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Swimming as exercise after injury

chiral

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Two weeks ago I catastrophically fractured my tibia, fibia, and talus while cycling. I just completed surgery two days ago that has left me with 2 plates and 12 screws holding together the remains of my ankle.

While It's still going to be a few months before I can even walk again, I'm going insane from not being active and also from the idea that I can't be as active as I once was. My surgeon told me yesterday that due to the nature of my injury I'll never be able to run for extended periods of time again, unless I want to risk failure of my reconstructed joint. This really doesn't sit well with me, as running and biking are my main forms of stress relief and I've really enjoyed getting into good shape.

While obviously I'll be asking these same questions to my physical therapist when its time in a few months, I was just wondering if anyone else has ever experienced this type of injury, and what they did to recover. I can swim, but have never had any training or learned form.

Is swimming an effective exercise in terms of keeping weight off and building muscle? If there are any swimmers on the forum, I'd love to hear any tips for starting a program or finding a good trainer to learn proper technique. Again, this is a few months off but thinking about the future keeps my mind off the pain and my lack of being able to move.
 

Southern Beau

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I would highly recommend the Total Immersion Freestyle instructional video. The drills work if you are a beginner or advanced swimmer looking to reduce drag in the water. Good luck with the recovery.
 

cldpsu

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**** man, sorry to hear about that. I'm currently dealing with some back issues that prevent me from maximizing many different kinds of work outs. Running sucks. Rowing sucks. It's rough on my body and I feel like swimming might be the ticket. My form isn't great though and it drives me nuts. I need to get better at it. Let me know if you learn anything exceptionally useful.
 

Eason

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chiral, people come to me when they need some serious answers, so you've come to the right place

1. non-load bearing exercises, such as swimming will be great for you to get your workouts back and to build some muscle and endurance.

1. while you might not be able to run for a year, don't let anybody tell you that you can never do something again- you can.

1. try dual action elliptical for a workout similiar to running but without the impact

4. ???

6. PROFIT!

1. THANK ME LATER
 

CDFS

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Eason,

Really? I thought chiral asked the forum, not you specifically.

chiral,

I take up swimming every spring-summer when the roofless and olympic sized pool here opens up. Even 20-30 minutes about 3 times a week, makes me lose fat and gain muscle. With me it's especially the first, but that is because I just swim the distance and almost never do sprints. I swim mostly freestyle and some breast stroke. I guess just as with running or biking you can make the training as intensive as you like.

An empty pool in such times is very relaxing and certainly a stress reliever. Swimming has the added benefit for you in that you can use your leg(s) as much or little as you want.

For a programm I'll direct you to more knowledgable swimmers than I. I'm sure most swimmingpools have emlpoyee'sw ho can give you some form training. Doing it often will lead to all the benefits you asked, but perhaps not to great speed.
 

cldpsu

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^ What he said!

Edit: The guy above him!
 

CDFS

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^What he said!

Edit: The guy above him!
 

chiral

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Thanks for the tips and support guys, and I'll look into those dual ellipticals once I can bear weight again. Nice to hear swimming will be a pretty good exercise for me to get back into activity. Laying in bed is infuriating.

cldpsu: I'll let you know if I come with anything good.
 

agp

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Swimming is extremely effective at burning fat. And every form of swimming requires that you bend your ankles so that your feet make as tiny an angle as possible with your legs. If your ankle cannot handle extended periods of running, I wouldn't swim "properly." Can you still swim without bending your ankles? Of course. Will your feet create much drag? No.
So, if I were you, I would swim, but not for too long though because the water's drag force (no matter how small) will undoubtedly put pressure on your ankles.
 

chiral

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Originally Posted by agp
Swimming is extremely effective at burning fat. And every form of swimming requires that you bend your ankles so that your feet make as tiny an angle as possible with your legs. If your ankle cannot handle extended periods of running, I wouldn't swim "properly." Can you still swim without bending your ankles? Of course. Will your feet create much drag? No.
So, if I were you, I would swim, but not for too long though because the water's drag force (no matter how small) will undoubtedly put pressure on your ankles.


Its not the bending of the ankle, but the impact that my surgeon said I wont be able to handle. At least I hope. I'll find out more from my therapist when I get one.
 

Eason

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Originally Posted by CDFS
Eason,

Really? I thought chiral asked the forum, not you specifically.

chiral,

I take up swimming every spring-summer when the roofless and olympic sized pool here opens up. Even 20-30 minutes about 3 times a week, makes me lose fat and gain muscle. With me it's especially the first, but that is because I just swim the distance and almost never do sprints. I swim mostly freestyle and some breast stroke. I guess just as with running or biking you can make the training as intensive as you like.

An empty pool in such times is very relaxing and certainly a stress reliever. Swimming has the added benefit for you in that you can use your leg(s) as much or little as you want.

For a programm I'll direct you to more knowledgable swimmers than I. I'm sure most swimmingpools have emlpoyee'sw ho can give you some form training. Doing it often will lead to all the benefits you asked, but perhaps not to great speed.


Nope, he asked me specifically. After all, I'm the guy people come to when they need real answers!

OP, how did you get the fractures anyway?

2. THANK ME LATER!!!
 

Jumbie

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Originally Posted by Eason
After all, I'm the guy people come to when they need real answers!
I like pie.

Is pie bad for me?
 

chiral

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Originally Posted by Eason
Nope, he asked me specifically. After all, I'm the guy people come to when they need real answers!

OP, how did you get the fractures anyway?

2. THANK ME LATER!!!


The dangers of winter riding. I was close to finishing up a lengthy ride when my front wheel fell into a groove next to a set of tracks covered with ice, and my bike flipped onto its side. It happened so suddenly I wasn't able to disengage, and so obviously I twisted but my ankle did not.

Next thing I know, I'm lying in the slush and mud with my bike on top of me in unbelievable pain. It wasnt much fun.
 

Eason

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I know one guy who fractured his tibia running a marathon, just by virtue of being 6'1" and ~190 lbs, and that was bad enough for him. I can't imagine fracturing the whole leg all the way down, that's extremely severe.
Originally Posted by Jumbie
I like pie. Is pie bad for me?
JAY CUTLER EATS PIE SO YOU SHOULD EAT PIE
 

JoelF

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Best wishes for a speedy recovery. It shows great attitude that 2 days after surgery you're already thinking about how to get back into shape. Swimming is a great overall conditioner and you can go as far as you want with it. Start by doing some laps at a local pool. What you want is a standard 25 yard or meter lap pool with temperature not much above 80, not the typical health club setup. A solid workout is around a mile (36 laps in a yard pool) but you'll have to work up to that if you're not a swimmer. To amp it up more find a local master's club and join their workouts.
 

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