All Stories

Why Do Swimmers Shave Their Armpits

Some of the most manly men in our society shave their armpits for different reasons.

Why do swimmers shave their armpits. Thats what happens in the armpits when the apocrine glands release their milky substance. Many professional athletes shave off almost all their body hair olympic swimmers body builders some runners etc and do so for different reasons. A study conducted by the american college of sports medicine compared freshly shaven swimmers with a control group in the pool. Some of the reasons are hygienic.

However a popular myth that needs to be dispelled is that swimmers shave to rid their body of excess hairs. The arms cover a large surface area of the body and are therefore an important area to shave as it will help to lower drag and increase the swimmers feel for the water. Its odorless until it conspires with bacteria to produce the dreaded bo. The practice of shaving became popular back in the 1950s when two male swimmers showed up for the olympics after shaving their bodies not just their armpits.

Studies show that removal of body hair has a direct impact on performance a substantial one at that. This is only partially true. Sweat mingles with bacteria on your skin to cause odor. While removal of hairs is definitely helpful in making ones body more aerodynamic in the water the real purpose of shaving is to remove the thin layer of dead skin cells that coat the outer layer of the epidermis.

One of the benefits of shaving your armpits is that you rid it of hair that provides a base for your apocrine glands. Some female swimmers might trim down that area as womens swim suits are cut differently than mens and they might want to avoid a few embarrassing hairs sticking out but this is by no means a. They shaved because they believed it reduced drag. There actually is good reason for it.

Swimmers shave their entire bodies including their arms legs torso chest and back. Since then many studies have been conducted including one by nasa.