Practicing a proper streamline will benefit all aspects of your swimming, including open water. The obvious goal of a good streamline is to reduce drag, but an added benefit is the opportunity to engage your core every time you push off the wall.
Here are 3 steps to take your streamline from meh to marvelous:
1. Lengthen from finger tips to toes = core engagement
2. Place one hand on top of the other and apply the “Thumb Safety”
3. Place biceps behind ears
A good streamline starts with lengthening your body, finger tips to toes. Focus on feeling the lengthening and engagement of your core or midsection. While swimming, attempt to maintain this core engagement as it helps move your body in unison (image 1) as opposed to moving your upper and lower body separately (image 2).
What is the Thumb Safety? The Thumb Safety is a reminder to curl your thumb around your other hand while in the streamline position. This so important because as you fatigue, your hands will want to separate. Always applying the thumb safety will keep your hands together and your streamline strong!
Lastly, be sure to squeeze your biceps in to your head. If you have difficulty getting into his position it is an indication of shoulder tightness and stretching will help. In my next blog post I will discuss one of my favorite stretches for swimmers.
Where I see many adult swimmers go wrong with streamline drills is trying to stay underwater too long. As you push off the wall, immediately get into a proper streamline, kick to the surface of the water and start swimming. Long underwater pullouts are great if they can be maintained yet this is typically not the case with master swimmers. Whether you do a flip turn or not, get into a proper streamline position every time you push off the wall. Your core will thank you!