Swimming to Recover from Knee Surgery  

by Pool Builders on 09-20-2011 in Articles

You're at the pool and you're ready to swim, but what should you be doing? Many doctors advise swimming after knee surgery, but few actually prescribe a realistic plan to help you recover. Whatever your doctor's advice you must follow it. If you don't have a plan then you can get started by discussing these guidelines with your doctor.

Guideline #1: Set a time goal
There are 2 ways to design a swim workout: by distance or by time. If your goal is to rebuild strength following an injury, then the best method of structuring a workout is by time. The amount of time you spend will depend on the degree of injury, and how far you are progressing with recovery.

Guideline #2: Harness your skills
If you have not done much swimming in the past then starting a swim program will be approached the same as anyone, whether they are injured or not. Take advantage of the skills you already have then build new skills into your program. If all you can do on the first day is hold a kickboard and do a couple of laps, then that is a base to work from.

You might also consider using the pool for a combination of walking, water aerobics, and swimming. If your skills are not strong, extend your workout with the things you can do.

Guideline #3: Work the whole body
Even if you are swimming to recover and build strength in an injured area like your knee, you can still benefit from a whole body workout. Swimming stretches the muscles and makes you more limber. Without impact you can work-out longer than many sports without causing additional impact on your joints.

Guideline #4: Vary the workout
If your recovery plan is 6 weeks or longer, you will need to add some variety to keep from getting bored. Use a waterproof slate to write down your daily workout plans and keep that poolside. An example might be to swim a lap of the pool doing freestyle, followed by a lap of the pool kicking with a kickboard. If you are more skilled you can design more challenging and varied workouts to keep things interesting.

Be sure to write out your work-out plan, including how many days a week you plan to work-out, how long you will work-out each day, and what you will do during that time. Discuss it with your doctor then head to the pool and get started.

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