If you are one to see yourself as a strong and lean triathlete machine you swim between three and five times a week and continue to get faster and fitter. Then you decide to change your schedule and attend an evening class of swimming and get smoked by 13-year-olds. How on earth is that possible?
Well, the kids probably started swimming when they were six years old and have been training for 9 to 12 months every year since when they log 4 to 8k on every workout. You’ve only been swimming for the last three years and only log in 10k every week. The problem is actually quite simple. Where you’ve been focused on training like a triathlete with concerns regarding your volume and intensity, the kid have been swimming like six year olds and are still learning the basics of swimming techniques.
It’s for this very reason that we decided to include popular swimming techniques to assist you in going to the next level. We’re unable to promise that you’ll catch the kid, but it will certainly help you get on the fast track to getting better.
1. Horizontal Body Position
We swim by essentially slipping our body through water. To swim faster, you’ll need to reduce your frontal area and drag. With a horizontal body position, while your body is smoothly moving across the top of the water, it’s basically like swimming through a rather narrow tube. This tube is the same diameter that stretches from your head to your feet. Therefore, if you have a poor body position, you’ll drag your feet, legs, and hips. This makes the tube far bigger which creates much more drag.
2. Lungs as Fulcrum
We come equipped with multiple balancing tools to assist us in achieving a horizontal body position by using our head, arms, lungs, as well as an effective kick. This all takes place around the fulcrum of our lungs. Think of it this way, the more you place in front of your lungs, the more you’ll be able to counterbalance your legs. So instead of attempting to force of kick your legs onto the surface, rather use leverage and buoyancy to float them on the water’s surface.
3. Front Quadrant Swimming
To become a faster swimmer, always remember that we will need to keep our arms in front of our fulcrum as much as we can. This will act as a counterbalance for our legs that we drag through the water. This is called quadrant swimming. You also need to keep in mind that the longer we keep our arms in front of us, the longer we’ll be able to maintain a long body axis. Imagine a squat dingy compared to a sleek sailboat.
4. Kick in the Tube
We know that horizontal body position will create a small tube while swimming and rotation will reduce the frontal area even further, allowing you to transfer the power to your body’s core. Now, you simply need to add a narrow kick inside the tube for a more streamlined effect.