“The Core” is vital to your swim in so many ways. It adds stability and that streamline position for optimal water penetration. Poor posture can translate to poor swimming core. Breaking from the streamline position can cause serious drag.
So how do we stop swimming small and start swimming tall? How do we correct our bad swimming posture and strengthen our swimming core? Especially when we don’t even realize we’re doing things wrong?
Florida Sun-Debs receiving posture training, 1953 Flickr.com
Be honest. Your posture is probably terrible just like everyone else’s.
Knowing that truth going into this assessment will help you have honest, accurate eyes for observation.
Check yourself out in the mirror. “If your palms face your thighs with the thumbs pointing ahead, that’s good posture…But if your palms face backwards, you’re probably slouching.”
Now, turn to the side. Are your shoulders slightly hunched forward? Is your face angled slightly downward? Your chin should be up and parallel to the ground. Your face should point straight ahead. The back of your head should be lined up with your back. And you shoulder should be back and down.
If you are still struggling, stand with your back against a wall to get the idea. The back of your head, your shoulder blades, back, butt and heels should hit the wall.
It will feel like you are sticking out your chest at first. You will also appear to have a tighter, leaner torso. Optical illusions are awesome!
Plus, psychologists claim you will feel happier and more confident if you stand up straight too!
Many of us have office jobs where we sit in front of the computer all day. This habitual position can influence our posture for the worse, leading to slouched shoulders and a slightly hunched back. This formation of body alignment is the opposite of “swimming tall.”
Eric Schmuttenmaer Image via Flickr
Don’t worry, though. There are things you can do to counteract the negative impact of common behaviors/positions on posture.
Try sitting on an exercise ball instead of your desk chair. You will be forced to sit up straight to keep your balance centered.
I know I am guilty of sleeping weird...
And I know I’m not the only one who wakes upside down or sideways from time to time with their arm hanging off the side of the bed!
It may slip our minds, but bad posture during the night hours is just as detrimental as during the day. Think about it…you are asleep for about a third of your life…it adds up!
Try adding pillows in strategic arrangements to keep your body supported. It also barricades you from moving around too much.
For back sleepers, a pillow propped under the knees helps keep the lower back aligned. Also, wearing a U-shaped, neck travel pillow helps keep your neck straight and secure like none other. I have a ridiculously long, swan-like neck so I use two.
For side sleepers, a pillow between the knees helps keep the lower back aligned.
Keep that same pillow parallel to your body to give your torso a straight line to lean up against. If necessary, put a pillow up against your back to really support that straight line. And don’t forget to prop one up right under your neck to keep it from kinking at a weird angle.
For stomach sleepers, it’s time to figure something else out.
Your sleep position is a horrendous, awful, breading ground for disastrous posture.
Good luck! Make your pillow barricades extra fortified to guard against falling into old habits.
And try spritzing lavender essential oil in an air diffuser if you have trouble sleeping this new way. It’s very conducive to relaxation.
There are so many things you can do to improve your swimming posture! And, in turn, improve your swimming core!
Feel free to leave us your two cents in the comments section. The more tips, the merrier!