Form is king for correcting a snaking swim motion. Underwater video analysis combined with correction drills is the typical approach to fixing form, however the inability to keep aligned may be due to poor flexibility and weakness of key areas. Straighten out your swim trajectory by adding these exercises to your routine.
Issue: Shoulder Weakness Causing Midline Crossing
Upward slice. Using an elastic band or cable, start with your arm across your body and hand at the opposite hip. Pull upward and away from your body.
Downward chop. Using an elastic band or cable, start with your arm across your body above your opposite shoulder. Pull down and away across your body. Do three sets of 15 repetitions for both exercises.
Issue: Neck and Torso Tightness Causing Uneven Breathing
Torso stretch. Seated on the floor with your legs in front of you, bend your left knee. Rotate your torso toward your left knee. Place your right arm on the outside of your left knee. Hold for 30 seconds; repeat three repetitions on both sides.
Neck stretch. Turn your head to look over your shoulder. Hold for 10 seconds for five repetitions alternating on each side.
Issue: Core Weakness Causing Shoulder Fatigue, REsulting in an Uneven Pull
Hollow body. Lie on your back, arms overhead, and legs straight. Pull your belly button toward the floor. Raise your arms, head, shoulders, and legs off the ground. Find the lowest position that you can hold without allowing your lower back to come off of the floor. Hold for 30 seconds; repeat three times.
Dr. Abigail Smith is a board-certified sports physical therapist. Her practice, Forward Motion Physical Therapy, located in Westport, Connecticut, focuses primarily on treating endurance athletes.