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How to shave like an Olympic swimmer

Tuesday - 7/31/2012, 6:38am  ET

AP: 3c68af17-eae1-491a-ad48-55a83f6e3802
Britain's Andrew Willis prepares for a men's 200-meter breaststroke swimming heat at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Tuesday, July 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Neal Augenstein, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Strength, stamina, concentration and determination are all requirements for male Olympic swimmers.

So is a close shave.

It's hard not to notice how closely and completely male swimmers and divers shave their bodies. And nobody cuts himself.

How do they do it?

Start with an electric razor. If you attack a hairy leg with a razor blade, you'll have to unclog the blade and change it often.

For legs, use lots of warm water and lots of shaving cream, and shave in a warm location because shaving over goose bumps will result in red bumps all over your legs.

For calves, start after shaving from ankle up, flex your foot to tighten your calf muscle, which makes the skin smoother and easier to shave.

Shave even where the bathing suit covers, since hairs can poke through the bathing suit and increase drag.

For your chest, iSport Swimming suggests you lie down to stretch your skin.

Go slow in the non-flat areas, like ankles and knees.

There are some areas you don't want to shave, including the underside of your forearm, your feet and toes. The experts say you want hair there to help grip and feel the water.

Be prepared. Have several razor blades on hand and change them often. Keep some old towels nearby for the inevitable slip-ups.

Ironically, despite all effort and discomfort, experts aren't sure shaving actually makes you more aerodynamic.

It could be all in your (smoothly shaven) head.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)