Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I Don't Want to be a Barge Anymore

My swimming goal is to go from this: 

to this: 

I apparently swim like a barge and need to learn how to swim like a super streamlined boat. 

Ideally, when a swimmer swims (freestyle that is), their head stays in the same position but their shoulders and torso should rotate up and down. It's called a body roll. This allows the water to flow more easily past the swimmer - causing less resistance. 

It looks like this: 

See how one shoulder is up and the other shoulder is down? That helps make the swimmer more streamlined in the water. Which translates into faster with less energy used. I'm down with that. 

Sadly, I do not rotate up and down. At all. My shoulders face the water straight on - creating a lot of drag. Even when I think I'm rotating, I'm not. 

When we do various drills to work on specific swimming issues, I am always given drills that help me practice rotating from side to side to allow the water to flow by me more easily. 

I always get 100% on the drills. In slow motion, I can rotate from side to side beautifully. It's only when I speed things up that it falls apart and I go back to being a barge. 

On Monday, at the pool, I was given yet another drill to do but, this time, I was able to translate it into real swimming. It felt weird and awkward but I was able to transform what I learned during drills into actual swimming. 

It happened at the end of Monday's workout, about five minutes before I had to leave. I'm excited to see if I can hold on to what I somehow figured out and bring it into Wednesday's workout. 

Wish me luck! 

1 comment:

  1. I, too, have barge-like tendencies. And I have also been working on improving that--except I usually stink at the drills. I'm interested to know what drill you did that helped you out so much.

    What I found that really helped me are "serape kicking" and "serape one-arm" drills. (See and The goal isn't necessarily to *roll* your body to reduce drag--although some people say that's what it's all about. It's really more of a twisting to build tension that you're going to release in the stroke. That just happens to involve a shoulder roll that starts in your core.

    The thing that really makes this work (for me) is to push my scapula forward so that my chin and shoulder touch. If I'm keeping my head pointed down, this almost always gets me into a better body position... as well as helping with my catch and pull.