The Swim Genius had this idea, the center of the body is the pelvis, but a focal point is needed in the sport of swimming. As the Pelvis is took large, and broad to be an efficient focal point, The Swim Genius is making the claim that our belly button, which is a universal human feature is a great imaginary center point for the swimmer’s body. So imagine if you will, your belly button being the center of your body, and that you have a balance point there. Now take that a bit further, imagine it’s made of an impenetrable material, and that you are balancing your entire body on top of a spike. Now take your swimming frame, and begin to move. Now imagine a stroke flaw, or weakness in your core in your Right Arm. What is going to naturally happen, if your Right Arm is swinging to wide, or you are taking a lengthened breath timeframe on your right side? The answer, your Left leg will swing out to balance the stroke. What happens when your left leg swings out? Answer, you interrupt the kick motion, imagine going from a 6 beat kick to a 3 beat kick, and losing that momentum. But wait, it gets worse, now that your left leg is swung out, your left foot is probably outside of your streamline, causing resistance. Not done, still gets worse, your Quadriceps are the largest muscle in your body, it’s also going to carry mass, and density, in other words it’s heavy, and not moving, and sinking in the water little by little. So your feet, in a split second have dropped. Remember for a moment that you are balanced on a spike, via your belly button. So if your feet sink, what happens? Well, you have to balance it some way, so your head comes up. The Swim Genius sees this on a regular basis with extended breathing strokes, people who pull their head to breath, are out of position with their bum, and feet are low in the water. So what does that mean? More resistance, because now you are pulling a ramp through the water, and your arms tire even quicker. Breath strokes get longer, legs get wider, and soon you are not so much swimming, but rather look like a skydiver. Why do skydivers take up the wide form, with their arms and legs sprawled out? Answer, to create balanced resistance, and slow the rate of decent. Is this a good strategy for a swimmer? The Swim Genius says No!
How do we fix this? The Swim Genius has a saying, “Head down, bum up, that’s the way we swim efficiently”. If you are a Ludacris fan, do not go there (Too late, right? The Swim Genius Psychology, Ha). Please think about yourself back on the belly button balance spike. But now, you are keeping your head down, and bum up. Now your feet are up, behind you and creating a streamline. Great! Your question, how do I breath? First off, don’t lift your head. Remember, if you lift your head, your feel will fall. If your feet fall, your pulling a ramp, like a skydiver. So how do I breath? Roll your hips, the great thing your belly button being impermeable, is it’s also concave so you can roll, and remain in balance.
The Swim Genius will admit, this takes a lot of core strength, not like 6 pack abs, so don’t go buy a video and start doing crunches. The Swim Genius is talking about functional strength. In addition The Swim Genius admits that you will have to build a bit of speed to manage it, but if you are not skydiving forward in the water, that will come quickly. So how do you breath? If you are rolling, imagining your balance point, and pivoting from right to left with your entire body, your creating a pendulum type momentum. Your breathing channel is there, your nose, (another universal human feature) creases the water, creating a slight depression that stays open just long enough for you to get a breath.
If there is a wave, or you just got clocked in the head, then you really appreciate that functional core strength, arch your lower back, and lift you head while keeping your head high. If you consider the belly button balance point again, high feet, and a high head still travels well through the water. Think Kayak, not Rowboat.
The Swim Genius realizes that this is an incomplete concept, but will soon provide plank challenges for multiple levels of swimmer, as well as board drills that will help you find streamline while building strength. Stay tuned, subscribe, and like The Swim Genius on Facebook.
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