Welcome back to Part II of our blog series on Proper Body Alignment. This week, we will be discussing how to NOT SnowPlow against the water, but rise above it.
In case you haven’t read Part I of this series, [CLICK HERE] to catch up.
Let’s get started!
As we discussed in Part I of this series, the stronger and more muscular you are—the harder it is to float. With this as swimmers, we want to make sure we control where our body is located in the water and actively, continue to increase our body awareness.
Before we discuss exactly how to do that, let’s take a step back. For a brief moment, look at your arms versus your legs (in reality of the size/circumference of them). You see that YOUR legs are significantly larger than your arms—which means you carry more weight in your legs. This is the SAME for every swimmer out there.
If we go back to the original fact above that, more muscle=more prone to sinking—you now know that your legs have a HARDER time staying at the surface, comparatively to your arms.
With this, we also need to discuss your center of gravity. For females, your center of gravity is LOWER than males—but both is still around your midsection. Most women carry the majority of their weight in their hips, thighs, and glutes. Men tend to carry their weight in their stomachs and thighs.
Taking this into consideration if you compare men and women swimmers—ALL of us have a hard time keeping our midsection and thighs at the surface!
If you don’t keep your midsection and thighs up at the surface, your body will eventually get into a SnowPlow position—with your head and arms at the surface and your midsection a little lower with your legs even lower than that. It’s basically a straight diagonal down from head to toe.
The SnowPlow Position:
Looking at the SnowPlow Position above, if swimmers cannot correct this as they are moving forward—they will be pushing their body AGAINST the water causing a HUGE increase in drag. Essentially, they are fighting the water–instead of rising above it.
So How Do We AVOID the SnowPlow Position?
Do PLENTY of Body Alignment Drills!
Some of my favorite drills include: kicking with a snorkel with your hands at your side, kicking with a snorkel and rotating from side-to-side, kicking on your side with one arm up and one arm down, working your streamline glides (with and without dolphin kicks), and kicking on your back in a streamline (watching your knees).
What all these drills have in common is they force swimmers to manipulate their body to keep their midsection and thighs at the surface and avoid getting into a SnowPlow Position.
If you think of your body as a see-saw, it makes it a lot easier to understand how you can manipulate your body (via your connector muscles, abs) to achieve proper body position.
The title of this blog is Don’t SnowPlow Against the Water—Get Your Midsection Up, because in order to get the heavier areas of your body up above the water’s surface—you HAVE to engage the core and force the upper body down, so the thighs, glutes, and feet pop up towards the surface.
1.) Upper Body is TOO High–SnowPlow Position:
2.) Upper Body is Pushed Down–GREAT Body Alignment!
Without strong core muscles, you can press down all you want on your upper body and you won’t change your legs positioning. Your core strength is so important that without enough—you’re basically a wet noodle and completely disconnected.
Core strength is a prerequisite to great body alignment, and if you don’t have AWESOME body alignment—EVERY, SINGLE stroke of yours will suffer.
Get in the weight room today!
Until Next Time.