Friday, July 27, 2012

Exercise - A tip on how to swim effortlessly without feeling tired

To add a variety to my current exercise regime, I went for two swims this week, something which I didn’t do for more than 10 years.

In my younger days, though I learnt both the crawl and the breaststroke, almost 100% of the time when I swam, I only used breaststroke. Why? Because this is something which I can do effortlessly while doing multiple laps and without tiring myself out.

Of the four competitive strokes, breaststroke is the slowest, but it does not mean that as a causal swimmer, you won’t be able to maintain or even overtake other swimmers using other strokes.

What is the breaststroke technique?


Every swimmer knows the breaststroke technique, consisting of your arm and leg movements, performing the glide and coordination of your breathing.
Everyone knows breaststroke can be swum faster if submerged completely, and if you do multiple cycles when submerged, but it will also means you will either get tired faster and out of breath faster. However if you are a competitive swimmer, this will mean breaking the rules.

How to swim effortlessly doing multiple laps using breaststroke?
During casual swimming, to be able to swim effortlessly and doing multiple laps without tiring, you just need to take advantage of the technique, making some minor adjustments through the coordination and positioning of your arms and legs during the guide, together with the rhythm of your breathing:

1.     When you glide, your body is fully extended and straighten, this is after the outsweep of your arms and the kick of your legs.
2.     During the outsweep of your arms, when you are in guide mode, maintain your arms together, as if praying.
3.     After the kick, when you are in guide mode, straighten your sole such that your toes will be all pointing to the start point of the pool.
4.     Make sure that at this moment, your body is around at least 10cm below water, with your face looking at the bottom of the pool. (Your body is parallel to the water surface)
5.     Breathing out (either through the mouth of your nose is your preference, for me is the mouth) through your mouth when you are in glide mode.
6.     Maintain this posture for a while longer than you usually take.
7.     Do not be in a hurry to do the simultaneous insweep of your arms and legs.
Why would doing the above adjustments help you in swimming effortlessly?
1.     In keeping parallel and the steps in positioning your arms and sole during the glide, you will reduce the resistance of going forward while submerged in water.
2.     In maintaining the glide for a longer period, the time spent submerged is actually your ‘earned’ resting time.
3.     Learning to breath to your advantage during the glide will help you ‘rest’ well in your ‘earned’ resting time.
4.     And when you are not in a hurry to do your insweeps, the number of strokes to get you across the lap will also be reduced.
5.     And when you are doing your insweeps, your movements should be graceful, not hitting out the surface with splashes and gasping for air.
Remember, this is a tip to help you in swimming effortlessly and doing multiple laps without tiring, but still getting a great workout (when you wake up the following morning, you will know). This is definitely not for competitive swimming, and not teaching you how to swim faster (although swimming faster using this tip is possible just with a few variations).

Try it and you will know it.

Do comment on how many laps you did after you followed this technique.

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