Connected Swimming 2
This is the third post in my series on Connected Swimming. This approach uses some very well known tools and techniques from the Moving Arts world to improve your basic body strength, breathing and coordination. However, these principles are non-obvious for most people. I spent a long time figuring out how to improve myself by feeling what is right rather than just relying on what other people, said, wrote or demonstrated.
- willing and wanting, with conviction, to learn something that you don’t necessarily understand to start with;
- calmness and ability to accept change;
- understanding your purpose and objectives — why you are doing this, and what do you want to achieve;
- being open-minded — able to see things from a potentially new and different perspective.
If you haven’t read the other swimming posts yet – you will find them relevant to this one and useful in their own right:
In Connected Swimming (1), I described how to use your arms to better effect in crawl. In this article, I will add the legs.
The same natural laws apply to your legs as they do for your arms. Movement away from your body emanates from the periphery – movement into your body emanates from the root of the structure being moved. So for your legs, the down kick is away from your body – that means the structure is manifested by tension in your foot. The rest of your legs should be relatively relaxed and the power will come from muscles in your groin and hips – and the psoas, the huge muscle that links your legs with your upper body. This is the giveaway as to where the most power in a kick comes from.
There are some finer nuances with the tension in your foot – it will be pointed to get tension, but try pointing it with a slight inward twist and feel how the structure tightens. What you are looking for here is structure with minimal tension i.e. more relaxed, and power from indirect and internal muscles. Feeling your way with this will bring rewards.
The recovery movement – pulling your leg back up – is in towards your body and therefore tension emanates from the root of the structure – your hips. The power is from your buttocks and back. Again, a finer nuance here is twisting outward slightly from your root, hip area and feeling the upward movement with your heel .
I hope you find this interesting and useful, there are a lot more principles, natural laws and power sources that you can make use of. There are many articles in mindfully-connected.com and a book on it if you want to really understand what you are capable of.