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coral-hugger
08-27-2007, 22:53
Aside from general fitness (weight, cardiovascular, etc.) are there specific exercises that are good for the usual scuba routine?

For instance, leg/calf cramps are common. (OK, they are common for ME.)

Any advice? Anyone have a "scuba workout" ?

tnfireman
08-28-2007, 05:17
I get leg cramps also ,what I do to prevent them is take a few min. to stretch before I gear up.

ScubaJenn81
08-28-2007, 05:28
Check out this link
http://www.divefitness.com/html/home.html

It has some workouts and articles.

ScubaJenn81
08-28-2007, 05:30
Also, I tend to get more leg cramps if I am not drinking enough. Another thing (for me personally) if I do not get enough calcium in my diet, the tendancy for cramps go up. I started taking vitamins and it has helped. But drinking a lot of water when diving makes a huge difference, on many levels.

ScubaJenn81
08-28-2007, 05:35
Yea, I know, I am posting a lot, but here are some articles for those of you that do not want to search around the website:

Exercise Muscle Cramps
http://www.divefitness.com/html/articles/article_pdfs/EAMC.pdf

Preventing Leg/Calf Cramps
http://www.divefitness.com/html/articles/article_pdfs/foot_calf.pdf

WV Diver
08-28-2007, 06:44
Big on the list. STAY WELL HYDRATED, keep your K+ levels up, stretching can't hurt, long daily walks are good.

chewyjr15
08-28-2007, 07:02
thanks i also get cramps ill try that out

gtjason2000
08-28-2007, 07:38
Bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S

mm_dm
08-28-2007, 07:47
Multi-vitamins with minerals, hydration, stretching and I eat bananas every day. I'm in the water more than once in a week and I have too many other duties to be dealing with cramps.

greyzen
08-28-2007, 07:50
It's already been stated but to agree with everyone...
eat banana's and drink plenty of water. Also, something that seems to help me out (and might be your problem) is salt.

I add a healthy portion of salt to my veggie medley. My diet is very lacking in salt (I don't like the stuff) and unfortunately you need it.

scubasamurai
08-28-2007, 15:09
of course with the leg cramps, low potassium try eating a banana or drinking some OJ prior to diving and do some toe touches and stretch the legs out. most important if your doing multiple dives stay warm even if you have to wear 1mil suit. staying warm reduces the leg cramps.

willardj
08-28-2007, 15:54
Eat a couple of Bananas's and drink plenty of water. Work's for me.

Perrydogm
08-28-2007, 16:39
Im have the dreaded leg cramp and i stay hydrated and eat bananas and all the good stuff . even on workouts

scubasamurai
08-28-2007, 17:46
but don't bring the banana's on the boat, some old fishing wise tail. has something with monekys throwing wrenches into the system. in fact the two times someone brought a banana on the dive boat i used it broke down. mmmmh makes you wonder now doesn't it

Xspect
08-28-2007, 18:02
stretching, hydration, and balance electrolytes

Black-Gorrilla
08-28-2007, 18:03
Bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S

hhmmmm BA NA NA!!
my favorite cramp remedy!
aways works for me.
i eat a banana when ever possible (before i go diving) and seldom cramp up!

savannahbell
08-28-2007, 19:45
Bananas work great for me, esp before I go diving. I will also stretch my legs out real good before gearing up.

mm_dm
08-28-2007, 20:33
Im have the dreaded leg cramp and i stay hydrated and eat bananas and all the good stuff . even on workouts

Do you drink much coffee? It can leach minerals out of your system.

dmdoss
08-28-2007, 23:32
In my days of Kempo they would work us to make our legs cramp. After so long they won't cramp anymore, don't know why. Maybe the muscle's get conditioned to it. But to this day I haven't had a leg cramp.

avpro4
08-29-2007, 01:47
Last Jan. I went to Bonne Terre with a bunch of Chicago Scuba Meetup folks. We were all overcoming the holiday bulge, and a little out of shape. So after the first day, my calves were screaming. One of the guys suggested I concentrate on kicking with my hips and thighs instead of bending my knees and it helped me get thru day 2. I've kicked that way ever since.

My other tip for dealing with post-dive muscle pain is Naproxin Sodium (Aleve) washed down with at least 2 bottles of Propel. Something about the specific mix in Propel helps me more that Gatorade or plain water. My daughter is a dancer and she swears by it as well.

