4/1/11 - 5/1/11

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Apr 29, 2011

A Swimming Guide for Adult Beginners (Get yourself wet and gain a friend for a lifetime)

Learning to swim can be sometimes a terrifying thought for a lot of people. Having the right tools, resources and people around you to help with learning this life saving skill is necessary for success. In my opinion, patience, constant encouragement and positive reinforcement are the keys for anybody to enjoy this wonderful sport.
Water is fun


This is a guest post by Matthew White from waterpolouk.com. Matthew wanted to share with you his experiences with learning to swim and some advice on what you can do to help you get started.

Enter Matthew White:
I have been a swimmer since I was 4 years old, never really been dedicated enough to swim at a high standard, but somehow, managing to stay in the pool - which is just as important. This article aims to inspire adult non-swimmers to take up the sport and define a clear path of progression for people to follow and improve.

Firstly, let’s look at why swimming is such a great form of exercise to learn and continue doing potentially your whole life. Swimming is a very low impact sport, which means it does not wear down your joints as much as other fitness techniques, such as running for example – think of the number of footballers that have real problems with their joints in later life. Swimming provides a weightless environment which means you can swim at your own pace, and for a period of time of your choice. I worked at a swimming pool for 7 years and I can say that many people in their 60s and 70s still used swimming as a form of exercise, whereas I would say the fitness classes attracted those from their 20s to 40s predominantly.

How do I start to learn though?

It’s a fact that in the UK (and probably not much different anywhere else) a significant number of adults cannot swim, as Amateur Swimming Association is focusing on teaching every child to swim, it is important that adults do not miss out too. If you want to start learning to swim there are a number of adult courses available out there. Private lessons are a great way to take it slow on your own time at your own pace as the swim instructor should tune the instruction to your individual needs and abilities. If you are already familiar with water and are not afraid, my advice would be to learn the basics with a qualified teacher, then start using your public swimming pool to practice. I would first start setting small goals, so you keep yourself motivated, for example, try and work your way up to doing 5 lengths (5 times from wall to wall) in a row, then 10 and so on. When you are comfortable with that (it could take a long time) what I do, is task myself with completing a certain numbers of lengths in a certain amount of time and then repeating the swim. This is called a set.

Example set = 3 Lengths in 3 minutes x 6 repetitions This means that I have 3 minutes in which to complete 3 Lengths. If I complete my lengths in 2 minutes 30 seconds, I will have 30 seconds rest before doing 3 lengths again – I repeat the 3 length swim 6 times.

When you become able to complete your set easily you can decrease the amount of time you give yourself to complete the swims and increase the number of reps. For example: Swim a set of 3 Lengths in 2 minutes x 8 repetitions

One final piece of advice is simple, do not overdo it! What I mean by this is, don’t try and push yourself too hard too early on, treat swimming as exercise, not training, as training takes a lot of mental strength as well. Using your new skills as part of a healthy lifestyle will avoid you resenting exercise and hopefully keep you in the water longer and happier.

Improving your swimming technique

If you want to actually improve your swimming technique there are a number of avenues and resources open to you. My old swimming pool alone offered a range of courses with professional swimming teachers to help you. However, I suggest either joining a local swimming masters club or attending adult coaching sessions and then just asking more experienced people to have a look at where you can improve. In my opinion, if you can convince a friend or partner to bring a camcorder or water proof digital camera down to film your technique, you will be able to see for yourself where you are going wrong. In fact, I have often surprised myself when analysing my stroke from videos. (Note from Swimator Blog: Swim video analysis is the best way to improve your swimming stroke, however, word of advice here. Be careful not to rely on bad advice when it comes to swim video analysis. It is always better to let your swimming video being analyzed by a professional coach as your friend might not necessarily know what you should correct. If you are interested in having your swim video analyzed here on the Swimator Blog, just send me a note.)

Even if you have never been swimming in your life I challenge you to give it a go, you might just find a beautiful sport and a loyal friend for life.

More about Matthew White: He is a water polo enthusiast who has enjoyed the benefits of swimming for the last 20 years. If he is not playing water polo or swimming, you may see him at swimming pool all around UK covering Water Polo games with his new Sony camcorder.
Be seen, keep your stuff dry and take a break when needed.

Apr 26, 2011

Getting water in the nose while swimming. (How to plug your nose, so you do not choke on water?) - part 1

The efficient movement of our bodies in the water while swimming does not come natural to majority of our water filled planet's population. Putting our faces in the water and having fun around and in our local pools, lakes, oceans, seas or rivers is, however, as common as your favorite bread.

