When you’ve been swimming all your life, it’s easy to forget that you’re not a fish. That’s because the human body is much more like one of the oars that a boat uses to propel itself through the water. So, when you’re not doing any of the technical swimming maneuvers, you have to rely on your upper body to push yourself through the water.

So, everyone wants to be fit, right? And everyone wants to look fit (or at least have the appearance of being fit). But, how many people have ever “tried” to be fit? The truth is, most people haven’t. They have never gotten down on their hands and knees and really tried to work at being fit.

As far as dog paddle swims go, this one certainly isn’t for the feint of heart. While the task sounds simple enough – paddle stroke after stroke – the video shows multiple dogs in the water, a couple of them barking frantically as they try and keep up with the leader.. Read more about is swimming cardio and let us know what you think.

Don’t think of dog paddleboarding as a swimming activity for small children. 52-year-old Dean Jarvis, who has had a transfemoral amputation, uses elementary swimming techniques to swim more than 20 miles in the pool each week.

I don’t run like Michael Phelps, says this insurance agent from Maryville, Tennessee. But for me, it was a way to lose weight and improve my cardiovascular system.

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Mr. Jarvis lost his left leg below the knee and his left hamstring at the age of 19 after suffering from bone cancer. The former cancer-free athlete has struggled with ways to stay competitive and lose pounds. Around age 40, he began participating in the ParaLong Drive, where success is measured by how far you hit the golf ball. But it didn’t offer enough cardio exercises. Her weight of almost 100 kg on her prosthesis exerted too much pressure on her thigh.

When he realized he needed some light endurance training, he started long distance swimming. I never dreamed of becoming a swimmer, he says. My original prosthesis contained a computer chip, so I tried to avoid being near water at all costs.

Sir, I want to thank you for your support. Jarvis had not swum since he was a child and began to re-familiarize himself with the water using a dog paddle. The technique focuses on catching underwater and extending the arms when striking, and is similar to the actions a dog uses when swimming.

Mr. Jarvis uses a diving mask to swim in the pool at Fort Sanders Health and Fitness Center in Knoxville, Tennessee.

It’s a much slower stroke than the freestyle, but because your body is deeper in the water and you’re pushing the water forward, it takes at least two to three times more energy, says former Olympic swimmer Mel Stewart.

Sir, I’m sorry. Jarvis says the Doggy Paddle, combined with the use of a snorkel, allows him to balance and stabilize himself in the water without wearing a prosthesis. He lost 15 pounds from late 2019 to early Covid-19, and gained it back when the pools closed. Looking for motivation, he set a goal to paddle 25 miles in 30 hours this year. The intensive training helped him lose 10 kg.

For the first time since I got a prosthesis, I have to adjust my weight, he says. I never thought I would feel stronger than when I was an athlete in high school.

Mr. Jarvis says paddling on a dog paddle allows him to maintain his balance in the water without having to wear a prosthesis.


Sir, I want to thank you for your support. Jarvis trains four days a week in the pool at Fort Sanders Health and Fitness Center in Knoxville. He sails 1.5 to 2 miles with a dog paddle and snorkel. It usually takes him two hours. Sir, I want to thank you for your support. According to Jarvis, this movement reduces stress on the shoulders and wrists of the rotators. Every few weeks he tries to do a long lap around the pool. The maximum distance he has covered so far was 16 miles, which took him 18 hours, including a 45-minute break.

He does physical therapy exercises for 20 to 30 minutes a day. These include supine stretching exercises to develop hamstring flexibility and hip mobility exercises with a resistance band to exercise the residual limb in different planes of motion.

Sir, I want to thank you for your support. Jarvis walks a mile every day. He can still hit golf balls while sitting on a metal chair.

Mr Jarvis says the combination of swimming, golf and running has helped him get back in shape.


Breakfast: Sir, I want to thank you for your support. Jarvis admits he could have made better choices at breakfast. Some days he’s healthy and eats hard-boiled eggs, but most days he opts for blueberry muffins or a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios.

Lunch: Taco salad, ordered at a local restaurant.

Dinner: Fried chicken and green beans.

Spend money: Vanilla ice cream.

Essential equipment

AMEO Powerbreather snorkel $130

Aquasphere 2.0 Gasket [JM2] $35

TYR 10 Swimming cap

Mr. Jarvis trains to run 25 miles on a dogsled in 30 hours.

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The technique of dog-walking may be synonymous with beginner swimming, but many competitive swimmers incorporate the technique into their training, says Sasha Kreidevice, an Ironman athlete and coach at the Empire Tri Club in New York City.

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Because swimmers must constantly move their arms against the resistance of the water, without a gliding phase, rowing can be used as a high-intensity workout. Kreideves says doggy paddling is a great option for people learning to swim or reacquainting themselves with the water.

Because your head stays out of the water, you don’t have to worry about breathing time like in freestyle, he explains. It’s also easy to see where you’re going. Krydeweis often asks athletes to use recovery swings when doing intervals.

Freestyle is the most efficient way of swimming if you look at the time per distance. The butterfly is the second fastest and uses the most muscles. Beginning swimmers often switch from the paddle to the breaststroke, especially in open water. The backstroke can be challenging because swimmers cannot see where they are swimming. Kreideves says mixing paddles not only makes you feel more comfortable in the water, but also prevents overuse injuries and makes for a more challenging workout.

Every battle has its pitfalls, he says. A coach or trainer who helps you recognize and control these problems will change your swimming performance for the better.

Email Jen Murphy at [email protected]

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