Saturday, January 14, 2012

Balance, Body Positioning and Speed Control Techniques in Swimming

Swimming is a sport that combines aerobic exercise with repetitive motion. Strokes must be executed with proper balance and form to maximize your efficiency in the water. A proper freestyle stroke involves extending your arms in front of your body to balance and propel you through the water. Other strokes benefit from arm placement in front of you, as well.
A lack of balance in the water can result in wasted energy during your strokes, reducing your speed and endurance. While putting your hands out in front of you aids your balance, kicking evenly and consistently is the key to keeping your body well-balanced in the water. In addition, making sure not to over-rotate your head and upper torso as your arm pushes out and over into the water helps you maintain balance.
Body Position
Body position is an important part of keeping your swimming stroke consistent and not adding any unnecessary distance to your swim. As you bring your left hand out of the water and back down into the water in front of you, your breathing should be consistent and efficient. Improper breathing techniques can throw off your body position as well as your balance. Proper body position also reduces your chances of injuring yourself while swimming.
Speed Control
Placing your hands in front of your body while swimming also helps you control your speed. While individuals in competitive, short distance races often focus on hitting their top speed, endurance swims require you to pace yourself properly. Placing your hands out in front of you at the end of a breast stroke or butterfly stroke helps you cut through the water, propelling you forward with the assistance of your legs.
Arm Extension Exercises
Strive to keep your arms strong and nimble even before you step into the pool. Arm extension exercises help you build muscle mass and improve your range of motion. To perform a triceps extension, sit down on a bench with a dumbbell in one hand. With your back straight, lift the dumbbell with both hands, bending at the elbows to place the dumbbell behind your head. From this position, slowly extend your arms up until there is no bend in your elbows. Slowly lower the weight back to its original position, repeating until fatigued.

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