Welcome back friends,
We return this week with the final of three parts in the "Improving Your Lap Swimming" series. If you're just joining us, please be sure to go check out our first video regarding pushing off the wall! And for those of you waiting patiently on the Intro Freestyle series, we'll be back at it next week. We've talked mostly thus far at and around the wall regarding how to improve your lap swims, and this week is no different. Your push-offs and flipturns will be a great start to your improvement, and now let's add to that by spending a little time talking about the benefits of proper underwater kicking and/or proper breakouts.
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Not every fitness swimmer is expected to do underwaters. In fact, many new swimmers may not even know what underwater kicking is unless they have been a fan of the sport prior to their own learning. Never fear, as we talk about multiple alternatives. The competitive way - for those who intend to compete or train for US Masters - is by using the dolphin kick, which is sometimes considered the "5th swimming stroke". The other alternative, and a perfectly viable one at that, is underwater flutter (or freestyle) kick. Either way is a great option, and certainly look to find one that makes you most comfortable. BUT, we encourage you to do whichever one you choose at the BEST of your ability to maximize your workout!
In addition, note the discussion of "smile vs. grin" from the video. The purpose of this distinction is to emphasize how we breakout in order to maintain our momentum, as a smile (or sharp angle with a huge vertical component) will lead to a near-complete stop upon breakout. On the other hand, a "grin" (softer angles with a much smaller vertical component) will allow us to transfer energy more seamlessly from underwater to swimming. Don't forget to streamline!
Fact of the week: 1 LAP = Underwater Kicking + Swimming. If you add one, you lower the other. For my butterfly haters out there, the simplicity in keeping away the exhaustion of the stroke itself is to underwater kick more! I know, easier said than done, but it doesn't mean it shouldn't be a goal. Frankly, it's the only time we get to come off of a physical surface during any of our swimming and it's the fastest we'll ever be in the water, so it becomes ever more important to maximize! If you use your underwater kicking and breakouts wisely, you'll be on your way to bigger and better things and ultimately faster swimming. The Freestyle Series returns next week, so stay tuned and check out YouTube for more!
How does my child move up? Come to every swim class, bring your progress report, earn those stickers, and ask your child's instructor or location's deck manager if you have questions.
How do I move up? Attend as many of your classes as possible, communicate with your instructor on your struggles, goals, and where you're at in our curriculum. We also have many adults who purchase a gym membership to 24 Hour Fitness or LA Fitness while they are taking lessons so they can practice 2-3 times between classes.
Let's break out into 2023 with great success! Glad your swimmer is learning to swim with us!
The Sigma Team