Swimming Streamline Secrets!

In Technique by RITTER Admin3 Comments

Welcome back! Two weeks ago, we finished up our series on Open Turns. This next series, we are going to build on Open Turns and talk about Swimming Streamline Secrets!

In case you missed any of our Open Turn Series, [CLICK HERE] to read through Part’s I-III.

Otherwise, let’s get started!

Streamlines are VERY important to swimming, as EVERY single swimmer needs to be proficient at it. This is because streamlines are universal and are required in ALL races–no matter the distances the swimmers swim, strokes they perform, their age, or ability level. A streamline is one of swimming’s fundamental movement patterns that needs to be EXECUTED to perfection. After all, we are ALL taught how to streamline within our first few weeks of swimming—so there is really NO exercise to NOT mastering your streamlines.

Did you know that a streamline is the MOST hydrodynamic position a human can be in?

It’s true! A streamline is the closest position a swimmer can achieve that’s similar to a fish, dolphin, or whale. This position has the LEAST amount of drag associated with it, and also clocks in some of the swimmer’s HIGHEST speeds.

The two highest speeds in a swimming race are off the start and the turn(s). Immediately after a swimmer creates these two peak speeds, we (swim coaches) tell them to go into a streamline to carry that high speed for as LONG as possible.

Keep in mind: You will NEVER be able to recreate the peak speed achieved off of a start or a wall—at the surface of the water! That is why we use a streamline to keep the speed up for as long as we can.

Did you know there is TWO ways to ultimately perform a streamline?

1. Elbows BEHIND Ears:

The first way is with your Elbows behind your ears and pushing your head all the way through.

2. Elbows in FRONT of Ears:

The second way is with your elbows covering your ears and you try to squeeze your elbows towards your head as much as possible.

You can see from both of these positions—the main difference is where the head is placed. BUT, just like everything else in swimming technique—if you change your head positioning, it affects MORE than just your head.

This brings me to the torso. Have you ever seen a swimmer who streamlines well, but has an EXCESSIVE back arch while doing so? See below!

This excessive lumbar flexion is due to LACK of mobility within a swimmer’s upper body. When you push a swimmer that is tight in their upper body to perform an Elbow Behind Ears streamline—you will see excessive lumbar flexion.

Remember: the goal for a streamline is to be and maintain the most hydrodynamic position possible. If we put someone in a streamline that causes TOO much lumbar flexion—we automatically increase the swimmer’s drag.

So just like everything else in swimming, there is NO RIGHT WAY to streamline!

Want to figure out the MOST IDEAL streamline for you? Try our streamline test!

To get in touch with our Strength & Conditioning Coach, Bo Hickey. Email him at bo@rittersp.com!

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Otherwise, [CLICK HERE] to read Part II!

Until Next Time,

Abbie Fish