Tag: indoor

Swimming Circuit

Below is one of my favorite exercises in the pool because it is quick paced, but has a lot of variation in stroke. The individual medley was one of my favorite and best races; therefore I still like to practice all of my strokes when climbing in the pool for a workout. Freestyle is the most commonly used stroke, which is why I chose it as an individual set as well. It is important to practice the different components of a stroke, so adding kicks, pulls, and paddles into a workout is a huge advantage.

Warm up: 200 Freestyle

Exercise:
Set one:

  • 80 Kick
  • 100 Paddle
  • 140 Pull
  • 180 swim
  • X3 (rest for 60 seconds between each set)

Set two:

  • 40 Fly
  • 40 Back
  • 40 Breast-stroke
  • 40 Free
  • X3 (rest for 45 seconds between each set, 15 seconds between each stroke)

Cool Down: 200 Freestyle (easy)

Try this swimming workout today and let me know how it goes. If you have any questions please contact swim instructor and personal fitness trainer Amber Gruger.

Tips for sharing lanes in the pool

From the time we are babies we are taught to share. With this simple teaching the hope is as adults we continue to use this practice. This goes with so many different things in life.

You think “I need to get my laps in, I will go swimming today”. You head to the club. In the locker room you put on your swim suit and cap with goggles in hand you head to the pool after you have showered. You’re all ready to jump in and swim as you walk onto the pool deck you think to yourself “what’s this? All the lanes have someone in them!” There is a swim lesson in one lane, someone jogging in another lane and the other lanes have one person swimming. What do you do? Do you wait for a lane to open up? Do you get mad and leave?

There is a simple answer to those questions and leaving is not it. This is where the life long lesson of sharing comes into play. Watch the swimmers see who fits in with your level or speed of swimming. You can wait for them to stop and see you standing on the deck to ask them if they will share with you. You may think I don’t want to disturb someone’s pace; you can climb in making sure not to get in the way. Stand off to the side when they stop ask if they would like to swim circles or split the lane in half.

If you are the person swimming and see someone looking for a place to swim you can offer to share your lane with them. It is also possible to ask the jogger and lesson if they wouldn’t mind sharing a lane so you can swim laps.

Lap lanes can hold many people in them. If you leave :05 – :10 seconds between you and the person in front of you there will be plenty of room for a lot of people. If you were on swim team growing up you always shared lanes with possibly 10 or more people. It’s nice to have the pool or lane to yourself. Sometimes we get so used to it that the first thought is “What? My lane has someone in it.”

All in all there is plenty of room for everyone. All we need to do is SHARE.

Gain the Edge: Pilates Boosts Cycling Performance

If you take regular cycling classes or are an avid cyclist, Pilates can be used as a cross training tool.

Whether performed on the mat or specialized equipment, Pilates increases core strength and stability. If your core is stable, your body can devote energy and power to your legs. When flexibility improves, risk of injury to neck, spine, knees, and lower back is lessened.

Benefits specifically related to cyclists include:

  • Greater effectiveness of pedal stroke
  • Increased upper body strength
  • Prevention of lower back pain
  • Better endurance through focused breathing
  • Correction of muscle imbalances

Next time you ride, think about how your body is positioned on the bike. Proper alignment helps you power up hills and sprint past opponents.

Most common postural faults are:

  • Rounded (hunched) shoulders
  • Excessive curve of spine
  • Forward head posture
  • Tight calves, hip flexors, hamstrings and low back muscles

Pilates can help correct these faults. It promotes proper body mechanics and postural awareness. Joseph Pilates believed that “the mind moves the body”. Pilates gives you the tools to create that body awareness.

Regular Pilates also helps prevent common injuries and discomfort. For example, cycling works mainly the quadriceps (front thigh). This can lead to a strength imbalance in the leg muscles and to muscle injury. Therefore, having balance between the quadriceps and the ‘opposing’ muscle group— the hamstrings — boosts the recruitment of those under used muscles. The body works as a unit, giving you the edge.

Consider adding Pilates to your workout regimen—it can pay off big; enhancing your performance and enjoyment of cycling as well as the activities of daily living.

Here’s an exercise to get you started: Single Leg Stretch.

It’s never too late to learn to swim… better!

Learning to swim as an adult can be challenging for some more than others. We see people swimming around making it look easy and it is easy for them because they have been swimming their entire life or close to it. They have spent more hours in a swimming pool than you can imagine; playing, training for a swim meet, practicing water polo just a few of the many things that can be done in a swimming pool.

You’re an adult and think it’s time to learn how to swim. Make sure to have the proper gear. Find a swim suit that is comfortable and goggles that fit your eye size and shape, both should fit properly. If you have long hair a swim cap works better than a ponytail. It will actually keep your hair out of your eyes. Now, there are a lot of really good swim instructors waiting for you.

