In order to get the most performance out of you monofin dives, some attention to your form and technique is warranted. All improvements in form, streamlining and technique will pay dividends and you will find yourself covering more ground on a single breath, having less muscular fatigue and being able to realize more speed with the same effort.
Streamlining / hydrodynamics: In order to move through the water efficiently, we need to work on our “slipperiness”. This is done by focusing on reducing hydrodynamic drag.
Flexibility: The 2 primary reasons that we want to work on “flexibility” are for effective hands-over-head streamlining, as well as to facilitate a proper dolphin-kick / undulation. The shoulder girdle, chest and upper back require flexibility in order to achieve the proper hands-over-head streamlined position. My ultimate test is to see if you can remain in this position during a dry breath hold and last almost as long as if you are lying down fully-relaxed for a more traditional dry static hold.
Technique: Once you have good flexibility in your upper back and shoulders, you need to be conscious about starting the undulation somewhere in between your shoulders and upper-sternum. The chest goes down, the butt lifts up and the “whip is cracked” down towards the fin.
When you undulate, you should feel your body ripple from just under your clavicle, through your ribcage to your abdomen and lower back, and then to the hips, where the motion is magnified to deliver power to the fin. Your legs and fin are like receptors of a wave, translating the body’s core signal into a propulsive force. If your upper body is stiff-where the undulation is born-the power will be dampened or completely disrupted. There are many drills to learn the timing of the monofin stroke but it is vital that you do your best to make your body the best possible conduit for the undulation by improving your overall strength and flexibility. Exercises like Yoga and Pilates that use slow dynamic stretches and body-weight exercises are perfect for cross-training. We will use an underwater camera to evaluate your strokes.