Body Alignment Tool: Designed to create proper alignment between the head and the body while swimming freestyle, the light weight tool fits close to the body, creating minimal drag while the proper positioning is learned. Once your head is in alignment, the real challenge of creating new muscle memory begins.
Muscle memory is a function of each muscle which allows us to do repetitive motion, like walking, without thinking about coordinating all of the muscles. When swimming freestyle, every stroke, every turn, every breath you take is an opportunity for your head to return to the incorrect position. Once you learn to keep your head down you still need several weeks of practice with your head in the correct position. The Body Alignment tool’s light weight and close fit allows you to wear it during prolonged freestyle sets, giving time to overwrite the old, incorrect muscle memory with the new, aligned muscle memory.
The Body Alignment tool fixes four common errors in freestyle:
Problem 1. Head to High: When the head is high enough to allow the swimmer to look down the lane, still underwater of course, it creates a counter reaction. We all remember our high school science class, for every reaction there is an opposite and equal reaction. When you lift the head up, the reaction is your hips sink. This creates a significant increase in drag.
Figure 1 pictures a swimmer who is keeping the head aligned and relaxed and has very little drag.
Figure 2 shows the reaction to a head held too high. The swimmer’s hip drop, and he or she kicks harder to put the body back into alignment. Notice in the figure the line marking how log the hips have fallen. The increased kick, will get the swimmer back in balance, but it will cost energy which should have been used to propel the swimmer forward.
How the tool helps: If the swimmer lifts their head to look forward the rod will push against the swimmer’s back forcing the head to remain correctly aligned.
Problem 2. Over-rolling From the Neck When Breathing: Many swimmers over-roll from the neck and look toward the ceiling when breathing. This can create timing issues, as the neck takes too long to return, and the stroke speed slows down to wait. Even when the swimmer maintains appropriate timing, the habit creates extra undesirable strain on the neck.
How the tool helps: The rod extends from the back and up the neck to be seated on the back of the head. The presence of the rod allows for only minimal rotation of the neck.
Problem 3. Too Little Torso Roll: Many swimmers depend on turning the neck to breathe. The correct mechanics is to roll the shoulders to breath, along with a small amount of neck roll.
How the tool helps: By limiting the amount of neck roll—see Problem 2—the swimmer will be forced to roll the torso more to breathe.
Problem 4. Weak Bilateral Breathing: Some swimmers have who have an issue breathing to their weak side struggle, because the high head position creates a tendency to roll well to one side but not the other.
How the tool helps: By aligning the head correctly, it becomes easier to roll through and breathe on the opposite side.
More tools coming soon!