Chi Kung is the practice of chi. In a literal translation, this term means energy cultivation. With it, both your physical and mental health are improved as you begin to practice the art of manipulating your chi through acts of will, controlled breathing and of course, breathing. If those three things sound familiar to the swimmer, they should, as they are also important parts of swimming.
When speaking to those who practice Chi Kung, you will notice that their main focus is on manipulating Chi. At the same time; the individual must maintain a proper posture and move instead with precise movements. While swimming, one has the ability to maintain or cultivate energy surrounding them to harness more power, while even healing their body.
Perhaps most interesting is that studies have also shown that for those that routinely go swimming and suffer from respiratory infections Chi Kung can also offer a solution. In 2011, a study was done to see if there was any improvement among swimmers who had an upper respiratory infection after practicing the healing energy of Chi Kung. The results showed more improvement over the course of the study of those who were practicing, when compared to the control test group that was not.
In the water, the swimmer can begin to enter the gently, rhythmic state that is associated with this form of exercise and that will allow for a slow, methodic execution. With precise and even strokes and routine breathing, the power and the drive in the body may allow for the individual to be more powerful and faster in the water, when compared to their normal freestyle swimming.
For an idea of how this works, take a moment to do the swimming dragon outside of the water. Stand with your back straight, feet together and your hands at your side. Now, take a deep breath and raise your hands slowly in front of your abdomen. Next, take your hands and rotate them upward and outward, so it resembles a prayer position.
Take your hands and push them out to the left side with your fingers leading the way, watching their movement with your eyes. Once your hands are extended, arch your hands higher in the air. Then turn the hands over so the fingers point to the left, as your right elbow is fully extended to the right. Then move your hands to the left. Now return to the central position, returning your hands to the prayer stance.
Now drop your hands into a downward arc and from the hips, slowly begin to bend down to the point you are crouching and center yourself. Then slowly begin to stand back up, with your hands moving slowly above your head, so that when you are fully standing, they are high above you. Then lower your hands back to the prayer position and repeat this process as often as you would like.
So how does this carry over to swimming itself? When you see a swimmer in the water who is rocking from side to side and appears to be relaxed, it is obvious there is something going on. In this case, one could say that the swimmer has managed to channel the practice of chi Kung into their time in the water.
Warm-up: 500 as 25 streamline drill and 25 easy swim
Kick no board 200 streamlined
Drill, tai-chi style, 300
10 X 50 alternating backstroke and freestyle by 50
3 X 100 freestyle with 4 butterfly kicks off each wall
Pull 300 as 100 freestyle, 100 butterfly, 100 freestyle
3 X 100 freestyle with 6 dolphin kicks off each wall
Pull with hand paddles on 300 ass 100 freestyle, 100 backstroke, 100 freestyle
3 X 100 freestyle with 8 butterfly kicks off each wall
Kick 300 alternating 25 breaststroke, 25 streamlined
10 X 50 alternating by 50’s: breaststroke and freestyle
Warm-down with a 200 sculling with a high elbow for a 25 followed by 75 easy choice of stroke
Total: 4500 meters or yards