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  #1  
Old 05-09-2016
ti97
 
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Default How to manage Calf/foot cramp while swimming?

Any tips on managing a cramp in the calf or foot while continuing to swim? I got one today with 2BK and tried to just drag that leg, then switched to a light 6BK. Stopping was not an option.
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  #2  
Old 05-09-2016
Danny Danny is offline
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Sometimes this happens to me because I am pushing off the wall with the same foot. When I feel it coming on, I try to always push of the wall with the other foot, which seems to help.
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Old 05-09-2016
descending descending is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ti97 View Post
Any tips on managing a cramp in the calf or foot while continuing to swim? I got one today with 2BK and tried to just drag that leg, then switched to a light 6BK. Stopping was not an option.
I went through a horrible bout of this about ten years ago and at the time I was dating of all luck a Yoga instructor. She had me do a bunch of rolling of my feet with a tennis ball to start(likely to be tender so go easy!), then lacrosse ball and ultimately I was using a golf ball on some spots. I had so many little knots and junk in there, but once I got it out I never cramped again. My PF was like a hand full of pea gravel it was so grainy! Hope it helps. Go lightly at first.
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Old 05-10-2016
tomoy tomoy is offline
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We try to point our toes for best streamlining, but can overdo that easily. Not sure if this is your issue, but there's a happy medium in compromising that pointed toe with relaxing the foot and calf a little so as to not overwork those muscles.

When I do focus on my feet, I think: 1) kick loose 2) point 3) relax, during each stroke phase (each kick in the 2BK). Usually when I'm going for speed or reaching for greatest distance per stroke (really stretching my body to be long), I forget the 3rd part and can feel the cramp coming on.
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Old 05-10-2016
ti97
 
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well thanks everyone.....but what can I do during the cramp when I don't want to stop swimming?

Is there some trick to make it stop, or do I just tough it out?
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  #6  
Old 05-10-2016
tomoy tomoy is offline
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Well, good luck just relaxing it, flopping it around and hoping it'll go away while swimming. Interested to know if there is a way to fight it off. I've tried counterflexing but it's usually not enough.

I usually have to stop. Take a good gulp of air and bob there while rubbing it out. In junior lifesaving they teach a transition from treading water, to relaxing and bending down to untie yourself from weeds, or take off your pants or rub out cramps. Being relaxed in the water in these situations is important so you can go for 15-30 seconds at a time w/o air.
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Old 05-10-2016
Danny Danny is offline
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I think the critical part here is to notice as early as possible when the cramps are coming on and take the earliest possible measures to deal with them. In my case, that usually means a less agressive kick, a push-off the wall with the uncramped foot or (if both are starting to cramp) a very slow push off the wall (maybe without pointing your toes) so as not to aggravate the cramps.

I am most likely to cramp if I am trying to teach myself a new movement, because I tend to tense my muscles while concentrating on doing this. If you revert to old standard movements, you may be able to shake the cramps.
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Old 05-12-2016
Penguin Penguin is offline
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Following up on the suggestion to counter-flex... This from a yoga instructor I was not dating, Try tensioning all the muscles in the affected area. The ones that are bothering you as well as the opposing muscles.

I agree with some of the other comments, that this sort of thing tends to come in waves or spurts, bothering someone for a while and then going away.
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Old 05-12-2016
ti97
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penguin View Post
I agree with some of the other comments, that this sort of thing tends to come in waves or spurts, bothering someone for a while and then going away.
exactly my experience.....foot cramp and calf cramp seem to be associated

I have been using the tennis ball under my foot to knead out the muscles....feels good....wonder if it will prevent the cramping?
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Old 05-12-2016
descending descending is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ti97 View Post
well thanks everyone.....but what can I do during the cramp when I don't want to stop swimming?

Is there some trick to make it stop, or do I just tough it out?
I could never tough out a foot cramp. Now if I was being chased by a shark sure I'd find a way, but during practice I'd just flop over and stretch it and get on the wall and miss an interval.

While I don't know your exact issue it sounds a lot like mine. If you do it daily and get all the knots out maybe you will have luck like I did. Been a decade since I've had a foot cramp!
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