When it comes to swimming, a major inhibitor of progress through the water is drag. The less drag you are subject to in the water, the easier it is to progress through it. This is the whole idea behind the technology put into the controversial ‘speed suits’ of the 2009 swim-era.
There is a certain amount of drag that is simply unavoidable as the swimmer’s body will always be in contact with the water, but there are techniques that can be used to reduce each swimmer’s drag profile to a minimum.
The Issue: The ‘Balloon and Box of Rocks’
Swimmers often feel as though they are swimming with their body straight but are actually swimming in a position that is not parallel to the surface of the water. We like to start by telling these individuals about the Balloon and Box of Rocks, referring to the body’s natural tendencies in water, due to gravity. The fluid held in the swimmer’s lungs(the center of volume) is lighter than the fluid it’s immersed in(H2O), and therefore it wants to rise, creating the tendency for the swimmer’s legs and hips(the body below a persons center of mass) to ‘drop’ or sink lower in the water. In this position the swimmer is presenting increased chest and body surface area to be more directly ‘hit’ by water as they move forward, increasing the amount of drag on the body.
The Fix: Swim Bent
The solution to getting the swimmer to be parallel to the surface of the water, is to focus the swimmers attention on raising their hips towards the surface and keeping them there. In this position a swimmer feels bent! The coaching method of ‘pressing the chest/T‘ down to raise the hips is has been taught for many years, but here at tweak we took a different approach after many swimmers struggled to improve through direction to that effect.
VIDEO: Watch as one of our coaches explains the “Balloon and Box of Rocks’ issue and fix.
Raising the hips and holding them at the surface allows the swimmer to reduce the amount of water they were previously in contact with and makes progress through the water easier.
The ‘Balloon and Box of Rocks’ is just one of the first lessons we provide at tweak. With our staff of professional coaches, you or your swimmer are guaranteed real-time visual coaching feedback that is helpful, quick, and meant to keep swimmers racing and training hard and injury-free.
Schedule a Swim Analysis Appointment online today at either our Birmingham or Canton location!
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