Holding your nose keeping you down? by lintmachine
Though a very common skill such as holding your breath under water is easy to master, many unlucky individuals never get the hang of it and are not able to put their head/face under water without holding their nose or using a nose plug. There are a few reasons why these unfortunate folks never grasp this easy to learn skill of not having to plug their nose when they go under water. I am going to venture out and say that the number one reason is that nobody has taught them in the right way to do this and thus subjecting them of life full of water up their nose, an uncomfortable feeling indeed. Many instructors do not spend the time to explain why the water goes up the nose and what are the correct exercises to prevent it. They just simply suggest wearing a nose plug or plugging the nose. Though, none of these are actual solutions to the problem, just small patches. Try learning how to swim freestyle while holding your nose. That is an impossible feat and plain silly if you ask me. Also don’t take me wrong, I don’t have a problem with wearing a nose plug, on the contrary, for example, I recommend my swimmers to wear nose plugs during competitions for their backstroke swims, so they don’t loose air out of their lungs while doing their underwater kick. Nonetheless, I also don’t like to see and do unnecessary things and wearing a nose plug for a front style swimming stroke such as freestyle or breaststroke is definitely not necessary.

So, how do you control the air and water in your nose?

First, let’s look at the problem. If you are one of the unlucky individuals, the issue at hand is that you are not able to plug your nasal passage and thus the difference in pressure outside in the water and inside your body is forcing the water to go up your nose (there is really nothing to stop it). Furthermore, when you then manage to get your head out of the water and try to take a breath, you do not isolate mouth breaths from your nose breaths properly, so you do end up taking a breath with both the nose and mouth at the same time which causes even more discomfort since your nose is already partially filled with water.

So graciously holding the nose by BillPStudios
Don’t despair though, there is always hope. To plug your nasal air passage you will have to use a small muscular area, located at the back of your throat, called the soft palate (Velum). When the soft palate is closed, it separates your nasal cavity from your oral cavity, so air only flows through your mouth. Simple? Yes, actually it is. With a few straight forward exercises you will be able to close the nose like everybody else.

As a first step, to feel the soft palate, you should practice pronouncing, so called velar consonants. In the English language, they would be for example the "ng" ending of the word "swimming". Notice where the back of the tongue touches? That is your soft palate. Feel free to use a mirror to checkout what is happening in your mouth.

Now, you know where your soft palate is, so let’s close the nasal passage with the help of so called stop consonants. There are 2 sets of these consonants, depending on where you want your air to flow. The "T", "P", "K" and similar type consonants are so called oral stops and "M", "N" consonants are nasal stops. Try it, If you say the word "swim" and pause at the "M" letter, your soft palate is in the position where air can be exhaled from your nose and not your mouth. On the other hand, and this is more interesting for swimming and plugging your nose, if you say the word "kick" and stop your tongue from finishing the word at the first letter "K", you will notice that you can softly exhale out of your mouth, but not your nose. Hence, your nasal tract is closed and no water (when submerged) can get in.

And there you have it. No more water up your nose when going under water. I’d suggest for you to practice the different consonants and the tongue positions out of the water and when you are ready, get into the shallow end where you can stand and start dipping your head in with holding the "K", "T", or "P" oral stop consonants, so your nasal passage closes. When this becomes easy. Add a slow bobbing rhythm, so you go down under water for 5 seconds, then come up, take a quick breath (only through your mouth while holding the "Kay" consonant) and back down for 5 seconds. Like you’d be a buoy on the water going rhythmically up and down. After you no longer have to hold your nose when you go under water, move onto the basic swimming while repeating the tongue exercises in your head. After a while you will start plugging the nose with your soft palate automatically without even thinking about it.

Remember, be patient as these exercises might take days and for some even weeks to master, but if you prevail, I am confident that you will succeed. Feel free to also try the human nose clip technique described in my next post.

If you have tried many times to get rid off the water in your nose during swimming and even the above mentioned soft palate consonant technique does not work for you, perhaps, before you go the nose plug route, you could opt into a small mask which actually covers your nose as well as your eyes. This way, there is no danger of water ever getting into your nose. I am not suggesting you wear a regular scuba mask for swimming, but there exists a very small scuba mask which very closely resembles similar type swim goggles. The Dacor Bandit scuba mask has a very low profile and works very well as a last resort solution.

