Swim in a one piece

Improving the integration of your whole body has an immediate impact on speed and power.

A recent swim in an endless pool really brought this home. My hips rotated a fraction earlier than my hand entry. By holding my core rotation just a fraction longer I soon beat the current. It took more concentration, but my effort levels didn’t increase, in fact it felt easier. I had just put on a better one piece.

The key propulsive elements to a freestyle stroke connect to the rotation.  For humans and our many body moving parts, to swim with a tidier more aquatic body we want to integrate our body movements and utilise your core.

The points below increase  in challenge, awareness and understanding. A tempo trainer will help with the synchronising. 

  • Lengthen body to engage core – legs to move from hips and feel connected into your centre not a disconnected lower body creating drag.
  • Feel shoulder and hips rotate together – staying streamlined and aligned left to right.
  • Synchronise hand  entry and hip driving forward 
  • Synchronise rotation and extension – the end of extension is the end of rotation (if you feel a further kick around after this your arms are destabilising you)
  • Synchronise the start of rotation and hand entry with a turn of the head for a breath
  • Synchronise rotation and catch
  • Synchronise rotation and leg press that drives the lower hip up
  • Synchronise leg press and catch
  • Synchronise leg press and extension

As we focus on organising our body parts to work better together, we learn to swim in a one piece, one body, more like a dolphin. This allows your body and mind to become better connected with the water. You can’t kick and pull the water, it will only kick and pull you back with drag and resistance.

You can spear the water with your hand entry, rotate and drive your weight forwards, use your leg to help drive that rotation. None of that works in a two-piece, it all requires the most important part. The Middle.

If you feel you are swimming as a two piece, you are swimming with your lower annd upper body separately and not utilising the core and rotation. This can cause the feeling of being disconnected and the body pushing and pulling on each other.

With a better connection, comes greater control. When we’re controlled, we’re calmer, less erratic and importantly for humans with our many independent moving parts we become more streamlined and change shape less frequently. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, always aim to be streamlined, moving forwards, swimming with the rhythm of your weight shift. Swimming in a one-piece.

I always have to smile when I talk to some swimmers and they say the find it boring….its the most wonderful exercise in problem solving and focus,  humans may not be naturals in the water, but we’re  good  at problem solving and adapting and acquiring skill.

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