Category Archives: Just for Fun

Introducing the New Backstroke Wedge

Wondering about the introduction of backstroke wedges for backstroke starts? You’re not alone! Here’s everything you need to know about the change.

AMANZI Girl Penny Hayes backstroke start

The new backstroke wedges will add that extra oooomph to your start. Photo credit: @pennyhayesnz

These wedges were approved by FINA during a meeting at last year’s new rules committee gathering during the July sessions in Barcelona. The backstroke wedges first hit the scene at the grand prix circuit last summer and are now starting to be used more regularly.

The purpose of the new wedges is to create a standardisation of the starting foot placement for backstroke swimmers. With all of the different types of pools and touch pads out there, there is a lot of inconsistency for backstroke swimmers and this is an attempt to fix it as well as to reduce the number of slips during backstroke starts.

One of the best things about the backstroke wedge is that it’ll give you a grip that has been unheard of in the swimming world until now. As swimmers, we naturally pull up to the balls of our feet then rest most of our weight there during backstroke starts. The backstroke wedge allows you to put your weight onto an angled piece of material to push off, rather than trying to grip your feet onto a flat wall.

We’ve all seen swimmers who get disqualified at the very start of a backstroke event. They pull their bodies up in preparation for the start but then drop down a bit too far before they take off. It can happen to the best of us! In fact, these unfortunate slips have happened even at the highest levels. One of the fastest backstroker swimmers on the planet, Elizabeth Beisel, qualified for the 2014 US National Championships then was immediately taken out of the race when she slipped off the wall. It’s so unfortunate but so common! It has happened to top swimmers around the world at events like the World Championships and even the Olympics. If it can happen to an Olympics swimmer, it can happen to any of us.

The goal of the backstroke wedge is to act like a high heel shoe and force your feet to stay in place so you never have to worry about slipping and being tossed out of the competition. On top of that, the backstroke wedge also creates a more even weight distribution so you aren’t killing your arms if you pull yourself high out of the water.

On top of creating stability, the backstroke wedge will also give a push factor. When you stabilise your body, you are in much greater control. Since you are completely still on a backstroke wedge, you can push off with greater force at the start of a race. With your body exactly where you want it to be, you will always start every swim meet at your best.

This new change is definitely something that we are excited about. Hopefully we will be seeing more backstroke wedges rolled out quickly at pools across the globe!

Why we love the Olympics

Is there anything better than the Olympics? You can just feel the hope and energy floating through the air as people pour their hearts and souls into capturing their dreams. While we would all love to make it into the games ourselves, watching it from at home can be a pretty amazing time too!

Can you believe it is already time for the Olympics again? While it seems like we were just celebrating the last summer Olympics in London, we are now ready to direct our attention over to Brazil for the next big event!

In case you missed it, the Rio Olympic Games 2016 begins on Friday, 5 August and ends on Sunday, 21 August. More than 10,500 world class from more than 200 countries will be competing for 306 sets of medals in 28 Olympic sports. This exciting group of competitions will take place in Brazil’s largest city São Paulo, Brazil’s capital Brasília, Belo Horizonte, Salvador and Manaus.

While we are all definitely going to be glued to the TV for the entirety of August, it is the water sports that we’re the most excited about! In the swimming there is going to be a total of 34 swimming events with 17 women’s events and 17 men’s event including two 10-km open-water marathons. In the diving events, we will get to witness some world class acrobatics in the 3m and 10m Platform events, as well as the synchronised diving events.

We also very excited to see the Womens Triathlon Event on Saturday 20th August with three of AMANZI Girls having already qualified.

Even if you can’t watch the entirety of the Olympics, you will most definitely want to mark your calendars for 6 to 13 August to watch 2016’s impressive group of swimmers. We will be watching this year’s big events in the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. For the open-water marathon, block off your schedule for 15 to 16 August to watch the planet’s top swimmers race through Fort Copacabana.

Only 50 days to go!

Top 5 Swim Apps

Just because you can’t take your phone into the water doesn’t mean that you can’t use your phone to take your swimming to the next level. Check out these five amazing swim apps that will take you where you want to go!

SwimPB: This is a great app for keeping you motivated. Swim PB maintains a historical record of all of your swim times. The app creates lists of your current personal best times for every event. If you are looking for a simple, straightforward app to record all of your times or maintain your swim team’s records, this is exactly what you need.

GoSwim: Go Swim is home to all things swim related. Get free training videos alongside weekly inspirational pics and articles, as well as swimming news from around the world. Go Swim has a great fan wall where you can chat with other swimmers to share tips and tricks or just enjoy a good read.  Go Swim’s Twitter feed is home to a current and constant stream of international sporting news.

