Many beginner to intermediate swimmers struggle with maintaining body position in the water. Is your experience something like this:
As you swim down the pool your legs gradually sink towards the bottom, which makes it harder to swim and tires you out, which causes your legs to drop some more, and then you have to lift your head up and out of the water to breathe, which causes your legs to sink even more, etc.
Sucks, eh?! No matter how hard you work if your legs are dragging behind you each length is going to be a slow, hard, painful slog.
It doesn’t have to be that hard though! The ideal state is floating near the surface of the water, your body in a straight line parallel to the pool floor for maximum efficiency. If you can swim like that you will slice through the water with ease.
If you don’t master this technique, no matter how hard you work, your swim will always be a chore.
Here’s a few tips to improve your body position:
1. It’s all in the hips! Keep them in line with your upper body and engage your core to stop your legs from dragging. Work on your core to make this easier.
2. Remember your physics teacher. Lean on your chest and armpits as you swim. This will keep you top heavy and stop the legs from dragging. For every reaction there is an opposite reaction, remember? Lift your head up and your legs will drop.
3. Practice drills. Side kicking will help with a straight body position and efficient breathing.
4. Don’t work harder to avoid sinking. The goal is efficient and easy swimming. Don’t kick harder to keep your legs up, this will only burn you out and leave you struggling on the bike & run. Relax your legs and let them float behind you. Your kick should be light, regular and relaxed. Go easy on yourself!
5. Breathe! As soon as you hold your breath, your body tenses up and makes it harder to keep that long, straight body position. Breathe in AND out regularly. Work on your head position when breathing. don’t lift it up to breathe – this will cause your legs to drop.
Put a lot of effort into body position. You will see more results in a shorter period of time, than putting the miles in.