If the female Olympic swimming tests still were based on customs of 1890, women
If the female Olympic swimming tests still were based on customs of 1890, women would compete with neck-tights, shorts and short dresses. In 1907, however, the movie star and athlete, Annette Kellerman, appeared on a beach wearing a “unique piece” and radically changing the history of bathing suits. Maybe, without it, women could still be sinking like stones in the water. At least they wouldn’t be breaking many records as occurs currently. At the time, Kellerman arrived even to be arrested in relation to the trouble he caused.
Around 1970, but swimmers came to believe that reducing the material of the swimsuits they they’d swim faster. Was the time that appeared the male swimwear. Already today the swimsuits are again returning to whole parts that cover almost the entire body–and are more effective than the body of the athlete.
Nowadays, swimmers don’t get further proof with an advantage with just hundredths of seconds. Beijing Olympics, for example, Michael Phelps beat Milorad us 100 m butterfly By with a difference of just 0.01 second.
Manufacturers are changing the materials and forms, as well as are working closer to scientists who know the dynamics of fluids in order to try to meet this preciousness that is a “second 100th” in swimming. The clothes are now made with a lot of technology and shaped in computers.But in the end, it’s hard to say what really makes the difference: clothes, skin, or training.
When the water works against you
If you have tried to cross the pool and found himself extremely Puffy, you know how hard it is to swim fast. What makes this so difficult? “The water with their unseen forces force you down,” says Stephen Wilkinson, fluid mechanical engineer from NASA. This enormous amount of fluids that the push against the movement itself is collectively called the resistance.
The force that pushes him back is called pressure. The more you push forward, the more water you pushes back. If you’re not a swimmer, may have felt that kind of resistance to putting your arm out of the window of the car, with the palm facing the wind. The wind pushes your hand back.
Yet more resistance if you swim on the surface, unlike swimming well underwater. On the surface you displaces more water than, for your time, just forming waves on your front. “Every time you try to be ahead of the wave, but because of physical problems, you can’t-it is not possible to be faster than the wave,” says Wilkinson. The wall of water created, called “the wave resistance”, adds pressure pushing you back. The less you float, the wall, and worse will be the size of the wave resistance.
A weak, however, mysterious force is the resistance of friction on the skin. When you swim, water droplets “stick” on your body and move with you. This water remanence attached to you, let the slower. Even worse is the whirlwind it creates next to your body. These swirls make him even slower. The resistance increases with the amount of surface that is in contact with the water and with the amount of water trapped in ´ d drops you.
If the surface is of type “snippy” (like the sea), a kind of resistance that Wilkinson calls of encapelada resistance makes even slower. It’s hard to pass your fingers on a rug with the high and it’s hard to the wind pass between trees. Similarly, it is difficult for the water to pass through by your body. The water clings to you and decreases the speed of your strokes.
It looks like a losing battle. The faster you swim, the greater the resistance. As they do so, the fast swimmers?
Shortcuts to lower times
You can decrease the pressure controlling the way it presents itself in the water, says NASA Engineer, Wilkinson. Your surface is vertical (perpendicular to your swim) that pushes the water. If you dive, for example, keep your body in a horizontal line as well as when anything, and do not allow your legs sink–this way you will reduce a lot the resistance. The water will push only on the head, shoulders, fingertips and toes.
You can cut quite a bit of wave resistance with a dip. “You may have noticed that when swimmers jump from a block, they spend a lot of time underwater,” says Wilkinson. “Underwater they face much less resistance, because there are no waves as on the surface. So they try to go as far as possible under water, until, in function of the breath, need to rise “. Once you get up, the higher you float in the water, less waves will be formed around you. “Of course, talented swimmers float more easily,” says Jeremy Kipp, swimming assistant coach from the University of Southern California.
In addition, epilate. By eliminating the water body will slide easier for you, without as much resistance (unless you’re Mark Spitz-swimmer won seven Olympic gold medals with mustache and all).
Of course, be fit is also critical. Strong abdominal muscles will help keep floating straight over the water, says Kipp. With a strong stem, you can have fewer concerns about the resistance, which will be matched up with swims faster.
But if your technique and your body in shape, and yet you still want to swim faster, it might be the case to consider a bathing suit more appropriate.
The era of the swimsuit fast
The concept of “rapid” leads us to question some assumptions. First, it is assumed that such a bathing suit not only can wear the swimmer without adding the resistance of the clothes, but also is able to decrease the resistance found in the water. Secondly, it is assumed that technology applied to clothing of the swimmer reduces the resistance allowing the same swim faster without need for this more energy or oxygen.
