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Thread: Figure skating and swimming - why do they not mix?

  1. #1
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    Figure skating and swimming - why do they not mix?

    I have always been told that figure skating and swimming do not mix. I understand that swimming relaxes the muscles while figure skating needs "tight" muscles. For that reason, you cannot go from swimming to ice skating. This make 100% sense to me.

    Here is what I do not fully understand. Why can you not go swimming, wait 4+ hours and then go figure skating? I would think that 4 hours or so would be enough time to allow the muscles to recover.

    My daughter's coaches told me told that even a little bit of swimming could undermine all jumps (starting at doubles and up). One coach told me that during his skating peak, he was not allowed even to take a bath (showers only!) because that slight bit of buoyance could throw off his jumps.

    I would love for someone to explain the whys!

  2. #2
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    A few of my daughter's coaches warned me off swimming too. If I remember correctly, it has something to do with building the wrong muscles. Since you need the specific muscle for the jumps, the wrong body typed can threw you off from successfully landing the jumps. But I never knew that even taking a bath could be a factor as well.

  3. #3
    Rinkside
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    I used to do both, as long as you aren't doing too much it's actually good. I have knee problems and skating deteriorated it (untill I had pt) while swimming helped keep it stable untill I could get the pt I needed. It's not great, but it does help with ankle/foot/knee injuries

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    I googled this after I posed the question. I think I found what I was looking for.

    Swimming produces an abundance of lactic acid which is what gives you the muscle "burn." When lots of lactic acid is produced, it relaxes the "softens" the muscles which is the exact opposite of what you need for ice skating. So every time you swim hard, you are essentially undoing your ice skating work.

    From what I was told, it really does not pose a problem if you are doing singles and beginning doubles. However, once you move onto the harder doubles, the problems start.

    I still have not figured out why bathes are bad. It must be some type of buoyance issue.

  5. #5
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    It could be that the coach was just trying to burn it into the student's head that swimming, even a little bit, is bad, and citing baths was an overexaggeration to make the point.

    I am fairly sure that no one ever built up lactic acid in the muscles in a bath? I would think? And while bathing might or might not be bad immediately prior to skating, I am puzzled to think of a reason that a bath the night before would be bad the morning after, particularly when I hear of skaters doing hot tub soaks for aches and pains?

  6. #6
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    The coach that told me (not my daughter) about the bath issue was trained under the old USSR system. He said the sauna and showers were fine but baths were banned. I also find it strange.

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