Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Five Swimming Tips

I just read these five swimming tips from Dolphin Man Bob Williams, and I thought they were concise and informative. I'll have to see how helpful they are for me in tomorrow's swim:
  • First, I found that swimming with my head down with the water level about in the middle of my head, not at the forehead level where I used to hold it when I was more of a sprinter, allowed my legs to float higher, decreasing drag and obviating the need for a strong kick to keep my legs up. Reducing drag meant less energy to go the same speed or less energy to go faster.
  • Second, I found that lengthening my stroke and pushing water well past the bottom of my suit was particularly effective in increasing speed. I have come to emphasize the push so much, I believe my arm stroke should be renamed "push" rather than "pull."
  • Third, I found that when I stretched my hand out in front of me, I needed to avoid having that hand stay near the top of the water. Having to start the pull with the hand near the surface of the water forced my body to lift in the water and created drag which took significant amounts of energy to sustain. Alternatively, having that hand start the pull six to nine inches below the surface reduced the amount of lift and allowed the hand to pull the body forward rather than up and forward.
  • Fourth, I found that rolling the body while I pulled (pushed?) was very effective in allowing employment of maximum strength of the chest, upper arm, and back muscles. Thus, when I pulled the right arm, I was rolling over onto the left side.
  • Fifth, I found that swimming intervals is the most efficient use of time in the water.

Several other helpful technique and workout tips are in this article.

Here's a set of five slightly different, but similar technique tips by coach Neil Cook.

Here's a different list of ten swimming tips for triathletes.


Comm's said...

ah ha. Finally the secrets are revieled.

Ellie said...

Great tips and just in time for me! Thank you for posting this!