Finally, try stretching your calves out by balancing atop a single step or a curb using just your toes and the balls of your feet; then slowly lowering your heels toward the ground. It'll hurt like hell, but you'll feel better for the effort.

ScubaGir1
08-29-2007, 02:55
I had always heard that low potassium levels can cause cramps. And after confirming that with an ER doctor, I can safely say yes....eat bananas :D

Oh, and the doc said that sometimes low calcium levels can cause cramps too.

mm_dm
08-29-2007, 07:54
My other tip for dealing with post-dive muscle pain is Naproxin Sodium (Aleve) washed down with at least 2 bottles of Propel. Something about the specific mix in Propel helps me more that Gatorade or plain water. My daughter is a dancer and she swears by it as well.

This is good information- thanks for posting. Not sure why it would work better with Propel, but if it works...

greyzen
08-29-2007, 11:40
Ask a doctor, drinking tons of water actually can have inverse effects on your well-being (when talking about doing something athletic). You sweat out a ton of stuff (electrolyte's, salt, minerals, etc.) so replacing just the water isn't always the best.

Drink tons of water, but also add stuff like banana's and natural juice (fresh fruit, YAY MANGO!). Salt is also something you NEED in your system.
Salt is a crucial part in muscle elasticity(no spell check needed /flex) and if you are low on sodium you will experience difficulties with stretching and cramps.
I'm not saying chew up a salt lick, but adding salt specifically into your diet pre-dive is a good thing. Doing it as a runner, bicycler, diver, etc. keeps you from having as many cramps.

scuba Widow
09-01-2007, 21:57
Drink alot of water and eat bananas and do alot of stretching.

tweek909
09-10-2007, 09:31
Thanks for all this info!

meesier42
09-11-2007, 08:12
try hydration, bananas, vitamans, stretching, then buy a set of force fins and your problems will be solved.

DolphinDreams
09-11-2007, 13:02
yes, hydration, calcium, stretching, all good. One more thing can help with cramps - Magnesium.

and if you do get a cramp, tighten up whatever muscle is opposite the cramping muscle. two opposing muscles can't work at the same time, your cramp will subside. so, for instance if your calf cramps you would pull your toes up, but you need some resisitance too, something pushing down on your toes a little bit so that muscle actually has to work.

Tableleg
09-12-2007, 11:47
Salt is a crucial part in muscle elasticity I thought it was proper balance of salts? The muscles need sodium and potassium (thus why bananas are so highly recommended) to work properly. Electrolytes are essentially salts disolved in water, (most sports drinks) and therefor these are a good source of these too.

When I was taking my EFA/CPR class, the instructor told me the best thing people could take for rehydration after diving/running/high intense activities is pedialyte because of it's proper balance of electrolytes.:smiley1:

Stingray Brett
09-12-2007, 15:30
In the water and u get a cramp grab your fin and pull and if it comes back to it again it works very well while your diving

Special K III
09-12-2007, 15:30
Yea, I know, I am posting a lot, but here are some articles for those of you that do not want to search around the website:

Exercise Muscle Cramps
http://www.divefitness.com/html/articles/article_pdfs/EAMC.pdf

Preventing Leg/Calf Cramps
http://www.divefitness.com/html/articles/article_pdfs/foot_calf.pdf


Wow. Good info here. I've never suffered from this, but 2 of my dive buddies have. Interesting how some people are suceptable to this and other are not.

BuzzGA
09-12-2007, 19:10
Yea, I know, I am posting a lot, but here are some articles for those of you that do not want to search around the website:

Exercise Muscle Cramps
http://www.divefitness.com/html/articles/article_pdfs/EAMC.pdf

Preventing Leg/Calf Cramps
http://www.divefitness.com/html/articles/article_pdfs/foot_calf.pdf

These articles are really great, thanks for the info

coralcrazed
09-13-2007, 13:41
Aside from general fitness (weight, cardiovascular, etc.) are there specific exercises that are good for the usual scuba routine?

For instance, leg/calf cramps are common. (OK, they are common for ME.)

Any advice? Anyone have a "scuba workout" ? nothing substitutes a proper workout prior to any sport activity followed by stretcing. but I hae also heard to eat a banana its high n potasium and helps guard against cramping if you are proned to cramps. hope that helped.

