This is the final installment of my tips on getting a “feel” for the water. When I say “feel,” I mean being aware of your body in the water and knowing exactly where your body is as you go through each stroke. If you know what your body—from your head all the way down to your toes—is doing in the water, you can feel when your arm is crossing over, head bobs, legs wiggle, or hips under rotating.
Once you are aware, you can then fix it.
To develop this water sense, I first talked about the need to get in the water as much as possible then how drills help, now I am going to give you tips on what you can do outside the water to aid your feel:
- Massage and chiropractic work: It is pricy but completely worth it. I always swim better after I get a massage or see my chiropractor. Why? Tight muscles are harder to control and feel than when they are relaxed. Moreover, my chiropractor helps straighten my spine, so that my lower body does not fish tail as I swim.
- Foam roller: Since I unfortunately cannot get muscle work done on a weekly basis like I would like, my foam roller fills in the gaps between sessions. The foam roller works out the knots that form in tight muscles. These knots shorten your muscle length, which then hinders the fluidity of your stroke.
- Yoga: In addition to help lengthen and relax muscles, yoga helps you focus and control your breathing, a very important factor in swimming. Gaining control over when you breath prevents you from gasping for air and messing up your stroke and rhythm.
As I said, getting a good feel for the water is the first and best step in making you a faster more efficient swimmer. If you have any questions, please feel free to send me an email or post it on facebook.