Did you manage to get rid off the water up your nose problem or found some other technique that works best for you? Don't hesitate to share with us your experience and please join me for more tips like these by
Learning to swim is priceless and SwimSmooth Learn to Swim DVD is a great start

Apr 18, 2011

Don't let your computer take over your body posture, Go For a Swim!

Nowadays, computer skills are almost as common in the every day work life as lunch breaks. With this advancement in technology, however, come also negative side effects in the face of very bad habits, especially when it comes to our back posture.
Feel the calm water
I know I am guilty of it. Even right now when I write this post my back is slouching over. Even though I try to eliminate it by sitting on a stability ball and once in a while catch myself in the bad posture and try to correct it, I still do have a bad posture when I am engulfed into something I do on a computer. I don’t mean to preach to you about how to sit in front of your computer, there are many ergonomic tips you can incorporate into your computer work (for example: the chair type), but what I’d like you to realize is that you can give your spine and body a needed break by going swimming during your lunch break or after work. You do not need to have a complicated workout for hours and hours. Fifteen to thirty minutes are enough to get your body back into the right alignment.

Here is a bit more incentive for you to get you to your local swimming pool.

Swimming as a whole is one of the healthiest sports out there. What it means is that whether you swim for recreational purposes or train for competition, your body is subdued to a lot smaller amount of stress than in any exercise on dry land. Thus in turn, reducing the chance of an injury. Don’t take me wrong, there are injuries from swimming, but they are a lot less frequent than in other sports and usually due to a bad swimming technique which of course you do not have since you are reading this blog.

During swimming, your body is lifted up through its buoyancy, so the gravitational force feels much weaker than on land, so your muscles are loosened up more than they would be outside of the water. When you swim your spine is more relaxed than when you walk. In addition to that, your joints of upper and lower limbs are not overloaded as in running for example. This is also why swimming is frequently used and recommended for rehabilitation purposes. Furthermore, swimming can be also relaxing for the mind where the water acts as a therapeutic element.

During your regular work day, it is recommended to lay down for a few minutes on the ground to let your spine re-align and relax the supporting muscles. There are many programs that teach you the right way to move and relax, for example the Alexander Technique, however, I'd say, why not just jump into your local pool and get the most out of both worlds, wonderful body and mind relaxation in one package. And as a positive side effect, you will also increase your stamina and core body strength and learn or improve a life saving skill, swimming.

Did I now convince you that swimming is wonderful? It is not just a sport, but also a way of life, relaxation and I’d even dare to say a certain level of meditation. When I swim and feel the water flowing over my body, I feel re-energized and sometimes when I have a hard decision to make in my life, going swimming helps me with clearing my head of all the distractions which makes it easier to weigh all the options later. When you run or cycle, there are many distractions around, you have to watch where you step, perhaps check for traffic or listen to the world’s noises, but when you swim, all that is gone, the only thing you have to worry about is not hitting the wall and that is eliminated when you are in a lake. I’ve solved mathematical or computer science problems which I was previously stuck in during swimming, I’ve figured out how to behave in certain unpleasant situations and I’ve even sang the entire Beatles albums while stroking away from wall to wall. Ok, the last one is not true as I don’t really know the lyrics, but I do play a tune in my head during some longer swims to keep my rhythm going. (Note: To improve in swimming, you will need to engage your mind and repeat the correct movements many many times until they become subconscious. So don't you go singing Beatles songs just yet.:) When that happens, you will enjoy swimming so much more.)

I think if everyone would experience swimming as I have described it above, the swimming pools would be always overflowing and everyone would be very well verse in swimming:). Reality is a bit more complicated though. If you think that you cannot feel that way, you probably just need some help with your swimming stroke. If you are having trouble relaxing your body in the water, the proper body position lesson should get you started.
Safer Swimmer - the must have swim safety device for all open water swimmers

Apr 11, 2011

Antipaddle Review: Are we born with feeling for water or is it learned? (Gain better catch in just a few workouts)

Swimator Blog Apr 11, 2011 Final rating: 4.75/5

If you have taken a few swim lessons or you have been around swimming for a while, you have probably heard the term "feeling for water". Many swimmers and instructors put emphasis on gaining feeling for water, but when it comes to explaining what it is and how it feels, many hit a brick wall as it is quite hard to explain.

