What a Drag!
When you’re swimming, the buoyant force of the water helps overcome the downward pull of gravity. As a result, you feel much lighter. But the water creates another problem for the swimmer. It’s called drag.
Why It Matters
- Drag is a swimmer’s biggest enemy. Water is 700 times as dense as air, so it’s a lot harder to move your body through it. If you’ve ever tried to run through shallow water at a beach or pool, then you’ve experienced drag.
- To be a champion swimmer, you need to know how to overcome drag.
- What exactly is drag, and how can a swimmer overcome it?
Watch this video to find out:
Show What You Know
At the link below, learn more about swimming and drag. Then answer the following questions. By clicking this link, you will leave the CK-12 site and open an external site in a new tab. This page will remain open in the original tab.
- Two key forces involved in swimming are thrust and drag. Define these two forces.
- Three types of drag work against a swimmer. Identify and describe the three types.
- How can a swimmer reduce drag?
- How does a swimmer create thrust?
- A swimmer can use her hands and arms to create lift, like the lift created by an airplane wing. In the case of a swimmer, however, the lift is created in a forward rather than upward direction. What technique allows the swimmer to create lift? How does this technique work?