AMANZI Triathlete Charlotte Durand

Improve your stroke with the advice of the best coaches out there. Photo credit @chardurand

Swim Coach Plus: This isn’t your grandma’s swim coach! If you are looking to improve your technique, this is the place to go. Whether you are a beginner or on your way to the Olympics, Swim Coach Plus HD is a powerful tool. Its video features basically bring the best coaches in the world to your pool so that you can get exactly the feedback that you need. Record your moves, get feedback, watch the best swimmers in action and master your technique!

Active Goals: This app from the ACTIVE Network is designed for runners, cyclists, swimmers and triathletes. You can log all of your workouts and meet other swimmers from around the globe. Set goals for yourself then track your progress. Active Goals has a gorgeous array of graphs and lists that will keep your motivated.

Meet Mobile:  Another great tool from the ACTIVE Network, Meet Mobile will give you all of the swim meet info that you will ever need. No matter how big or small the event, you can get real-time results alongside all of the latest info on your favourite swimmers and upcoming local meets.

 

The Amazing Benefits of Stand-Up Paddling         

Looking for a way to mix up your routine? For an ultra-fun way to burn some calories and get in shape, you have got to try stand-up paddling! It is the perfect way to improve your strength and balance while enjoying the water.

Stand-up padding works just about every single muscle in your body. Because stand-up paddling is all about balance, your leg and core muscles will be working hard to keep you in place. This will help you develop a better sense of balance, which is a major perk in each and every sport. Although you might have a few falls into the water when you first get going, you will develop perfect balance in no time.

AMANZI Girl Charlie

AMANZI Girl Charlie has mastered the art of SUPing. Photo cred: @charliemuttdon

It might not seem like it at first glance but stand-up paddle boarding is a full body workout. While your core and legs keep you stable on the board, the muscles of your back, arms and shoulders will be pushing to propel your paddleboard through the water. You can vary the intensity of your workout by going into a wavy ocean or drifting along through calm seas.

Another major perk of stand-up padding is that it is low impact. You can get an amazing workout with basically no wear and tear on the tendons and ligaments of your joints. Your risk of injury while stand-up paddling is very low. In fact, it is a great workout to do if you have already been injured and need a low impact way to workout.

BUT just because it is a low impact sport doesn’t mean that it won’t seriously kick your butt! Stand-up paddling packs a serious punch and will give you amazing cardiovascular benefits while burning tons of calories.

It is very easy to start stand-up paddling. All you need to do is find a place to hire supplies. If you are a totally newbie to the world of board sports, you will want to choose a wide, long, thick board. The more substantial your board is, the more stable it will be when you take it out on the open water. When you become more experienced, you can use progressively smaller boards. As far as paddles go, look for a paddle that is approximately six to ten inches taller than you.

Once you have your equipment, you are ready to go! Most equipment hire places will give you a quick tutorial on how to get the right technique going and that’s all you need. Ultimately, it is all about balancing yourself so you can easily learn stand-up paddling on your own with a bit of practice.

Happy paddling!

 

What is TRX? Can It Really Help with My Training?

How would you like to have a workout routine designed by Navy SEALs that is cost effective, versatile, portable, durable and easy to get started with? Let me introduce you to TRX! It is the latest fitness craze that is producing real results.

Forget about silly gimmicks. TRX training is based on the latest scientific research on fitness as well as ideas taken from the military, pro sports and academic institutions. It uses your own body weight and gravity to make your workouts intense. By simply adjusting your body, you can increase or decrease the difficulty level. The best news about this is that you can keep the same gear for ages without outgrowing it as your fitness level advances.

AMANZI Girl Corrie pumping out chin-ups

No more boring chin-ups, mix it up with TRX training! Photo cred: @corriescott1

You can go for high speed workouts or slow, strength-building moves. It is all up to you! That is why so many top level trainers and athletes are obsessed with TRX. You can build strength with every movement while engaging your core the entire time for a full body workout.

The TRX suspension training system will totally transform your workout. Using gravity and your own body weight, you can perform hundreds of different exercise with a single piece of gear! To up your game even further, go for The Rip Trainer. It will add hundreds more exercises to your routine for high speed striking movements or slow speed strength and stability exercises.

