Categories: CrossFit, Swimming

by Peter


Categories: CrossFit, Swimming

by Peter


The ultimate frontier. Have you ever watched someone who can crawl effortlessly? Have you ever tried swimming? If so, you’ll know that it’s difficult because its challenging not only physically, but also mentally, the urge to breathe and to feel safe is a strong motivator not to swim at all! So what do you do?  Probably add swimming to your “Someday/Maybe” pile of skills to learn. Many people (including world famous: Tim Ferriss) have found success by using the swimming style and progressions of Total Immersion. This post will tell you what you need to know to get started in a lifelong journey to add swimming as a part of your exercise regimen. Remember, when you get old (yes, you will someday become old, or injured) swimming is one of the best ways to stay in shape and least taxing on your joints.
Everyone should learn how to swim. The fastes way is of course to get a coach! We have at least 3 of Swedens best swimming coaches on the Podcast:
If you are in a rush or just want to learn from the best – I suggest that you contact one of them.
The concept we will learn in this article is called Total Immersion, and it is not sure that your swim coach are teaching that system or the methods and drills explained below. However! Any system for learning is better than no system. Read about our Interconnective systems approach on About FLAWD .  Lets get started.

Total Immersion.

Or TI for short, is a system created by Terry Laughlin. The main part of this article is based on his excellent book “Total Immersion: Revolutionary Way to Swim Better and Faster by Terry Laughlin, John Delves ” And no, you  might not WIN any races with this concept. But you might win long term regarding health, staying clear from injury and being pain free. The progressions will benefit beginner swimmers mostly.

TI concepts:

First thing to know: We humans are very well adapted to life on land. We are not natural swimmers, like for instance a fish.

Swimming speed: V = SL x SR


  • V = Velocity
  • SL = Stroke Length
  • SR = Stroke Rate
We don’t want to increase that stroke rate, as that costs more energy. With that said we can only increase velocity in 2 ways: More power in feet and ahands or less friction or draft (as we say in water)

Philosohpy: Practice til your bored

What is most effective way of swimming from an energy standpoint?

To double the speed in water we need to 8x our power output.
Said another way: to swim 10% faster you need to increase your power output by 33%. That’s because water is 1000x denser than air and throw HUGE amount of drag forces, imagine that you are biking against a strong wind. Learning to cut drag by improving your body position could give you a 20% to 30% speed boost in a day or two. First we show you how to get the body balances, streamlined and stabilized. then we work on your propulsion system.  In water “draft” (drag or friction in swedish) is everything. Active Streamlining is the key and the fastes way to be more “fishlike in water” .

3 Rules for Aquatic locomotion

1. Balance your body in water
2. Make your body taller
3. Swim on the side

1. Balance:

Try to swim “downhill” – push your head and torso down – this is also called FQS or Front Quadrant Swimming

2. Be taller

In Ship hydrodynamics, we use the Froude number to calculate how tall a ship should be for optimal speed. The longer a ship is the faster, up to a certain extent. The science about this is inconclusive, but according to TI – if we swim “taller” we get a “speed length ratio” which increase our Flow Velocity. Science: 1,2, to be added more – as you comment below

3. Swim on the side

Once a gain we met resistance in water as we increase speed. Compare a sailboat to a plowing boat. Which boat will have more draft?

The Drills

They are build around your  “Sweetspot”
  • 1 Find balance and “Sweet spot”
    • Drill 1 Basic balance on your back
    • Drill 2 Find your sweet spot
  • 2: Becoming weightless and slippery
    • Drill 3 Hand-lead sweet spot lengthen your “vessel”
    • Drill 4 balance in the skating position where you turn your head down – hand lead
  • 3: …..

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