We often do things in the pool that might appear to have little, if anything, to do with actual swimming–like the photo shown here. It was taken last week while we were doing crazy experiments, just playing in the water. It looks almost unreal and it definitely doesn’t look like swimming. (Just for fun, try to figure out what’s going on in the photo.)
While it might not be obvious what’s happening in the photo, you can see and practically feel the surface tension in the area around the “bubble.” It’s doubtful that you normally experience this “bubble” around your head when you swim, but surface tension is always there and understanding the role surface tension plays during swimming will make you a faster swimmer.
About five years ago, during one these fun/experiment swim days, we were contemplating the idea of drag and the area of lower pressure. We tried all kinds of “crazy” things that didn’t look much like swimming. Those seemingly random, unrelated experiments resulted in us inventing one of the most popular resistance training tools for swimmers—DragSox®.
Swimmers train very hard every day, often finishing their first workout before most people wake up, recognizing that dedication and consistent training make us faster and stronger. We try to utilize every minute in the pool for maximum effect. We at AquaVolo do this too, but we have found that the occasional “fun/experiment” training days are just as important as the serious training days. Through experimentation and play in the water, you can develop a better awareness of the water and a deeper connection with the water.
Whether you’re trying to figure out how create a huge bubble around your head and gaining a deeper understanding of surface tension; experimenting with drag and discovering the relationship between an area of low pressure and resistance; or just exploring the water, experimentation and fun in the water is an essential component to a training routine. Given two swimmers who train equally hard and have the same level of fitness, the one who has a better awareness of the water is the one who will swim faster.
The image is an actual photograph. No photoshop was involved in making it. ↩︎