Health · Learning

Improving your swimming

If you are interested in trying out a different, very counter intuitive but pretty revolutionary approach to swimming try taking a look at Terry Laughlin’s Total Immersion swimming. He is a passionate man, inspiring in his pursuit of mastery, and after listening to a podcast with him and watching some videos on YouTube I have have been inspired to give it a try, and the initial attempt was very interesting.

The basic idea is that the biggest change you can make in your swimming style to make it more effective (further, faster with less energy) is to reduce drag by making your swimming style more streamlined and smoother, and that requires some very counterintuitive actions that are different from our normal swimming style. He has produced incredible results in all sorts of swimmers from people who have never swim before all the way to Olympic athletes.

(There is an interesting general principle for life in the concept he applies here: instead of focusing on pushing harder to do better, is there something we can do to reduce the resistive forces/drag that is slowing us down. That might be much more effective and require less effort and energy than the former approach)

Unfortunately he has just recently passed away and the podcast is also a sobering reminder of the brevity of life, though it’s wonderful to see the legacy he leaves behind in revolutionising the way we think about swimming.

Demonstration of the style here Terry Laughlin’s Total Immersion swimming demo

Lecture series by Terry here Terry Laughlin’s Total Immersion intro lecture

Interview with Terry Loughlin by Tim Ferriss in Podcasts. Tim Ferris interview with Terry Laughlin on swimming and life

And their website Total Immersion

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