5 Swimming Tips
Tip #3: Glide
Mark Of The Swimming Champions
Great swimmers have one thing in common: they look effortless. They look so graceful and elegant.
Compare it to “average” swimmers in your local pool. You will see splashy, choppy, noisy strokes.
The difference is that great swimmers move through water...
...while average swimmers move water around.
Your goal as a swimmer is to move forward, to travel from A to B.
This seems obvious. But so often I see people doing all the weird stuff in the water with actually no propelling effect. It’s almost like being in a hamster wheel.
So how to get off the wheel and make a real progress?
You need to realize that all great swimmers travel far on each sroke. The key for improving your stroke is a longer stroke. Or in other words Stroke length.
Science Shows Stroke Length Is Crucial:
Studies analyzing results since 1976 of meets at all levels produced the same results: winners almost always took fewer strokes. The great example of this stroke length importance is 2008 4x100m freestyle relay finish. Jason Lezak significantly behind 50m before the finish, definitely doing slower strokes and yet he managed to overswim Alain Bernald in the next lane and won the gold medal for the US team. Click the image below to watch the video.
How To Improve Your Stroke Length?
- Improve your body position. If your body is more hydrodynamic and streamlined, it creates less resistance. You will travel further with more ease and less deceleration. You improve your body position with hanging head and leading arm. We’ve covered this in previous emails.
- Move your whole body forward. Fortunately, it is easy to practice. Stand up in the shallow part of the pool and push forward into gliding. You can do three variations:
- Arms on your sides
- Arms in front of your body
- One arm in front and the body is slightly rotated
Practice all the 3 and see how far your travel on each variant. You should travel furthest on variant #3. Slightly rotated is the most streamlined position for the human body.
Exercise To Practice:
Practice the push off for couple of minutes. Then swim several strokes and try to experience the same glide on each stroke. If you don’t travel forward while swimming, return to push offs to get back the feeling of moving forward.
All 5 Tips:
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