For this time, I am going to talk about the Perfect Streamlined position. Make sure next time you get in the pool, try to spend some time on it.
'Hand over hand, wrist over wrist, fingers in line with fingers, biceps squeezed just behind your ears, pinch your butt together and point your toes!'
Probably you've heard of this many times. Yet you still push off the wall with your arms more or less in front of you, hands separated with your biceps not being squeezed behind your ears, head up so you can see where you are going, toes pointed at the bottom of the pool. Some coaches called this as 'SUPERMAN' position.
I know most of you know how to get your body into a full streamline position. Most of you are able to demonstrate a good streamline position while standing in one place. So, what made it so difficult? There are many factors here but I am going to talk about two things that will affect it mostly:
It takes physical effort.
If you're not so flexible, you will notice that you really have to stretch to the position you think. But with all stretching exercises, the more time you spend in the position, it will eventually become more relaxed position for you. The more harder you feel to keep in that position, the more important for you to do it often and for extended periods of time.
It takes concentration.
You will need to focus on to do it until your body get used to it. You got to build this habit everytime you push off until your body and brain adapt to it. This is more like the stage of learning... the more you practice it perfectly... the less it requires you to focus and also it will take lesser effort. Everytime you push off the wall, you have to apply a bit of brain power initially to get yourself in the position!
You can practice the position by doing some streamlined kicking drills without a kickboard. Use this to practice your streamline stretching exercise as well as a kicking drills. You 'hit two stones at one time'.
What's so great to practice in order to get used to this position? Well, here are some of the outcomes:
You will glide further when you push off the wall. This will reduce the number of strokes you take for each lap. You take fewer strokes per length/lap. You will move faster and further... while you're not swimming! You save energy and yet still 'travelling' in the water. You will cut down some time and it will allows you to drop your best time if you know on how to maintain your velocity and momentum after the push off.
Most importantly, you will look more like a 'swimmer'... cutting through the water with lesser effort! You will be more graceful in the water.
Towards effortless and efficient swimming,
Giam Teck Choon
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 08, 2003