Carlsbad Masters Swimming
Buoyancy Vs Gravity
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Center of gravity vs center of buoyancy
Your center of gravity is around your navel, and your center of buoyancy is at your lungs. The result is that your hips and legs sink. With your arms at your sides, you will naturally float in a vertical position.
How buoyant are you?
Try a vertical float without moving, with a full lung of air to see where the water line hits your head. You will probably stabilize somewhere between your chin and forehead. If you sink with a full breath of air, you have very little body fat and will have to work extra to swim on top of the water.
Push off gently with your arms at your sides
Try to keep your feet up at the surface. They will probably sink naturally. This hip and leg drop is a bad thing – it takes extra energy from your pull and kick to compensate and make you level.
Push off gently with your arms overhead.
Try to keep your feet at the surface. You can do it if you let your head and arms float, rather than trying to lift them above water. With your arms overhead, you have moved your center of gravity up closer to your center of buoyancy. Commit the feeling of this float to memory – it is the position you want to be in when you are swimming.
Any body parts above water make the floating position difficult to maintain.
You cannot help recovering your arms above water, even though it will make you sink.
You can help lifting your head. More tomorrow.
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