5 Swimming Tips

Tip #4: Power From The Core

Tuning The Engine

In this tip I will teach you about the greatest swimming myth. It is the one that keeps you tired frustrated and why you  don't improve. And the myth is: you swim with your arms and legs.
This makes perfect sense, right? Pulling motion of your arms and kicking with your legs create a propulsion that drives you forward.

This is what you do instinctively and this is what you see when you watch every swimmer. Be it a fitness swimmer in your local pool or an Olympics swimmer on TV.

But what is more important is what you don't see at first sight.

Fish and aquatic mammals have no arms and no legs and yet they swim 10x faster than the fastest humans. Fish and aquatic mammals can swim up to 60 mph (100 kmph). How do they do it?

1. They have ideal hydrodynamic and sleek bodyline. We've covered this in previous tips.

2. They use their whole body for propulsion. Fish and aquatic mammals undulate and this movement effortlessly propels them forward.

Now a small side-note:
Take a look at this javelin thrower. She does not throw the javelin only with her arm. She uses her entire body and the arm only completes the throw.

This coordinated and and unified movement allows her to throw as far as 70m.

And she is not alone. Tennis players, golf players, karate fighters, pitchers. All of them use power from the core.

If you want to swim with ease, speed and grace, use your core for propulsion. Use coordinated and fluent movement.

How To Use Your Whole Body

Do this swimming drill and you'll be able to swim far forward through the water with a very little effort.

1. Stand up in a shallow area of the pool. Your left leg is forward and the right leg is back. Stretch your left arm forward and slightly down (the shoulder is the highest, the fingers are the lowest). Keep at least fingers in the water (if the water is deep, it can be the whole arm). Bend your right arm in your elbow and bring it forward of your head. Your fingers are in the water. Now you should stand like this:

2. Give yourself enough time to prepare the position. Double check that both arms are relaxed and partly submerged. Also check that your right leg is in front and your right arm is stretched.

3. As soon as you are ready, in one moment:

  • push yourself forward from your feet
  • spear your right arm forward
  • bring your left arm to your thigh
  • rotate to your right side

If you do it corretly, you will travel far forward with almost no effort. Give yourself enough time to feel and enjoy the glide. Then stand up, switch the side and do it again.

Repeat for 5-10 minutes and focus on coordination and gliding.

This is the coordination and glide you want to experience during each stroke.

Drill To Whole Stroke:

You can easily transition from the drill to the whole stroke. As soon as your left arm reaches your hip, recover and bring it back in front of your head. Stay on your right side and keep your right arm patiently in front of your body.

As soon as your left arm is in front of your head, switch the arms and rotate to the other side.

Continue for several strokes and stop when you need to inhale.

Ok, this is how to swim with your whole body, not only with your arms and legs. Try it and let me know how it worked for you in comments below.


All 5 Tips:

Tip #1: Hanging head

Tip #2: Patient leading arm 

Tip #3: Glide

Tip #4: Power from the core (now reading)

Tip #5: Emphasize the exhale

Short of having a chance for a live coaching, the best way to master all the skills is to follow video Freestyle Mini-Course. Now for introductory price (80% off).

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