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Julian Morales

What Causes Muscle Soreness? Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is a common yet unforgettable pain and stiffness that haunts you days after your workout. DOMS can occur anywhere in the body that has recently been exposed to unfamiliar or intense physical activity. Symptoms of DOMS can be local muscle pain, tenderness to the touch, stiffness of the joint, reduction in a joint’s range of motion, and temporary reduction in strength of the affected muscles. Delayed soreness develops within the first 12-24 hours and peaks at around 48-72 hours after exercise....

Derek Young

A few weeks ago, stumbling on Ratatouille led me to write a bit about the concept of “Belief In All.” BELIEF IN ALL is one of the four pillars, along with LEGACY, PURPOSE, and COMMUNITY, that is foundational for the Seattle Metropolitan Aquatic Club and when I focused on it in that piece, I looked at it through a teamwide lens and how it relates to the pursuit and process of achievement. In this case, I want to look at BELIEF IN ALL on a more individual level and how...

Julian Morales

Dealing With Setbacks Usually when we've worked hard and followed the process, like when we study our tail ends off for a test, we get what we want, like a good grade. Unfortunately sometimes we experience setbacks that push our goals back or our performance doesn't live up to our own expectations. This last championship season might have accurately reflected the hard work you’ve put in, but for some of us, we might not have swam as well as what we thought we should have. If the latter applies to...

Julian Morales

Resilience I have been spending a little more time than usual watching tv due to my training for a triathlon starting to ramp up. This means that whatever free time I have is spent sitting, watching tv or doing work. I recently watched the Tiger Woods documentary on HBO about his life. In the documentary, they did a great job putting into perspective just how dominant he was, especially in the years 2000-2008. Throughout the production’s entirety, the narrator or someone being interviewed would throw out a ridiculous stat to...

Julian Morales

I Am Because We Are For the first time in 710 days, avid sports fans like myself finally get to watch March Madness take over the sports world. For a week and a half, 64 Division 1 College basketball teams will battle until one team remains. That team will be crowned NCAA Champion and etch their names into the history books. While watching Michigan State play against UCLA, I noticed that the Michigan State players had a phrase printed on the back of their warm up jerseys. The phrase read,”I...

Julian Morales

Why We Taper As a swimmer, the word “taper” is the greatest thing you can hear after a tough season of training. This usually means more broken swims, turn and dive work, higher intensity and lower volume. Older swimmers will taper for up to two weeks, where some of the younger swimmers won’t taper at all. We hear this word a lot around this time of year, but what does it really mean? Tapering off and reducing the volume of work that athletes do leading up to an event that...

Derek Young

At the end of Disney/Pixar’s Ratatouille, secondary antagonist Anton Ego realizes the meaning of Chef Gusteau’s famous motto, “anyone can cook.” Previously disdainful of the idea, Ego comes to understand that while not everyone will become a great artist (in this case a great chef), a great artist can come from anywhere. This means that everyone, regardless of circumstance or perceived talent, deserves to have their dreams nurtured and their full potential cultivated. Left unspoken but profoundly important, I think, is that whether someone becomes a great chef is almost...

Julian Morales

Hamstring Flexibility = Deeper Kick The hamstrings are some of the most important muscles when it comes to everyday living. When it comes to swimming, strong hamstrings help bring our heels to our bottom during breaststroke kick, help with the upsweeping motion in dolphin kick, and are the foundation for explosive starts/turns. Today we will focus more on what optimal hamstring range of motion can help us with in swimming, especially with our dolphin kick. Below are two still shots of two of the best butterflyers in recent history (Kristoff...

Julian Morales

Skills vs. Attributes Imagine you are on a school field trip to a remote little town on the coast. The trip leader signals for the bus to stop next to a small cliff that overlooks the beach that lies below and reveals the ocean at sunset. You are instructed to go and explore, but that the bus leaves in 15 minutes. You find a small trail that leads a little further down the cliff and you are able to see more of the beach and reveals just how awesome the...

Julian Morales

Lat Importance: Stretching Last week, we talked about the importance of strengthening our lats, but this week we will focus on how to stretch those muscles. The latissimus dorsi, or the lats for short, play a huge role in shoulder function and health. Oftentimes, these muscles become tight and stiff after injury, surgery, immobilization, a lack of stretching, or repetitive lat overuse/overdevelopment (LIKE SWIMMING)! Because they act to extend and internally rotate the shoulder as well as depress the shoulder girdle, they can severely limit your ability to achieve an...