How to Do the Blossom in Synchronized Swimming
The blossom is a figure designed for synchronized swimmers competing in the novice category. Although the degree of difficulty is low, some of the skills and positions you gain through learning the blossom will be useful to you for the length of your synchro career. And with a name like blossom, you know it's going to be pretty once you get it down! The following is a step-by-step guide to the blossom.
Back Layout to Submerged Doubles
- Start in a back layout with your hands over your head. Use torpedo scull with your palms facing the surface so you won't travel.
- Quickly and smoothly bring your legs up towards the sky into a double ballet leg position. Let your body sink.
- Use your hands to help press yourself down, so you finish with only your ankles and feet out of the water. This is the submerged doubles position.
- Check to make sure that your body and legs are making a perfect L-shape.
- Hold yourself still by sculling with one hand over your head in torpedo scull, and one hand by your hip in standard scull.
Submerged Doubles to Splits
- Begin to split your feet, one coming forward and one moving back. If you want to end in right splits, bring your right leg forward. If you want to end in left splits, you should have your left leg forward.
- At the same time, start lifting your hips with a pelvic tilt towards the surface. This will start your body on the path to lining up under your hips.
- Keep your kneecaps facing forward as long as possible, until you reach the maximum of your flexibility. Then you can roll out to get flatter splits.
- Switch to reverse standard scull when your legs are one third opened to the splits.
- Continue to unroll your body underneath your hips.
- Flip your hands into support scull when your legs are two-thirds of the way to the splits.
- Finish in a split position with your head and shoulders in vertical alignment with your hips. Show off here! All that stretching shouldn't be for nothing!
As you open into the splits, keep reaching for opposite walls with your front and back legs. Stretch from front to back — opposed to trying to pull your legs down — especially when you are arriving in the split position.
Join & Descend
- Slowly decrease the strength of your support sculling so you begin to gradually sink.
- As you sink, start closing your legs. Roll in your back leg to get your left kneecap facing forward again as soon as possible.
- Depending on how much you float naturally, you might have to turn your hands over and scull yourself down or use barrel scull over your head.
- Your feet should meet at the exact same time you stop sinking. Only your feet and ankles should be out of the water.
- Pause at this point.
- Finally, slowly pull your feet all the way under.
It can be tempting to pike or crunch up your body at the end to get your feet under. Descend with the top of your head aiming straight down to the bottom until your toes are six inches under water. Then, finish it off with a back tuck.
Let Your Skills Bloom
Perfecting your blossom will lead you down the right path for developing skills for many other figures and even routine skills. Flat splits are essential for figures and routines at the very highest levels of competition. The submerged doubles position will help you learn to hold proper body positions when you're near completely underwater. Further, practicing all the sculling techniques will apply to just about everything else you will do in synchronized swimming! It's only a matter of time (and some hard work) until you blossom into an even stronger synchronized swimmer.