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Travails of a Non-Swimmer

Sinky Legs Syndrome

Dog on the beach

My husband and I decided to make Wednesdays our “no gym” (or pool) day. In addition to Sunday that makes two rest days. I think it’s a good plan, especially since we are so unfit at present that working out everyday would really tax our bodies.

Instead, today I decided to do some ab exercises.

I have the so-called “sinky legs syndrome” when it comes to the water. One of the main reasons I’m finding the breathing drills so difficult is that I am constantly deep in the water, with my legs always sinking. Yesterday night I tried rotating my “breathing” shoulder in a TI drill but it simply would not go above the water. Terry Laughlin says to keep the breathing shoulder dry during this exercise. I simply couldn’t manage: my shoulder was always deep under water, rotated or not.

The main culprit, of course, is more basic than bad technique: poor form. I’ve been reading about the importance of a balanced core and good posture during swimming.

This is incredibly difficult for me because I am a lifelong sloucher. I feel that I spent the last two decades slouching behind a desk. I’ve kept a slouched posture for as long as I could remember. It became worse when I entered the IT field where I would often sit all day and all night slouched in front of the computer. Now a lifetime of bad habit is really affecting my swimming.

I know I need to open up my chest, keep my back straight, suck in my stomach and lightly clench my glutes.

It is necessary to have good head-spine alignment.

I know I need to work on all these else I will never be able to do proper freestyle breathing. What window do I need to give myself, I wonder. A year? Two years?

I don’t really want to think about it. My lofty goal at the start of 2013 was to learn freestyle in 3 months, backstroke in 3 months, and then breaststroke and butterfly for the rest of the year. After a year, a new swimmer me!

Hah! In my dreams.

Meanwhile, I need to take out that ab toner belt that we’ve had for years yet hardly ever use.


Ab Exercises

  • Abdominal Hold 1sec (I simply can’t do this!)
  • The Side Crunch 10 reps x 2
  • The Hundred 5 reps
  • Opposite Arm & Leg Raise 10 reps x 2
  • The Prone Plank 30sec
  • Squat Thrust with Twist 5 reps x 2
  • The Climb Up 5 reps x 2
  • Ballet Twist 5 reps x 2
  • Single Leg Stretch 10 reps x 2
  • The Cobra 10 reps

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