Swimming Training Aids

Written by Jared Vincenti
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Swimming is often recommended by doctors as a great form of exercise, because it has remarkably low rates of injury. Since you are afloat in water, there is no impact. Furthermore, water resistance slows your arms and legs in the water, so it is unlikely that you can pull or sprain anything by swimming. However, there are some things to know about water resistance and swimming.

Hydrodynamics and You

The most common injuries from recreational swimming are usually related to water dynamics. People who try to hold their feet the way they do on land often experience soreness in the ankles after a swim. This is because the water flows against your body, and the angle of your feet causes resistance and the force of the water makes is transmitted to your ankles.

More advanced swimmers are even more concerned with hydrodynamics. The less water resistance your body creates, the faster you can travel through the water. This is why competitive swimmers shave their heads and legs--because the hairs create small amounts of resistance in the water, and you can swim faster by eliminating this resistance.

A bigger issue of hydrodynamics is usually that of your form while swimming. The evenness of your stroke and position of your body will greatly influence how easily you travel through the water. Underwater video equipment is frequently used to analyze swimmers' strokes, as tinkering with their mechanics can have tremendous results in swimming speed.

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