I’ve seen swimmers who just started on their swimming journey and it is already apparent they know how to grab the water since there is a visible acceleration during their arm pull. On the other hand, I’ve also seen swimmers who have been around the swimming pool for many years and they still seem to struggle with getting a good purchase on the water. Why do you think that is? Such differences make me believe that some people are genetically better equipped to feel the water flowing over and around their bodies. That said however, as it is with everything in life, new skills can be taught and acquired if the student is willing and the teacher is able to explain and show it in an intuitive way. So, even though you might struggle with grasping the feeling for water concept and feel sometimes like you swim with pieces of wood attached to your hands, there is still hope :). Let me introduce you to "The Antipaddle".

What is the Antipaddle and what does it do for you?

The Antipaddle is a clever product. Most of you are already familiar with the regular swim paddles which are used to increase the surface area of your hand and thus increasing your grip on water and engaging more muscles to swim. The Antipaddle is used exactly like a regular paddle with the difference in the way it slices through the water. The Antipaddle decreases the propulsion surface area of your hand which makes it feel like your arms are just slipping through the water. Now why would you want to mimic the feeling of your hand slipping through the water? The answer is simple, by lessening the pressure of the water on your hand, you are forced to search for a better positioning of your hand and forearm in the water, so you don’t feel that your hands slip through water as much. This in turn makes you catch more water and also makes your hand much more sensitive, therefore, it easier to grab onto the water after you take the Antipaddles off. At the same time, since you are finding the optimal position for your hand and forearm to achieve the infamous early vertical forearm catch, you are also gradually strengthening your shoulder and lat muscles. In other words, with antipaddles on, you desensitise your hand and then when you take them of, you feel the water much better.

It is true there are other drills which serve a similar purpose and have been in use for many years. The most popular is closed fist drill, where you swim with your fists closed and try to find the optimal catch. There are even special rubber gloves for this, but their longevity is not very long. Another drill takes advantage of holding a golf, tennis or floor ball or a plastic doughnut in the palm of your hand. They all work to some extent, however, the problem here is that your hand is closed around the object, so it is not really in the same position as it would be when you swim. This causes your hand to have a slightly different angle during the catch phase and also it is easy for your hand and forearm to get fatigued since you have to put conscious effort to hold an object or to close your fist. The movement feels a lot more natural with the Antipaddles and it also let’s your mind focus on the actual catch and not on keeping a tight grip on some object in your hand. Furthermore, if you happen to twist your hand in the wrong way on the entry or during your pull, the boat-like hull shape of the paddles forces your hand in the right position.

What are the specifications of the Antipaddles?

The material of the Antipaddles is similar to of a regular paddle with the difference that the Antipaddle is hollow and more bulbous. The straps around your middle finger and wrist are made out of the commonly used surgical tubing which is very easy to put on (when wet). Remember, the straps do not have to be tight on your fingers and wrists, just snug enough to keep the paddles from falling. The top of the paddle has contours for your fingers and a small raised ridge which fits into your palm and nicely mimics the way your fingers and palm should be positioned when swimming without paddles. Your fingers slightly apart and your palm relaxed. There is also one extra additional feature which distinguishes the Antipaddles from similar type paddles and it is a small plug for watter in the top of the paddle. Since the paddles are hollow, they can be filled in with water or some other substance which let’s the swimmer play with the buoyancy of the paddles and also let’s you work on strengthening your muscles further. I think the plug for the water needs a bit more thought in regards the usbility and positioning since it is quite tough to take the plug out and then let the water out, but overall it is a great addition.

The Antipaddle comes in two different sizes and colors, so the folks with smaller hands are also in luck.

How to use the Antipaddles?

The beauty is that the paddles can be used for all strokes and anybody can take advantage of them. Since the pressure on your hand, forearm, arm and shoulder is lessened by using the Antipaddles, there is lesser risk of injury to younger and older athletes as there would be with using regular swimming paddles. When you swim with the paddles, you should focus on improving the positioning of your hand in relationship to your body (not too close and not too far) and on the early forearm catch in your stroke. Since swimming is not really one size fits all sport, you need to try different positioning of your hands and find the one that suits you the best. Also remember that your hand is just an extension of your forearm, so your wrist should not move when you swim with the paddles.