The first day you take the plunge you’ll be hooked; okay maybe not hooked. Let’s face it, it may take a few times to get comfortable and gain confidence in the water. With help the next thing you know ‘You will be one of those people making it look easy’.

Benefits of Swimming

1. Low Impact

  • Stress on joints is decreased by 90% in water
  • Even when your feet touch bottom there is les force on the body because of buoyancy
  • Great for rehab, arthritis, pregnancy, overweight, seniors….EVERYONE
  • Your body weight is 1/10 of what it would be on land.
  • It is the most injury-free sport there is

2. Builds Respiratory Fitness

  • A 12 week study showed an increase in oxygen consumption by 10% and an increase in stroke volume (the amount of blood pumped to the heart) increased by as much as 18%

3. Builds Muscle Mass

  • Muscle mass in the triceps increased by 23.8% in a 10 week study
  • All muscle groups are used

4. Alternative when injured

  • Maintains fitness levels
  • Aqua jogging
  • Because of the resistance, which is 12 times great than in air, of the water it makes the muscles works with out strain or impact like that on land

5. Calorie Burner

  • Swimming burns anywhere from 500-650 kcals per hour
  • In comparison to running it burns 11% fewer kcals and in comparison to cycling 3% fewer
  • However, this does not account for efficiency and for intensity….so the less efficient you are the more calories you burn
  • Be aware that heart rate decreased 10 beats per minute e in water and max heart rate decreased by 10-30 beats….it is believed this is due to the lower water temperature and the lesser pull of gravity in water.

6. Increases Lung Capacity

  • The need to hold your breath while swimming trains your lung capacity
  • This increases stamina and change heart rates
  • Great for asthma

7. Increases Flexibility

  • Increases mobility
  • The body is able to do stretches more easily than on land

8. Family Affair

  • The entire family can do it!
  • Everyone enjoys a day in the water…by the pool at the beach
  • It encourages health and fitness for the entire family

9. It is a lifetime Activity

  • Due to its low impact it can be done through all stages of life.
  • USMS- masters swimming…has age groups of 100-104!

10. It’s Relaxing

  • Water is soothing psychologically
  • There is a meditative quality about being able to just swim…float on your back
  • There is no noise and distraction of life on land

11. Improves Posture

  • Swimming strengthens your stabilizing muscles and works rotationally…therefore, strengthening your core and postural muscles

12. Lifesaving Skill

  • Swimming is a necessary life skill that everyone should possess
  • Open water, pool swimming, etc…

13. “YOU ARE A SWIMMER”

  • the fact that you can call yourself a swimmer is a reward in itself!

Swim Like a Chicken!

Well, not exactly but emulating a chicken’s neck (or a giraffe’s, or a turtle’s, or even *Tim Duncan’s) will help you swim farther and faster with less effort.

Here’s how:
Effective swimming requires an effective glide. The way to an effective glide is by creating a hydro-dynamic tube around your entire body that you can slip through with minimal effort. Of course getting to that effortless place requires a lot of effort … but you can do it. Really!

Look at a chicken (or a giraffe, or a turtle, or even Tim Duncan) and you’ll see that they all have really long necks. Moreover, they all have really flexible necks that can lengthen and shorten at will. They extend and contract through their cervical vertebrae which enable them to rotate in a greater radius with less effort and distortion to the rest of their bodies.

Look at your typical adult and you’ll see that their necks aren’t very flexible at all. This poses a special problem for swimming: in order to breathe effectively while swimming you need to be able to rotate your head independently from the rest of your body, and the only way to do that is by unlocking your neck, which means extending through the back of the your neck.
Here are some exercises to help you unlock your neck and extend it to an effective gliding posture. Try them before you start your next swim.

  • Stand tall and practice slowly rotating your head side to side
    • o First lead with your eyes
    • o Next lead with your nose
    • o Finally lead with your chin
  • Stand tall in front of a mirror (preferably full length)
    • Align your eyes to be horizontally level and your nose to be vertical like a T-Square.
    • Hold that position, engage your core, and rotate your body as far as possible without losing your head position.
  • Practice lengthening the back of your neck so that your chin naturally lowers a bit verses tucking your chin.
    • Do the same things in the water while practicing your initial push and glide off the wall and notice if you go in a straight line just below the surface of the water.
      • If you’re going deep toward the bottom, you are probably tucking your chin.
      • If you’re breaking the surface of the water too soon (i.e., before you intend to) then you are probably raising the back of your head.
      • If you’re not gliding very far at all you may be ‘riding the brake’ by looking forward.
      • If you’re holding a level line just below the surface of the water, your neck is probably in pretty good position.

So pick your goofy role model and have fun as you practice gliding!

