H2O Static Balance Exercises 'Splained

Static Balance Exercises are another form of Peer Coaching that we use.

Static Balance = simply floating, motionless, on the surface in an entirely horizontal (longitudinally balanced) position. When properly executed, the swimmer will have the back of his head, shoulder blades, most of his back, butt cheeks and heels all exposed to the air. This effort may be assisted by placing pieces of cut-up kickboards under the thighs - with the goal being to minimize (or eliminate) the amount of assist needed. (Note: Swimmers with greater lean:fat ratio tend to float lower in the water, so they will have less skin exposed but still must get horizontal.)

Coach breaks the team into small Peer Coaching groups (3 or 4 swimmers). Members of the group coach each other in static balance. Once static horizontality is established we have several possible "next steps":

  • Partner pushoff: one of the peer coaching partners briskly pushes the horizontal swimmer who rides the glide as long as possibelFor each length, the lemming should swim on the side where he can best see the leader – usually so he is breathing toward the leader. This helps the swimmer as well as those observing. It demonstrates how much momentum swimmers can conserve if they can attain perfect balance. A well balanced swimmer can travel half the length of the pool or more from just a small send off push.
  • Scull out: Horizontal swimmer uses over-the-barrel sculling to propel himself from the static float position, trying to remain entirely horizontal.
  • Kick out: Horizontal swimmer begins gently kicking - either prone or for long-axis rotations - trying to remain entirely horizontal.
  • Swim out: Horizontal swimmer begins swimming from the static float position trying to remain entirely horizontal.
  • Some combination of the above, often starting from a partner pushoff.

We generally follow these exercises with a swim or set that involves focusing on the same things people were working on to acheive a good static balance position.

See the article, What Floats Yer Boat? for complete information about our Static Balance stuff - including video clips.

Index of all the workout terms, sets, concepts, etc. that have links in the workouts.
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