Swimsuit; They are special clothing designed for this purpose, worn while swimming. Many swimmers wear a special outfit while swimming, which is quite different from what they wear daily. However, most people have no idea what the cause of this strange habit is. So, what is the purpose of wearing a swimsuit and do swimsuits affect swimming speed?
Many swimmers are aware of the fatigue that occurs within a few minutes after swimming. The fatigue that occurs while swimming is more than walking or running. After a swimming lap at a brisk pace of a few meters, a person becomes out of breath and gasps. The main difference between swimming and running is actually very clear. While running, the body is run in the surrounding air; also your feet have a firm grip on the ground due to gravity and friction. Gravity also affects a swimmer’s body, but the swimming environment is definitely different. Water is less powerful in supporting air movement through it.
Against the movements made while swimming, water exerts a force, that is, resistance. Water applies force at the moment of movement and creates collective friction by responding to the movement. So when water is pressed to move up, it pushes again in response, and the force that pushes it back is from the pressure of the drag. For example, when the hand is taken out of the window of a moving car, the feeling of ‘pushing back’ is felt when the palm is held vertically against the wind. So it feels like someone is pushing the hand back. It is the same in the case of water.
How Does Quality Swimwear Affect Water Performance?
For regular swimmers, swimwear selection requires very special care, and the materials used in making the swimwear are very important. This is why top swimwear manufacturers are spending a lot of money researching and developing new materials that will help improve swimmer performance, comfort level and longevity of the suit. The features that should be in a quality swimsuit are as follows:
Usually Used Fabrics
Nylon is probably the most common material used in swimsuits, as it is very strong, lightweight and fast drying as well as adapting well to body form. Besides, nylon fabric has its disadvantages. Nylon does not hold paint very well and is therefore mixed with other fabrics that will help it process to retain color or be resistant to sun and chlorine.
Lycra is used in almost every swimsuit because of its perfect fit and elasticity, but it is also mixed with other materials as it is not a comfortable fabric because it is used in large quantities. And it needs to be reprocessed to withstand the chlorine effect.
Cotton is rarely found in non-high quality swimsuits because it does not wrap around the body well and after a certain time it tends to sag and retain water. In fact, most of these negative features are found in swimsuits that are not cheaper or stylish.
Polyester is used for its chlorine resistance and fade resistance and is often mixed with other materials.
PBT (polybutylene terephthalate) is used by specialist manufacturers due to its inherent tensile and chlorine resistant properties. When included in swimwear, it compresses the skin with the right pressure, preventing excessive friction and enhancing aerodynamic performance.
Regardless of what material the swimsuits are made of, they need to be properly maintained. When leaving the pool, sea or lake, it should be rinsed and the washing instructions should be followed when washing.
Chlorine is used to prevent bacterial growth, especially in pools, and this can threaten human health. Successful swimwear brands use some chlorine resistant materials to minimize these harmful effects of chlorine when designing swimwear. The first to be noticed in the harmful effects of chlorine is the bad odor, irritation of sensitive skin and itching. It can also spoil swimsuits more quickly.
The fashion trends people often consider when choosing swimwear are their vibrant colors and attractive patterns and designs. However, it should be noted that they are produced from high quality and long-term fabrics that provide resistance to the harmful effects of chlorine. The swimsuits they sell are expensive, as private swimming brands strive to produce swimwear resistant to the effect of chlorine. Although they are expensive, considering the long-term use of the swimsuit and the health effects, purchasing these quality swimsuits is the right shopping choice. In addition, some swimming brands offer swimwear designs with materials that provide good chlorine resistance but are not 100% visible, such as swimwear fabric.
Swimsuits can improve their performance for a competitive swimmer or those participating in sports such as Triathlon. Excessive friction can significantly slow swimmer performance. And in general, the stiffer the swimsuit material, the more friction occurs. Famous swimwear brands produce swimsuits from low-friction materials by using high technology and inspired by the skins of marine animals in order to improve their way of gliding in their swimwear designs. These materials generally provide fast drying as they will not hold water in the material and reduce weight.
Since swimming is such a popular sport, many experiments have been done on the design and material of swimsuits, which has been controversial at times. The most talked about of these experiments is one conducted in 2009-10. At the 2009 World Swimming Championships, many records were broken due to a groundbreaking new swimsuit designed with the assistance of NASA. The company, which made a special set of swimwear for swimmers, was banned by FINA in 2010.
For this reason, it is quite clear that specially designed swimsuits not only look cool, but also positively affect the speed of the swimmer and outperform their rivals.