SWIMMING: HOW TO AVOID MUSCULAR CRAMP?

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Cramp is a nightmare for athletes. When cramp appears, it is often necessary to stop making an effort immediately. But there are a number of ways to avoid cramp. Follow our advice for a cramp-free swim.

WHAT IS MUSCULAR CRAMP?

Before explaining how to do away with the pain, we should start by explaining why we suffer from cramp in the first place.
Cramp is the uncontrollable and painful contraction of a muscle or group of muscles that can occur when making a severe effort.
Unlike spasms, which share the same symptoms, cramp goes away after a few minutes and after stretching the muscular fibre.

 

Cramp can occur:
by warming up too violently in comparison with the condition of the muscles when at rest when you start exercising, if the muscles are not warmed up properly at the end of a training session, when the body is still tired and concentration tends to drift when recovering, in particular during the night following a workout.

SO HOW CAN I PREVENT CRAMP WHEN I TRAIN AT THE POOL?

If, for example, you suffer from cramp in the calf or cramp in the feet, the first thing to do is stay hydrated. Hydration is just as important in swimming as in other sports. You can avoid losing too many mineral salts by drinking some mineral water before you start. And putting a little sugar in your bottle will help even more. You are also advised to regularly drink small mouthfuls of water during your training session, and to drink some carbonate-rich sparkling water after the session to combat lactic acid.

 

Warming up before and after your training session is essential, since this helps to avoid cramps and to limit the aches that you may feel in the next few days. If you suffer from cramp at night, sleep with your legs raised and, most importantly, drink plenty of water before you go to bed.

AND IF YOU SUFFER FROM CRAMP WHEN EXERCISING?

You can do a number of things if you suffer from cramp during your training session. When this happens, avoid making any rapid movements that solicit the painful muscles. Get out of the pool, take a break and drink some water.
A gentle massage can also help to relax the muscle, then try, gradually and slowly, to stretch the muscle, without forcing.
If the pain is recurrent, you should refer to a specialist to identify the problem.

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