Go with the Flow

TMI213-Thames-Water-mainThe word “flow” immediately evokes images of moving water, the concept of flow in swimming is, like moving water, a little hard to grasp. If I look at breast stroke for example and I identify five areas of movement: head, arms, breath, legs and glide, for the stroke to work effectively there is always a sense of flow in at least one of these areas. In the glide your limbs are still but you are moving forward, you are slowing down, but to keep a sense of flow you don’t want to come to a stand still. As you glide, you steadily exhale; you allow air to flow out of your lungs. The movement of the head to break the surface of the water should flow continually, rolling up and then down without a moment of stasis. The arms should move down and circle back round without stopping until back in the glide. As the face comes out, the flow of your breath should be continual, exhaling until the mouth is clear to inhale, then immediately exhaling again. The knees should gently move out to the side as your feet come up and bend at the ankle before flowing out wide and then back into the glide. Obviously there is overlap between these various movements and a sense of stillness in the glide but it is important to realise that the thing that binds the different rhythms together is the overall sense of flow.