Swimming is arguably the most tech-sensitive sport, but since water is about 800 times denser than air, frontal resistance makes it much harder for swimmers, so in order to swim faster, We must learn how to reduce frontal resistance as much as possible.
There are three types of frontal resistance: frictional resistance, pressure (shape) resistance, and surface (wave) resistance, researchers have shown that all three can significantly slow down swimmers. In any given medium, including water, the frontal drag of an object is determined by its shape, surface texture (friction), and the square of its velocity.
Here are ten great ways to help reduce frontal drag:
1. Keep your body aligned: A curved body creates more frontal resistance than a straight body, While we need some curves in our bodies to generate more propulsion, like the rise and fall of the hips in a dolphin kick, it's important not to bend the body too much. Too many curves or too many angles, and the extension of the limbs can cause a huge increase in frontal drag, and keeping the body aligned requires a tight core.
2. Head down: Keeping your head down helps keep your head aligned with your body, but more importantly, it can also help reduce surface or wave resistance. There is actually less resistance underwater than on the surface (think about the submarine) because we eliminate surface resistance. Frontal resistance is proportional to our speed squared, so ideally we would like to see the head submerge in the water at the fastest point in the stroke cycle, which I call the sprint point. All four strokes have a sprint point and the head should be underwater, even slightly.
3. Stroke with high elbows: During the strokes of all four strokes, the upper arms are the "bad guy" and cause most of the frontal resistance. By keeping our elbows closer to the surface (except for backstroke) and more in tune with our body movements, we can reduce the frontal resistance caused by the forward movement of the upper arms during the stroke.
4. Put on the fastest swimsuit: The records set in 2008 and 2009 convinced us all that fast swimsuits really matter. The best swimsuits help reduce friction, keep the body tighter, and reduce frontal resistance.
5. Shave all the hair on your body: After puberty, when there is a noticeable increase in body hair, shaving the entire body will reduce friction and make us smoother and faster.
6. Stay streamlined before and after starting and turning: When you're going fast, maintaining the tightest streamline can have a huge advantage. In a swimming competition, the fastest you will reach is when you take off into the water (about 15 mph ), and the second-fastest is when your toes leave the wall each time you turn (6-8 mph). At any time, you'd better be able to maintain the tightest streamlines due to the exponential relationship between speed and frontal resistance.
7. Keep the kick tight: In the freestyle, backstroke, and breaststroke, the kick must be tight to help reduce frontal resistance. For the first two, this means not bending your knees too much, and in breaststroke, it means keeping your knees wide at or inside your hips.
8.Double Swimming Cap: Covers thick hair to create a new surface for the head, reducing friction from silicone is another great way to reduce resistance. Most swimmers wear two caps, leaving the goggle strap between the first and second caps to keep them smooth.
9. Wear suitable goggles: Competition goggles should fit on your face, smaller and smoother than training goggles, and the less they protrude from your face, the better.
9.Straighten your toes: One of the most common mistakes in swimming is starting out without straightening your toes when entering the water. A recent German study showed that a relaxed foot generates 40% more frontal resistance than a straightened toe. Generally speaking, the less water splash, the less frontal resistance. More frontal resistance with loose feet also occurs at the end of the breaststroke leg and the down kick of the dolphin leg. In either case, keep your toes back to reduce resistance.