Here are some tips on how and where to use the Antipaddles:
  • In every practice for a few hundred meters right before the main set - you will feel better in the set, have a better catch and a great swim
  • Alternate with paddles and without - you can swim, let’s say, 3x8x50 on a certain interval. First 8x50 swim normally, second 8x50 with Antipaddles increasing your stroke rate and trying to hold the same pace as before, third 8x50 without paddles and on faster pace than before
  • Stroke rate training - since there is less palm resistance you can move your arms through water faster which is perfect for practicing your desired stroke rate rhythm for long distance or open water swims. Also, you can use the paddles to practice your sprinting stroke with high arm turnover rate.
  • Butterfly catch - put on your favorite fins and with the Antipaddles do some short butterfly sprints, let's say 4x25, focusing on a high elbow catch upfront
  • Proper high elbow recovery - when you fill up the Antipaddle with water, it is heavier, so during the recovery of the freestyle stroke (when the arm is bove the water), it forces you to drop your hand towards the water and have a high elbow instead of straight arms
  • During warm up in competitions - apart from the psychological advantage from knowing you will feel the water better, you DO actually feel the water better when you race after using the paddles in warm ups for a bit (note: I am not suggesting you only use the paddles in warm ups. There also needs to be other swimming in your warm up in order for it to be effective.)
  • Rehabilitation purposes - if you are recovering from a shoulder surgery or have a sore shoulder, you could use the Antipaddles to gradually strengthen your muscles and alleviate the pain
  • Dryland training - when you mimic certain strokes like butterfly on stability ball or bent over freestyle during your dryland training, why not fill up the Antipaddles with water and use them as extra weights (this is much better than actually holding a weight in your hand)

Summary: Pros and Cons

If you are not convinced that the Antipaddle is one of the best swimming gear tools out there, let me assure you that it works. The difference of feeling the water and the lack of it can be experienced by everyone regardless of what swimming level you find yourself in. Actually, the feeling when you take the paddles off is like a drug, you want more:). So if you are serious about improving in your swimming, but you are weary about purchasing any equipment, I’d strongly encourage you to consider getting yourself a pair of the Antipaddles. The best results come from improving your technique and by increasing the feeling for water ever slightly. With these paddles you are doing just that. This goes also to all the triathletes, forget the regular paddles and get the Antipaddles. If I’d have to choose one equipment to have in my bag, this would be it. It is by far the best tool in comparison of effort, price and the improvements.

Pros:
  • easy to use
  • adjusting straps is simple
  • it really works and can be used by swimmer of any age
  • adjust weight as needed
  • price is very reasonable $29.95 USD
Cons:
  • position of the water fill up hole (I’d position it on the back side of the paddle, so it is easier to drain the water)
  • rubber plug (it is hard to get the plug opened with only your fingers)
Final rating: 4.75/5
  • usability/effectiveness - 4.5/5
  • material - 5/5
  • look and feel - 5/5
  • price/value rating - 5/5

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Learning to swim is priceless and SwimSmooth Learn to Swim DVD is a great start

Apr 4, 2011

The largest in the world of swimming (from the green grass of England to long sandy beaches of Chile)

Have you ever wondered why every swimming pool is almost the same length? I am going to have to disappoint you and tell you that I don't know why that is. Someone probably came up with a standard that made sense and I guess it took off.
However, what I do know is that the largest swimming pool in the world is over 1km long and it is on a beach in San Alfonso del Mar resort at Algarrobo, on Chile's southern coast. How would you like to swim in 1km long swimming pool? Talking about a perfect place to train for open water races. No pool walls to break your stroke cadence or your breathing rhythm, no waves to disturb you from keeping a perfect technique. You would also add a bit of a challenge to your swim by dodging kayaks or surfboards along the way. All that, in a 5 star resort right on the beach without the fear of the deep waters under you or some fish biting you on a leg :). After your 1 lap warm up in the pool (1km), you could just jump into the ocean for some more open water work or just a boogie boarding session and then back to the pool for warm down. For this type of swimming, you’d definitely want to bring the Swim Safety Device, if for nothing else, to at least store your stuff in the dry bag. And after a hard swim workout under the Chilean sun, why not enjoy a few of the world famous Chilean completos with a cold light beer (hmm, so good).
Chilean completo
If you are thinking that traveling to South America might be a bit dangerous, don’t scare yourself. Chile is actually a quite developed country where there is no reason for you to feel unsave. I think it would be quite cool if they had some kind of a swimming or triathlon competition there in order to promote this extraordinary architectural wonder.

