Once you've worked on getting your body taut in the pool (see last month's article and podcast), the next step is to make sure the firm structure of your body is in alignment.It's useful to have some supervision to see if your head, buttocks and heels are in a straight line. This can be troublesome even if you are holding still. But once you start taking a stroke, this can throw off the alignment and cause your power to dwindle. You're fighting against yourself if your body is not aligned properly.According to Coach Gerry Rodrigues, in the podcast, if your hands don't enter the water at the correct area, this can cause your shoulders to go out of alignment, which will cause the hips to be misaligned, and the feet can trail crazily behind. This half hour podcast by Tower 26 is available through a partnership between BeginnerTriathlete.com and Tower 26.Coach Rodrigues describes imaginary boundaries inside which your hands should stay while swimming. Those who always breathe to only one side often "cross over" the line on the left hand entry, to support their breathing. This causes lots of problems downstream.How to keep your hands and head in line?Using a pull buoy and a snorkel (optionally with "ankle locks"), begin swimming while keeping the hand entry correct, and the hand and head alignment correct. Using these tools, you can feel your ankles fishtailing if you are not doing it correctly.Once you practice that, for awhile, try swimming without the gear and see if you can maintain the alignment for longer and longer periods.
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