The international swimming Federation (FINA) has approved the first bathing suit (full-body suit) to reduce resistance in the year 2000, during the evidence qualifiers for the Olympics [source: Longman]. The swimmers have used several models of this type of swimsuit Olimpícos games of 2000 and 2004, culminating with the LZR Racer from Speedo, in 2008. According to Speedo, this is the fastest swimsuit on the market.
The swimsuit, which is the result of much research, is made with various high-tech materials. The seams are welded with ultrasound. In addition, repels water and your anatomical format creates a kind of support to keep the swimmer in a better position in the water, without losing the freedom and flexibility of his movements, says Jason Rance, one of the designers who helped to research and create the swimsuit. Weld seams reduces by about 6% resistance, comparing the Act to sew them, says Rance.
And it wasn’t just with the material that the Speedo was concerned, but also with the swimmer. Swimmers are not built as “torpedoes”, but despite strong, have bodies of “humans”. Her curves and muscles create resistance, which is even worse than the friction from clothing. The Speedo sought this resistance created by the swimmer’s body to come up with a bathing suit extremely glued to the body, says Rance.
The Speedo still tested the oxygenation of swimmers, particularly to see if an outfit so glued wouldn’t do as much compression to allow the swimmer to breathe effectively, says Rance. The company came to the result that swimmers can Yes breathe naturally within the bathing suit.
Floating, however, not artificially
The LZR Racer also uses what the Speedo wont call “central stabilizer”-kind of strap where the material is duplicated. Swimmers use their own muscles to find the position in the water to make it float in the best way possible, says coach Kipp. “The stabilizer will help you find the balance easier,” he says. The stabilizer also keeps the abdominal muscle swimmer always contracted in long distance-even after those 2 or 3 minutes in that the muscle runs out.
Shark skin is out: despite the Fastskin and Fastskin FS-II of Speedo have been made from shark skin, the LZR Racer was not. The old swimsuits, as those made with certain shark skins, were made with tiny wrinkles that increased the outer layer of the same [source: Wilkinson]. The Speedo found that the more smooth was the swimsuits, the greater would be the reduction of resistance, said Rance.
Although large and cover much of the swimmer’s body, the LZR Racer is pretty light–it weighs about 100 grams per square meter (four times less than the materials until then used in bathing suits) [source: Rance]. The material used (spandex-spandex) is also made from a substance that repels water and not retain in any way, leaving it even lighter. Rance emphasizes that the swimsuit does not increase the power of the swimmer, but also keeps it from sinking.
While conducting a series of tests, swimmers participated in evidence “simulated” with and without the LZR Racer. “They swam 4% faster and spent 5 percent less oxigênico with the LZR Racer,” said Rance. It is assumed so that they do not swim faster because they were more trained but because the LZR Racer actually reduces the resistance.
Will the swimsuits even make the big difference?
Something strange happened to the swimming records in 2008. Joel Stager, a professor of Kinesiology from Indiana University, in Bloomington, presented the statistics of a study based on all world records since 1970. The number of broken records with times of records grew in a normal curve, within expectations.
In 2008, however, the curve has risen out of the pattern. More than 40 records were broken in 2008, double the average of the last 30 years. The fastest man in the 100 m freestyle in the Beijing Olympic Games, swam on average, about four times faster than expected.
Swimmers broke more records between February and March 2008 than during those same months in the last 30 years. It is worth saying that the Speedo LZR Racer on the market has introduced in February 2008.
“The coaches are better. There are more videos for feedback. However, the swimsuit is what really changed from there to here, “said Kipp.
Have Jason Rance, the Speedo, CITES improvements in methods of training, how to train under adverse conditions of altitude, largest number of specialized centers devoted to training and swimmers who spend the whole day training. “It’s a combination of factors, in which the LZR Racer is one of them,” says Rance.
Stager presented a case study done in Japan. In April 2008, during the evidence qualifiers for the Olympics, swimmers have not used the LZR Racer. Two months later, at the Japan open, the swimmers competed in the same pool, but using the LZR Racer. The swimmers were significantly faster in the Japan open, although we imagine that times of qualifiers for the World Cup should be better.
The data show, however, cannot prove that the LZR Racer leaves the fastest swimmer. In addition, the data are based on swimmers who already were fast even before the entrance of this technology.
“The LZR Racer is the frosting for athletes who are already at the top. He didn’t turn me or you in a great athlete, “said Rance. “We always say to children, and their parents, so focus on the training and in the coach. If you do not know the basics of the technique and do not know how to train, will not be the swimsuit that will help you”.