From Nautilus: Is the fish kick the fastest stroke yet?
I tug my black swim cap over my hair, strap on my pink goggles, and keep a focused calm, like Michael Phelps before a race. It’s lap swim on a Monday afternoon at my local YMCA, and I’m going to attempt the fish kick. Most fish move through the water with a horizontal wiggle. The fish kick challenges you to copy this movement: You completely submerge yourself underwater, position yourself on your side, keep your arms tight above your head in a streamline, and propel yourself forward with symmetrical undulations. After decades of swimming, some of it at the competitive level, I think I might have a shot. Pushing off the wall, and after what I can only describe as a struggle, the water resists my forward motion and I float to the surface, not unlike a dead fish.
Humans are land animals, and not natural swimmers. We have to learn how to swim, and it is up to us to find the fastest way to do so. The search may finally be coming to an end. In the last few decades, stroke mechanic experts have discovered that swimming under the surface is faster than swimming on the surface. “It’s hard to fathom that this could happen in track and field,” says Rick Madge, a swim coach and blogger. “Nobody is going to come up with a new way of running that is going to be faster than anything else. Yet we just did that in swimming.” And the fish kick may be the fastest subsurface form yet. [continue]
Are you off to the pool to try it out?