Swimming After Back Surgery
I am resuming swimming after back surgery and I need to get the kicking going. Years ago I was comfortable with my kick and my front crawl. Now at age 75, and after back surgery I am resuming swimming.
Good to hear that you are resuming swimming after back surgery. Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise and rehabilitation for back surgery and front crawl is one of the safest strokes. It is also one of the most tiring!
It goes without saying that you must get the all clear from your physician or back consultant before you begin swimming.
The amount that you can kick your legs will now be restricted due to the build-up of scar tissue and general lack of flexibility from your surgery. It is very important to build up slowly and keep within a comfortable tolerance level for your back.
The leg kick itself must have relaxed knee and ankle joints so that down beat motion can provide some propulsion. Kicking whilst holding a float or kickboard will isolate your legs but also make them work very hard. Swimming with fins on will help achieve a good relaxed action.
Keep in perspective why it is you are swimming front crawl. Is it for fitness reasons? Is it for rehabilitation? I'm guessing it is a combination of both. Whatever the reason, the leg kick for front crawl is not the most important thing here. Performing the whole stroke, arms, legs and breathing, will all serve to increase fitness and help rehabilitation. Remember the majority of propulsion for front crawl comes from the arm action and long distance endurance swimmers of front crawl do not use their legs at all for propulsion but only to balance the arm action.
One of our best-selling books How To Swim Front Crawl
contains loads of exercises to help improve your technique and make your front crawl easier. It also contains some specific leg kick exercises. You can download it, print out the parts you need and take them to your pool to try out. Click the link below for more information.
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