Mtrewyn
09-17-2007, 00:48
Water and lots of it, When I was "The Land Of Sand" aka Kuwait we use to tell the Marines that if they did not have to pee they were not drinking enough.

If you are drinking that much water and peeing that much, you need to replace your electrolytes (K, Cl, Na) that means you need to consume things that have them in it, sports drinks are better than nothing but they have alot of sugar and that can make thing worse, so word around the campfire is milk, Mrs. Dash (for k), for Na well do what you want just use a little salt.

cmburch
02-25-2008, 22:29
I put in a few hundred yards at the pool with a kick board. I also may have a banana, water, and Gatorade. I find though that working out in the pool is best for me. Stretching before getting into the water can also help especially for those with tight muscles from doing a lot of weight lifting, bike riding, hiking, etc. There are situations while diving that may stress the muscles more such as swimming against a strong current, chasing a fish, or helping pull/tow a buddy. It is best to condition with short fins and a kick board in the swimming pool if possible.

caroln
02-26-2008, 08:42
Plenty of water helps a lot. A Gatorade before diving does the trick too.

Kingpatzer
02-26-2008, 09:04
One big mistake people tend to make is to stretch as part of some warmup routine.

Never ever stretch a cold muscle. Stretching is a type of exercise and needs a warmed-up muscle to be effective. Stretching a cold muscle can lead to injury.

Also, don't "bounce" when you stretch. Stretches should be slow, continuous, controlled movements that are held at the point of maximum stretch and then slowly relaxed.

I see many people with leg cramps "stretch" a cold muscle with a bouncing, jerky motion . . . those two combined actions are doing tissue damage and will increase the likilyhood of cramping, not decrease it.

Walk, jump, jog, anything to get those legs, hip flexors and lower back muscles warm. Then do slow controlled stretching.

Combined with a good mineral suppliment, proper hydration, and good diet, you're cramps will go away.

Rockhound76
02-26-2008, 10:16
One big mistake people tend to make is to stretch as part of some warmup routine.

Never ever stretch a cold muscle. Stretching is a type of exercise and needs a warmed-up muscle to be effective. Stretching a cold muscle can lead to injury.....

What he said...I would also suggest the following:

1) For strength, leg raises, calf raises, squats, leg extensions
2) For muscle endurance (helps the most for cramps, based on my experience)
a) Cycling
b) Spinning or hard riding on a stationary bike
c) Stairmaster

a,b,c, should be long duration excercises, at least 30 minutes, but more like 1+ hours (up to 5 hours on the bike). Use a Heart Rate Monitor. Ignore the standard "zone" calculations and determine your own. Find your Lactate Threshold (LT), Max Heartrate (MHR) and your endurance zone (about 75-80% of Max, the zone that you could ride for 100 miles or spin for a few hours). Work out near threshold most of the time, with intervals that regularly take you over and recoveries that NEVER go below endurance.

One final thing: If you can read a magazine while riding a stationary bike...you aren't riding hard enough to provide any real benefit. You don't need to kill yourself, but you do need to work hard enough that it requires concentration.

Noboundaries
03-01-2008, 11:55
I posted the response below under the vitamin section, but it is actually about my leg cramps. Another thing I forgot to add is that I eat good carnivorous protein with my pre-dive carbs. The protein slows the conversion of the carbs to sugar and makes the carb energy available for muscles to use over a longer period of time.

I've always had problems with muscle cramps, even in my exceptionally fit days. When I got certified in Monterey Bay in 51 degree water, the weekend was just one big muscle cramp. Talk about uncomfortable. I found that a protein drink, bananas, and a lot of mental relaxation helped, but muscle cramps were always just one unintentionally strong leg kick away.

Last summer I started taking a multivitamin to help manage life stress; Relacore vitamins, available at Costco. I noticed they had a calming effect on me. Shortly afterwards my wife and I took our advanced class in Lake Tahoe. Lo and behold, no muscle cramps! I mean none. A few months later we went diving every day for five days in Cozumel, 2-3 dives per day. The only day I had muscle cramps was the day I forgot the vitamins. Now I won't dive without them.

People say vitamins just give you expensive pee, but I've definitely noticed a positive physiological change.