Synchronized Swimming: A How to Guide  

by Pool Builders on 02-01-2010 in Articles

Synchronized swimming brings immediately to mind old black and white videos of women in floral swim caps flitting about a pool in 1920. But color film did not bring about the death of synchronized swimming, no: it is still alive and well.
Many colleges have teams, and believe it or not there are multiple Olympic competitions for synchronized swimmers. Olympic and world championship competitions are only for women, but recreational and lesser competitive teams allow men to participate, as well. Generally, competition consists of one technical and one free routine.
Routines combine series of leg, arm and body movements. Synchronized swimming contains elements not only of swimming and dance, but also gymnastics and acrobatics that resemble cheer stunting. All synchronized swims are done to music.
When competing, judges give a list of elements that must be present in the swim. No matter what trick you are doing, there are two basic moves that you will surely find yourself using. A scull is a hand motion that propels the body. There are many sculls used in competition: barrels, paddles, and thrusts move you from one place to another, where support sculls are used to hold a swimmer in place while performing an element upside down. A scull is a large arm movement where your elbows are bent at right angles and you consistently reverse arm direction, making either large circles or S curves. The eggbeater is a way of treading water that keeps you bobbing at about chest level by kicking your legs like an egg beater.
Eggbeaters are used to set up lifts. Common lifts are the platform and stack lift, and throws are common with more advanced synchronized swim teams.
Believe it or not, there are positions on swim teams beyond bases and fliers. These positions are not like positions in sports teams, rather they are body positions that can be combined in infinite ways to make beautiful designs in and on the water.
We've already talked about doing eggbeaters or sculls to keep one end of your body afloat. Another basic move is the back layout. Variations of the back layout are the sailboat, the flamingo, and ballet legs. Variations of the basic upside down scull position are the crane, the bent knee, the split, and the side fishtail.
Whether or not your team makes it to the championships, you can give your ladies synchronized swimming medals for their group performance or individual skills.

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