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Old 11-12-2010
drone drone is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 26
Default low back tension - begone!

I’ve been tweaking my TI freestyle for a while now, with the occasional mini-epiphany on some element which helps bring everything together into a more coherent and relaxed whole.
For me, to focus on streamlining and “swimming completely relaxed” have been difficult to achieve. After slightly longer swims (for me) of 2.5+K, often I have tension and stiffness in my low back, which I can mostly work out with stretching (mornings, before and after swims) and/or application of wet heat.
Today, I actually noticed the tension in my low back while swimming and tried just letting it go, letting my legs drift behind. Instead of slowing me down, my stroke rate and time were just the same. My legs and low back, however, felt like they had been set free - right to my toes.
In addition, releasing the tension in my low back allowed that relaxation to flow both fore and aft, so my recovery was more relaxed as well. I also noticed when the old habit of tension crept back in (from the hundreds of thousands of strokes in muscle memory) and would consciously “let go”. Result - no low back tension leaving the pool.
I fully expect that with mindful practice, the "liberated" low back and legs will become an unconscious part of my increasingly-efficient TI freestyle, in which there will always be room for improvement.
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