Swimming better, faster and easier!
When you commit to a series of TI lessons, you will learn to approach your swimming with an attitude and expectation of continuous improvement through the introduction of new skills, drills and focal points at each session. Starting with balance, streamlining, and propulsion and working your way through stroke development and speed, lessons will be tailored to your pace and needs. TI will give you the tools you need to be a more efficient swimmer
Balance in TI swimming means ‘in harmony with the water.’ It’s the basic foundational skill that makes being “streamlined” and having “propulsion” possible. Balance provides both physical control and mental calm by replacing semi-panicky reflexes with the ability to sort thoughtfully through choices that impact every skill step that follows.
Bill Boomer’s maxim “The shape of the ‘vessel’ matters more than the size of the engine.” Dolphins are over 2500% more efficient than human swimmers – and can swim 700% faster than their muscular power should make possible, because of “a natural ability for active streamlining.” Streamlining comes in two forms. In Passive Streamlining, the simpler of the two, you shape your body to be longer, sleeker, more hydrodynamic. In Active Streamlining, you stroke in ways that move your body forward, rather than moving the water around. Your greatest energy savings – for both endurance and speed — come from Streamlining.
Propulsion in the TI Method means to direct ‘available’ forces, rather than generating muscular forces. Gravity and body mass are a ‘free’ source of power, which can minimize reliance on muscular force. You then convert Force (horsepower) into Locomotion by concentrating on holding water, rather than moving water back
What is Total Immersion
Total Immersion Freestyle is a foolproof approach to fishlike swimming which brings results faster than conventional methods and produces a fluent, efficient and beautiful technique. TI teaches you to swim with the effortless grace of fish by being in harmony with the water.
What can you learn in a Total Immersion lesson series?
Because we rebuild your freestyle from its very foundation, all swimmers – even those with years of experience learn new skills.
- Newer swimmers learn to bypass months of frustration and swim smart from the start.
- Fitness swimmers learn the healthiest way to swim.
- Mature swimmers (including Masters) learn they can improve at any age.
- Triathletes learn to work less and swim better (helping you to be fresh on the bike and run).
Why learn Total Immersion?
TI has literally been life-changing for thousands of adults, overcoming years of frustration and creating confident, accomplished – even passionate – swimmers. Experienced and accomplished swimmers also come away with something invaluable – an understanding of what works and why. For all, TI instruction ensures that every hour of swimming… for the rest of your life… will bring greater pleasure and improvement.
How is Total Immersion unique?
Traditional instruction teaches you to swim like a land-dweller – arms windmilling and legs churning. TI is the only program that teaches “fishlike” swimming – balanced, streamlined and smooth. TI coaches are committed to providing demonstration and in-water and hands-on assistance. We start with simple skills and movements and progress by small, easily mastered steps. We will also use above and below water video, which is a wonderful learning tool.
More information about what Total Immersion is and what it does for you:
Three Steps to Success
Total Immersion techniques of have been refined over 25 years with countless thousands of students—most of whom had little skill or experience.
We follow the same 3-step sequence of foundational skills with every student and every form of swimming. When you learn these skills you’ll be able to:
- Swim farther and faster using less energy
- Enjoy every stroke and improve continuously.
- Swim free of injury or pain.
Step One: The 3 C’s–Comfort, Control, and Confidence
Every TI student–whether novice or experienced (even former Olympians!)–begins by learning Balance and Core Stability. These foundational skills replace that sinking sensation with a comforting (for some, thrilling!) sense of being ‘weightless’ in the water.
First you learn to cooperate with—instead of fighting—gravity and employ principles of physics (instead of exhausting kicking) to create an ‘effortlessly horizontal’ position from head to toe. Then we teach you to stabilize your core body to control sideways or rotational forces that can divert your arms and legs to ‘steadying’ actions.
Feeling that you’re in control of your position in the water will bring the confidence and mental calm needed to master more advanced skills. As well, this step gives you first-hand knowledge of how human anatomy naturally behaves in a fluid medium. You’ll use this insight to minimize problems and maximize opportunities inherent in the aquatic medium.
Step Two: Take the Path of Least Resistance
Because water is 1000 times denser than air, water resistance (drag) is the largest factor limiting how far or fast we swim. Fish and aquatic mammals are naturally streamlined. For human swimmers it’s a learned skill.
Because there are two forms of drag, we teach two ways of streamlining:
- Pressure drag is resistance that builds up in front of your body as you move through the water. Bulky or constantly-changing shapes create far more resistance than an unchanging and sleek shape.
- Wave drag is energy diverted from locomotion into moving water around—i.e. making waves, turbulence, bubbles, and splash. Any energy you expend moving water around isn’t available to move you forward.
We minimize these two forms of drag by teaching these skills:
Shape Your ‘Vessel.’ This step is inspired both by the streamlined shape of fish and aquatic mammals and by the principles naval architects use in shaping vessels to minimize pressure drag. Apply it to the human form by extending your body—head, limbs and torso–into a long, slippery shape. Mindfully strive to minimize deviation from this shape as you stroke and breathe.
Don’t Make Waves. Minimize Wave Drag by striving trying to minimize wave making, bubbles, splash, and even noise. All are evidence of energy being diverted from locomotion into moving the water around. The farther and faster you swim, the bigger the payoff from doing so with quiet strokes.
Step Three: Move From Your Core
In traditional technique, the arms and legs do the lion’s share of the work, while the core body is passive baggage. We invert that dynamic initiating all movement, power, and rhythm in the core—the most naturally powerful and fatigue-resistant part of the body.
We teach you to carefully integrate the movements of the head, arms, and legs with rhythms initiated in the core. Power originates in the core and flows to the arms and legs. The better that integration, the less work it takes to swim farther and faster. I.E. The same level of fitness will take you farther.
What about Breathing?
It’s obvious that breathing is both the most essential and most challenging of all skills. So where does breathing fit into the TI skill sequence. Actually, development of seamless breathing skill is integral to every step. When you are comfortable and in control of your body, breathing is far easier. When you maintain a long, sleek shape while breathing, you conserve both momentum and power. And finally, it’s far easier to get that breath when the energy for moving your mouth to the air comes from core rotation.
As you may have grasped while reading this, this style of swimming—cooperating with gravity, extending your body line, moving from the core—doesn’t come naturally. But they are most certainly learnable.