Squeeze your butt cheeks together to rotate your pelvis to a level position. Then while releasing your butt muscles, hold your pelvis in that level position by lightly engaging your belly muscles. This connects your chest and hip blocks. Now, grow your neck tall and pull your chin back toward your spine. This positions your head in a neutral position on your spine, and connects your head to your chest.
So, think butt, belly, neck, chin each and every time you leave the wall. It will help to connect your head, chest and hips into a single hull form - you are a displacement hull when swimming freestyle and backstroke.
That's it. If you need more details, read on...
The core of the human body has three relatively solid segments (head, chest and hips) that are loosely connected. This allows us to perform all of the movements necessary to survive and thrive on dry land. But for moving in the water, our segmented bodies are a problem. Water is about 800 times more dense than air, so we need to reduce drag in every way possible. That means aligning our body segments to create the least amount of drag.
Long pointy boats are faster. With good posture and balance (see Mastering Balance), you can shape your body like a sleek racing kayak (OK technically it's a surf ski):
The problem is, your body wants to shape itself like a squishy inflatable one:
What type of hull do you think you can move through the water more easily? A long, lean one? Or a short, squishy one. The choice is yours.
For more detailed descriptions of long-axis posture, see:
Critical Mass in the Twilight Zone by Coach Emmett Hines of H2Ouston Swims
Your Core And Posture In Swimming from SwimSmooth.com
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