thread or the archived one.  It's certainly not a ridiculous notion, in any case; it's quite true.  I also didn't say that swimming was the sole sport that produces lactic acid.  Just running the stairs at home can do that.  What I did say was that the athlete must purge the lactic acid from their body before other strenous activities, which is why most skating coaches discourage doing swimming right before skating.  The topic is about swimming for skating, right?  They didn't ask about other activities, although you should note that I agreed that doubling up on strenous activities isn't a good idea.

Fast twitch movements are more obvious in starts and flip turns/streamlines than in sprinting.  Sprinting uses more strength and lengthening because each stroke/kick has to produce more power by pushing the swimmer along.  They do use choppier, shorter strokes and the recovery portion of the stroke is definitely fast-twitch, you're right.

However, lap and distance swimming (I survived the 500) uses long strokes as the archive thread points out.  That's endurance swimming, which is what most people do for fitness.  For skating cross-training, swimming should alternate the two, to build endurance and stamina.  It's more along the lines of conditioning.
-- Isk8NYC --
"I like to skate on the other side of the ice." - Comedian Steven Wright