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Thread: Sinking swimmer

  1. #1
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    Sinking swimmer

    I am helping a relatively new swimmer improve their technique. Stan, is a strongly built swimmer with NO natural flotation. When he swims his whole body is below the surface. He holds his breath for many strokes, and has to work on his kick a bit to raise his legs and improve his body position a bit more, but the main issue seems to be his general sinking. I would expect the breathing, kicking and head position would affect him being more horizontal but the sinking is hard to change. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Moderator Rob Copeland's Avatar
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    Re: Sinking swimmer

    Stan, is a strongly built swimmer with NO natural flotation.
    Does he have lungs? Air is the most buoyant part of “natural flotation”. Personally I think more people sink due to lack of air than because of bone density or at least sinkers can somewhat compensate by by increasing air in the lungs.

    If Stan does a relaxed 25 no breather, does he still sink or does this only occur once he starts to incorporate breathing into his swim?
    The opinions expressed in the above post are mine and not those of U.S. Masters Swimming.

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    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    Re: Sinking swimmer

    Olympians tend to be sinkers too. They overcome this through body position and, as Mr. Copeland mentioned, by breathing.

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    Very Active Member arthur's Avatar
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    Re: Sinking swimmer

    You should read this and see if it is a good match: http://www.swimtypes.com/arnie.html They provide some useful areas to focus on.

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    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Sinking swimmer

    Muscles sink more than some of us that carry our flotation equipment. Why does he hold his breath? I would work on breathing ore in the area of 2 or 3 arm pulls.

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    Re: Sinking swimmer

    As someone who learned how to swim as an adult, thank you, thank you for helping a new swimmer. Learning how to swim has been one of the most worthwhile things that I've ever done.

    I recall the breath-holding and sinking quite well, which initially I incorrectly attributed to low body fat. Of course, many people much more muscular than me are great swimmers, such as Navy SEALs. I came across these links and thought that they might provide some inspiration for those who sink (keeping in mind that most beginners aren't learning CSS!)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qCih37EyaY
    https://www.sealswcc.com/forums/show...ING-START-HERE

    In retrospect, my problems were due to lack of comfort in the water. My instructor suggested a faster stroke and kick, which was only a short term fix, as I became tired too quickly. Eventually, I learned the importance of head position and looking down. I was pleased to discover that air was readily available, once I learned how to rotate my body and head appropriately. These things I learned over time, after many, many, many trips to the pool.
    https://www.sealswcc.com/forums/show...4-Sinking-swim

    Good luck!

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    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Sinking swimmer

    sid. Good, once you learn to relax in the water it gets easier.

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    Re: Sinking swimmer

    Thanks for the ideas and the complement in helping others to swim and or swim better. I enjoy helping others swim as much as do when I learn to swim better myself. It is a payback and pay forward to those that help me with my technique.

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    Very Active Member Sojerz's Avatar
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    Re: Sinking swimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by plangham View Post
    Thanks for the ideas and the complement in helping others to swim and or swim better. I enjoy helping others swim as much as do when I learn to swim better myself. It is a payback and pay forward to those that help me with my technique.
    Thanks for paying it forward

    Working on his breathing technique and pattern (is he inhaling and perhaps more importantly exhaling properly - I think beginners should breath every stroke) might help improve body position for the "air" reasons others have stated.

    But I also think speed is the real issue and speed only comes with lots of work on kick and stroke technique and efficiency. I don't think his buoyancy is the problem. Like a motor boat starting up and running slow, the body won't begin to rise in the water and plane until you there is speed. I think this is the most frustrating aspect of swimming for a beginner, and have heard this stated many times, especially if they are watching good swimmers with sound techniques that easily get going seemingly effortlessly. For most good swimmers, that effortless speed took a long time and a lot of work to learn. If he keeps working that will come, no matter how buoyant he is or is not.

    Catch-up drill and one arm drill with lots of kicking between strokes - emphasizing long strokes and reducing stroke count come to mind. Using a pull buoy obviously helps flotation and swim fins work great to help achieve an effortless sense of speed and allow one to work on body position, breathing and stroke mechanics without fighting to stay up in the water.
    Some guys they just give up living and start dying little by little, piece by piece. Some guys come home from work and wash up and go racin’ in the street. (Bruce Springsteen, 1978)

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