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21 top laws of swimming

1. Three of the most important components of swimming are: technique,technique, technique.

2. Strive for optimum, not maximum, performance.

3. Learn to balance, align, and stabilize your body first. Everything else will become easier.

4. Seek the path of least resistance.

5. Find the path of most resistance.

f-swimming1The science of swimming is extremely complicated, involving the interaction of propulsive forces from the swimmer’s arms and legs and the drag caused by water. However, by applying new research courtesy of fluid dynamics and supercomputers, every swimmer can swim faster. 

Few sports are as precise as swimming. Cyclists can blame the wind, runners the terrain and team sports players the referee! Swimming, on the other hand, has exact distances and water is, well, constant. However, although ‘pure’ swimmers race in the pool and triathletes in open water (or OW as it’s referred to), the advent of long-distance swimming entering the Olympics in Beijing and fast-moving swimsuit and wetsuit technology means that many ‘constants’ in the world of swimming aren’t so constant after all.

The ‘sports ground’ for swimming (H2O!) is often quoted as being 1000 times denser than air. Trying to move efficiently through this very dense medium is not nearly as easy as other sports that take place through air. For example, top cyclists hit over 60kmh in short events on the track or in an end-of-stage sprint. Elite runners average over 30kmh for a quarter mile and over 40kmh at the end of sprints. By contrast, even the world’s best swimmers top just 8kmh (5mph)  over the 100m sprint. Yet that is still superhuman. Most fitness swimmers would fail to approach even half that speed. All that splashing around by even the most enthusiastic fitness swimmer is soon put to shame by the 12 year old who glides through the water with ease. In short, swimming is about brain not brawn, and it’s technique not triceps or trapezius size that matters.

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