I know it sounds too good to be true and it almost is. But, like so many of the best things in life, it will win you over with its simplicity. While it is flawlessly engineered, it is also incredibly easy to use. You can take it with you anywhere and spend years learning new exercises. There are also plenty of gyms around who have the equipment and offer fun group TRX classes or personal training sessions incorporating TRX training. For those of us who get bored with workouts easily, this is a real game changer. So, what are you waiting for?

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

Image and recipe via @thebitingtruth

Resident dietitians Alex and Anna from the Biting Truth taught us how to make delicious hot cross buns, the perfect treat for the Easter long weekend!

Serves 10 | Prep time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 5-6 medijool dates, chopped finely
  • 3 cups wholemeal flour
  • 1 cup wholegrain oats
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs (keep 1 to glaze)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g dark chocolate

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. In a bowl, combine flour, oats, salt, cinnamon, dates and baking powder and stir well.
  3. Add in one egg, honey, vanilla extract, olive oil and 50g of dark chocolate (finely chopped). Stir well to combine.
  4. Slowly add in the milk, to ensure the mix forms a sticky dough texture.
  5. Roll handfuls of the mixture into balls and placed on a baking tray, lined with baking powder
  6. Whisk the second egg in a bowl and using a pastry brush, glaze the top of each bun.
  7. Place in the oven and allow to cook for 10-15 minutes (or until golden).
  8. Melt the remaining chocolate and form crosses on each bun (be careful not to go overboard on the chocolate as it is quite easy to do!).

Check out more delicious and nutritious recipes at www.thebitingtruth.com

How many do you do?

The perfect post training breakfast

Photo credit @recoveryfortiffany

Welcome to the Breakfast Club! Weet-bix are known to be a great breakfast option as they are high in fibre, low in sugar and fat, and a great source of iron and 6 other essential vitamins and minerals. So we asked some of our AMANZI Girls how many weet-bix they do in the mornings after training.

Aussie AMANZI Swimmer, Calypso Sheridan: 3.

New Zealand Open Water Marathon Swimmer, Penny Hayes: 4.

12 year old Aussie AMANZI Diver, Kennedy Cooper: up to 6 after a big training session!

UK Olympic Swimmers , Georgia Davies and Jessica Lloyd: 2 with a banana on top.

 

Wedding bells are in the air!

Big news from our AMANZI Girls this month, two of our AMANZI couples have just gotten engaged!

XTERRA Triathletes Jacqui + Ben

AMANZI Girl Jacqui Slack and Ben Allen are unstoppable in the XTERRA Triathlon racing world and after a successful year of racing, the power couple topped it off with the announcement of their engagement.

Triathlon dream duo Courtney Home and Pete Capps are also engaged after Pete popped the big question just after Christmas.

AMANZI Girl Courtney Home

Congratulations to our happy couples!

Christmas wrapped up with AMANZI

Santa’s little helpers Larah, Calypso and Laura are here to help you decide on the perfect Christmas gift for your loved ones who love the water.

AMANZI Girls Larah, Calypso & Laura

Gifts for the swimming superstar

AMANZI Swimmer Larah stands out on pool deck in her favourite, the AMANZI Tribal Vibe One Piece. Larah keeps it bright and colourful with the AMANZI Dreamscape Swim Cap and the brand new AMANZI Axion Aqua & Purple Goggles.

AMANZI Girl Larah in Tribal Vibe

Gifts for the diving diva

12-year-old AMANZI Girl Kennedy loves the AMANZI A Charmed Life Two Piece, perfect for all our AMANZI Girls enjoying the Christmas holidays at the beach in the Southern Hemisphere.

Gifts for the triathlete

AMANZI Triathlete Laura’s favourite swimsuit is the AMANZI Secret Garden One Piece. The maze of colourful flowers and strong black lines stand out against the white background, making it a beautiful and unique swimsuit. Laura tops it off with the AMANZI Bluebirds Swim Cap and the AMANZI Axion Pink and Purple Goggles.

AMANZI Girl Laura

Stocking stuffers

With ten new swim caps and two brand new styles of goggles, these are the perfect little something to fill Santa stockings.

Find your nearest stockist to get the perfect gift this Christmas.

Squad Goals

Photo Credit @24_portrait

Photo Credit @24_portrait

Win matching AMANZI Swim Caps for you and your team mates! Simply head on over to our Instagram page @amanziswim and:
1.    Mention your name and your club members in the comments section.
2.    Tell us what club you belong to!
Winners will be drawn daily from 7th October to the 10th October and announced via our daily Instagram post.
Winners will receive a set of AMANZI Swim Caps for each member in their squad or club*.

Good luck AMANZI Girls! xx

*A maximum of 20 swim caps will be issued per winner