Swim tips #5
Swim Tip #5 – Get connected!
Many if not most swimmers paddle and kick whilst allowing their mid-section to sag and wallow. This disconnection between the arms and legs leads to a drag inducing fishtailing effect as the swimmer attempts to move forwards.
When you were young and had to choose a stick to throw in the river in the hope of beating your friend’s stick downstream you soon learned that a straight solid stick was better than a bent floppy one. Fish are thick and solid for a reason as are boats. Top swimmers are tall and have perfect posture. Observe the swimmers at the front of every Thursday’s sea swim and you will see good posture at or near the front!
This is a swimming fundamental that is easy to improve. In fact it is one of the few quick fixes there are when teaching swimming. Most swimmers I work with respond well to one or more of the following cues:
- Lift up your “bits” using your pelvic floor muscles.
- Hold your core as if you were busting for a wee.
- Hold a fifty-cent coin between your bum cheeks.
- Be tall as you swim.
- Use one or more of the above techniques to get yourself centrally connected and tall. You will sense your body moving along a straighter line and moving further per stroke (piercing a deeper hole in the water).
- Maintain that feeling of connection and tallness ALL the time, avoid letting go as you breathe or when you sight.
- Learn to pace your swimming so that you can hold the feeling ALL of the time. If you have to let it go you are probably working harder than you are currently fit enough to do.
- Building swim fitness has a lot to do with challenging your ability to hold your body tall and strong at higher and higher paces or for longer durations. Make that your training focus and you will see big changes.
“Your hips are the engine for swimming; your hands are just the propellers.”
Bill Boomer, legendary swim coach.
Swim strong, swim with form.