Proper Body Alignment leads to FASTER swimming—but how exactly do you do it? In our next blog series, we will be discussing the KEYS to Proper Body Alignment to help YOU swim FASTER!
Let’s get started…
Humans are nothing like fish. We cannot breathe underwater, and our bodies resemble more of a brick in the water–than anything aquatic related. With this, there isn’t too many things we can do to anatomically change our body shape. We are built the way we are.
In order to be FAST swimmers though, we must work within our anatomical parameters and morph our body into the best possible position to swim in.
What is that?
The best position swimmers can be in is horizontal, right on the surface of the water, with about 70% of their body under the water and the other 30% above. This positioning allows the body to sit flat and parallel to the water’s surface.
Why is this position so important?
The reason this position is the BEST for swimmers is it is the CLOSEST possible position swimmers can mimic that’s similar to hydroplaning. Obviously, we can’t keep all of our body above the surface of the water or we wouldn’t be swimming. And, if we put our entire body under the surface of the water—we wouldn’t move nearly as fast, due to all the drag forces acting on our large surface area. So, the happy medium is putting the body above 70% under the water and about 30% over the water.
Does the weight of a swimmer effect this positioning?
Yes. Here’s the kicker though—human muscle sinks and fat floats. So if you’re a more built swimmer, it’ll be harder for you to keep yourself up at the surface ,versus someone who spends less time at the gym.
To learn more about why muscle sinks and fat doesn’t, [CLICK HERE] to read my blog series on Freestyle breathing!
What is the best way to work on this positioning?
Kicking with a snorkel & board! My favorite drill is kicking with your hands on a board using your snorkel—working on finding that optimum head positioning (where the body is 70% in and 30% out of the water).
What’s great about this drill is you can eventually have swimmers drop their boards, and put their hands at the side–working on finding that exact, same body position. And from there, you can add in the rotation side-to-side as well.
[CLICK HERE] to read Part II!
Until Next Time,