And what would be the largest swimming pool in the world without the largest swimmer in the world. The largest swimmer is found in London right on the south bank of Thames, between the Tower Bridge and City Hall. The statue is partially immersed in the grass only displaying head, arm recovery, buttocks and foot above the ground. The largest swimmer statue is massive 10 meters long and in reality has nothing to do with swimming, but was erected to promote a tattoo TV show, London Ink. However, with the London 2012 Olympics coming soon, this could be the attraction to watch out for as swimming is one of the most prestigious events in the Olympics in general.
London's Longest Swimmer
Especially, if Ian Thorpe, one of Australia’s greatest athletes, comes back and faces of with Michael Phelps in one of the events. That could be a race of a lifetime to watch, but then again, there are very many fast swimmers in the Olympics, so we will have to wait and see.

It now makes me wonder, what will Dubai do? Are they going to sit back and take the beating by the Chileans and British folks? Perhaps the world’s deepest pool or the world’s fastest pool is in order :).

And why am I talking about the largest swimming pool and the largest swimmer on this blog. Well, sometimes, it is good to shift your focus on other things than just swimming with perfect technique and let you mind relax and recover. So next time you are swimming and you feel like it is not your day, why not just go to sauna or play in the water with bubble rings. You will not loose anything and more importantly you will feel better.
Safer Swimmer - the must have swim safety device for all open water swimmers

Apr 1, 2011

New Technology Announced to be Introduced at the 2012 Olympics in London (Webbed Hands and Feet Are Here)

After the introduction and later shameful prohibition of the fast full body racing suits, a new groundbreaking technological advancement was approved by the world swimming governing body, FINA. This time it has nothing to do with a swim suit fabric or swim equipment, but the good old medical field. Amidst the ever growing popularity of cosmetic surgery and the huge potentials of human cloning research, the Canadian swimming science researchers have came up with a new efficient way to add extra membrane like skin in between swimmers’ fingers on hands and feet.

We all know the ever so popular swim gear which is used in practices to strengthen swimming muscles such as paddles and fins, so it does not come as a big surprise that the term webbed hands and feet came into reality this year. By introducing small flaps of skin between swimmer's fingers and toes, we are in turn enlarging the area of the surface that acts as propulsion mechanism during swimming (the catch and the kick). According to the Canadian swimming institute in Quebec, the procedure of the skin grafting takes only a few hours and the swimmer is ready to test the new propulsion surface in the water in about 4 weeks. The scientists also revealed that they have been testing this technology for some time now and already have a handful of candidates from the Canadian and Australian national teams who will undergo the webbed hand and foot alteration early this summer. The swimming federation refused to comment on who these swimmers are at this time. Perhaps a secrete weapon for the 2010 Olympics in London next year. Isn’t it just incredible, what our science and technology can do these days?

Now, before you go all disgusted and ballistic about this new swimmer body enhancement, listen to the reasons why such a medical body alteration was approved by the swimming federation and why it could be a good direction for the sport of swimming. It is no secret that in swimming, your body composition and size makes a huge difference due to the extra drag forces that act on swimmer’s body during swimming.
So, in order to make the swimming competition less bias to genetic advantages of certain swimmers, the world swimming federation has approved a standard in which a swimmer with a smaller than standard hand or foot size can artificially increase his/hers surface area up to a certain dimensions. So if this standard holds, swimmers with pure skill will be winning races as everyone will have the same predisposition for success. Furthermore, after the speculations that post full body suit era will see very limited amount of world records broken as the body is no longer forced to be streamlined by the body suit, the business interest in swimming as a sport is declining, so a new technological hype needs to be made to keep swimming interesting for people to watch. This new webbed hand and feet technology could bring the breath of fresh air into the world of swimming, so a huge marketing efforts are underway to make sure the 2012 Olympic year is successful for the sport of swimming. I am really looking forward to the upcoming 2012 Olympics in London as the field of swimmers will be much more even with such standardization and even the genetically less fortunate swimmers will have a chance against swimmers with extra large shoe size.

Don’t be alarmed if such medical enhancements will be a as common as water in many of our other sports in the future years. No matter how much we try to fight the technological advancements, be it based on our moral grounds or just on plain business decision, we cannot win. Technology will always find its way out of the darkness, so let's just embrace it and see what happens instead of fighting a lost cause. Have a great April fool’s day :).
Learning to swim is priceless and SwimSmooth Learn to Swim DVD is a great start