Archimedes Principle As Applied To Staying Afloat In The Swim By Laying On Your Arms


Boat in Street

This lovely little boat, which has been parked here for several days (is that legal, it’s not in Raleigh?), reminded me of Archimedes Principle and what I recently learned about swimming on Twitter.

Hi folks,

Joke about exerciseFitOldDog's logoSwimming is a difficult sport, until you get it right. I’m getting closer as Rick puts me through my paces three times a week. I just learned a new trick, and it really seems to be helping with my position in the water, because I can feel my heels are closer to or just breaking the surface. I was talking (well, tweeting) with a real swimmer, Mel Stewart, in fact a 3x Olympic Medalist (isn’t Twitter remarkable?) about triathletes, and whether they focus too much on technique as opposed to conditioning, and he very kindly replied as follows:

@FitOldDog it’s all a/conditioning… A lot of triathletes, however, do one thing wrong on the swim – kick too much. Lay on your arms.”
Goodies at Johnny's in Carrboro

There is lots of good stuff and great atmosphere at Johnny’s in Carrboro.

I thought, “Lay on your arms, how the h*ll do I do that in the water?” Then I tried it during my next swim, and it’s magic, but somewhat challenging. Your arms are connected to your body by one ‘inter-osseous’ joint (bone-bone, with lots of cartilage too!), where your clavicles (collar bones) attach to your sternum (breast bone) and a lot of muscle. Interestingly, this joint is just in front of the one key fulcrum (balance point) of your body in the water, the air in your chest. By resting on your arms in your mind, you fall forward, balancing beautifully on this pocket of air, floating like a boat. Then it is all about posture, balance, stroke technique and, as Rick says every time we swim, conditioning.
Thanks Mel, you have really made my swimming easier, and given time I know I’ll be faster, which contributes to my program of safe exercise for better health, and it may, just may, help me make it to Kona. Finally, should I check on the Town of Carrboro City parking regulations and report that boat, like the people who are giving us such a hard time at our lovely little grocery store, Johnny’s in CarrboroNah! Life is too brief, and it doesn’t seem to be bothering anyone. Live and let live, I say, plus it is a lovely little boat.



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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.