Learning swimming

Question: I wish someone would either teach me to swim or invent a swimming-type exercise that would have the same effect! (I’m mildly water-phobic — very mildly, I go to swimming pools, do aqua exercises, am happy alone in swimming pools, swimming, simply, is beyond me — as the result of something that happened when I was a baby. Does anybody here know of anything like that? !

Answer 1: Try this book – The Art of Swimming by Steven Shaw. Published by Ashgrove 1996 ISBN1-85398-095-1 It is about regaining the pleasure of being and moving in the water, so that it is enjoyable rather than a strain. It has an Alexander Technique perspective. I’d given up swimming because of RSI which made my neck hurt when I did my normal stroke (head in the air breaststroke). After reading the book I worked out how to identify and start to overcome my problems. I’m now swimming weekly and my shoulders feel so much more comfortable. I keep my fingers apart so I don’t strain my hands. As luck would have it the author is coming to Norwich in June to do a day course on his method. I know from reading the book it will be non-competitive, helpful and fun, so I hope to go on it.

Answer 2: Thank you. I will. I’ve run into some bad swimming teachers, so it would help to get a book. You were doing “head in the air” breaststroke; yes, that would be bad. Even the worst swimming teachers seem to teach “head in the water” breaststroke (“put your face down in the water and drown”! breaststroke now.  Do you swim backstroke now? That would probably be best for me.

Answer 3: Has anybody found swimming helpful for shoulder RSI? I am thinking of taking it up but I honestly cannot imagine that it is not going to give me a flare-up. Perhaps aqua-aerobics might be a suitable alternative?

Answer 4: I have only recently started swimming. No problems. It is helpful for arms and shoulders.


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