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Why is balance so important in swimming?

The key to swimming fast, efficiently, and strong is to maximize balance in the water and minimize drag. While most of our weight is located in our hips and lower body, this often leads to a diagonal line in the water, meaning that athletes literally have to drag their body through the water. Minimizing drag, by raising the hips closer to the surface of the water, will not only increase a swimmers speed, it will also increase their efficiency by decreasing their drag. Think about skimming a kickboard along the surface of the water, it doesn’t meet much resistance. Now submerge the flat end of the kickboard under the surface and again push it forward in the water at a diagonal angle. This is much more difficult, requires more effort, and is slower. This is exactly what is happening when swimmers drop their hips in the water. They are increasing their drag and slowing themselves down. To counter act the sinking of the hips it is very important for swimmers to lean on their lungs. The lungs are like an internal flotation devise. By pushing through the upper back, athletes can literally shift their weight in the water, to bring the hips closer to the surface. This will decrease drag and increase swim speed.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.