* Before Tim Duncan became a Hall of Fame NBA Basketball player with a fist full of championship rings he was on track to becoming an Olympic swimmer.

If you have any questions about this post or training with Nathan, please feel free to send him an email.

Don’t take water (and water safety) for granted.

After many years of being a lifeguard at a near by lake it still surprises me of how many people take water for granted. As much fun as it is playing in and out of the water we must respect the ramifications as to the dangers it can impose. Did you know it only takes a teaspoon of water to drown?

Here is the account of one of many near drowning experiences that I have encountered in my career as a lifeguard.

My first day, hour, 15 minutes of being on the lifeguard stand at the lake I watched a mother place her toddler with her 3 year old sister in the water at the shore. Then the mother walked about 10 feet away from both children sat down facing the water but put a magazine in front of her face. This happened just after I made the announcement “all children 6 years of age and younger must have a parent within arms reach at all times”. Within only a couple of minutes the toddler tipped over, she tried to push herself up and drifted out further. I jumped off of the lifeguard chair and had the baby in my arms. The mother was still reading her magazine. She didn’t look up until I was calling her and the toddler started to cry. As I told the mother I tell all of you stay within arms reach at all times. This could have ended much differently in a couple of ways; I could have walked away with the toddler or she could have easily drowned. Either way it could have been a tragedy. Please don’t let this be you.

Lifeguarded swim areas are a great place to spend time. However; it is not a place to use free baby sitters. They have a lot to watch in order to keep you and your family safe.

For information on learning to swim, or improving your swimming, please contact Aquatics Instructor Kelli Zappert.

One Hour Postal Swim!

Hey swimmers, it’s time for another Postal Swim! Seattle Athletic Club Downtown is hosting their annual One Hour Postal Swim (OHP) on January 29th.

  1. *Swim as far as you can in one hour
  2. *No need to count laps (someone else does that for you)
  3. *Submit your laps and splits to USMS (United States Masters Swimming)

Training tips:

  • *Gradually increase overall yardage in a session. Approx 10-20% based on the amount you have been swimming.
  • *Gradually increase overall yardage in a week. Approx 5-10%
  • *Get in 1-3 sessions totaling your estimated yardage you have set out to reach in the hour.
  • *Frequency is more important over total volume in a session so swim often. 4×15-30 minute sessions are better than 1 session at 1 or 2 hours.
  • *Join in on a swim conditioning class at Seattle Athletic Club to mix up your routine and to meet fellow OHP swimmers.

Rules and Regulations here: www.usms.org

Contact Teresa Nelson at tnelson@sacdt.com to sign up.

The many benefits of indoor cycling

Indoor cycling has many benefits, no matter your outdoor riding experience or fitness level. Whether you are an experienced “roadie,” mountain bike rider, commuter, touring enthusiast, or a beginner, SAC has a wide range of instructors, formats, and class times for you to pick what works best. Indoor cycling is an ensured way of managing your hectic schedules and allow you the proper conditions, coaching, and synergy of fellow riders to improve many things: cardiovascular and strength training, endurance training, proper form and technique to avoid injuries, stress relief, an hour away from your Blackberry or email, meeting new friends, riding with long time riders, a good sweat, and the list goes on and on.

It is the goal of the Cycling program at SAC to both introduce and advance your abilities, no matter your experience, meaning we welcome ALL levels of riding including first time riders! Here are some helpful tips for those that are just considering this as a part of their fitness program and reminder to those already part of the program. First, sign up for a class and alert that instructor that you are new and would like a few minutes to get acquainted with the bikes. Proper set up and seat and handlebar adjustments are an important step in safety but more importantly, for an enjoyable ride. Getting to class a few minutes early to “play” with the settings is always a good idea when first getting started. Once you get the hang of it, it will become second nature to get set up.

Second: come hydrated and “fueled.” About 1-2 hours before class, be sure to start hydrating and have a light snack to ensure you’ll have the fuel to effectively power through class. Bananas, energy bars, oatmeal, bagels, and PB&J’s are all great options. Third, take a few minutes to stretch before class. Our classes are taught at early hours, lunch, and after work, all times that require stretching! And finally, come prepared to have FUN! If you come to class with that mindset, it will most likely happen.

We are fortunate at SAC to have a very solid base of experienced instructors, outdoor cyclists, and long time members of the Indoor Cycling program. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, don’t be afraid to set your own pace, don’t be afraid to push yourself as you choose. Our goal as instructors is to provide a well-rounded, safe, and challenging format that builds strength and confidence to keep coming back!

As we enter our late Spring and Summer months of longer days, it is our hope we’ll see you in our classes and give you the tools to make your outdoor rides more enjoyable. And for those that don’t like dodging cars, a great work out to make your day and night’s sleep that much more enjoyable.

See you soon in the studio or perhaps on the open road!