Why Do My Feet Cramp in the Pool?

February 14, 2024

If you’ve ever suffered a foot cramp in the pool, you know it’s not fun. The sharp involuntary muscle spasm causes a pain that can stop you from continuing your swim and may even cause you to drown if it’s not treated quickly enough. This article is a quick guide to why your feet cramp while swimming and some tips on how you can prevent them from occurring in the first place.

The main reason why your feet cramp while you’re in the water is that you haven’t allowed your muscles to warm up. This is particularly a problem when you swim in open water as the temperature can be dramatically different to that of a swimming pool and you haven’t given your body time to adjust.

You can also get foot cramps because of an imbalance in your electrolytes (like potassium and magnesium). The best way to combat this is by drinking a lot of water and consuming food that is rich in these nutrients such as bananas, potatoes, spinach and leafy green vegetables. You should also stretch regularly and make sure you wear well-fitting shoes.

Another common cause of foot cramping is that you are using an inefficient kicking technique. This is especially the case for snorkelers as they tend to be prone to bicycle kicking or unnatural pointing of their ankles with fins on. Trying to kick forcefully and continuously with these inefficient techniques will result in unnecessary tension into the ankles that leads to foot cramping.

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