Skill Aquisition, Deliberate Practise #SwimTechTues

Skill Aquisition, Deliberate Practise #SwimTechTues

Deliberate practise is a conscious focus, awareness, and adjustment of your movements with the goal of perfecting the movement. It is a continuous cycle of evaluation, modification, adjustments, reflecting, evaluating and making further refinements.

Once you have mastered one flaw, you move on to the next. Sounds like what we do with our swim stroke right?

Deliberate Practise

Deliberate Practise in Swimming

Obviously, we need deliberate practice.

We need to analyze our swimming with coaches or using video to see what our body is doing in the water; there needs to be conscious of our balance in the water, rotation, and high elbow; we need to control our effort and paces. Especially for beginners, your stroke needs constant analysis and refinement. As you swim, you need to think about your stroke and hold it in the forefront of your mind.

Deliberate practice though can be exhausting and overwhelming, so we also need flow in our swimming–where we just let go of everything analytical and just be with our stroke.

deliberate practise

Being able to flow with your stroke is where it becomes more natural

From Deliberate Practise to Flow

Sometimes you just need to “swim”, and forget about all the little bits and pieces that you’ve been thinking about to correct your stroke. This is where I like to get athletes doing 50s, 100s or other distance reps, starting with a drill and then finishing on full stroke. On the full stroke, I don’t actually want you to think too much. The idea is that hopefully, the drill exaggerates a part of your stroke enough that the technique resides in the subconscious part of your brain for you to feel it when you swim on the following length.

Try this – for thinking about rotation in your stroke from the hips – do 25 metres kick as rotator kick then do 75 normal easy full stroke, and just swim without concentrating on anything. For thinking about getting hold of the water and a good solid engagement/catch, you could do half a length scull, 1 and a half lengths swim. In each case, the drill gives you your deliberate practise. You focus on one element of your swim. In then doing the full stroke you can aim for that easy flow and relax into your technique.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch; either by email, facebook or leave a comment on here! Remember, you can always get your swimming reviewed in the endless pool with our video swim analysis packages.

See what’s up next week for our #SwimTechTues tip!

 

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Textbook Technique And Why It Doesn’t Exist #SwimTechTues

Textbook Technique And Why It Doesn’t Exist #SwimTechTues

It’s not lost on me that the title of this post will raise some eyebrows. The title shouldn’t be taken too literally; I do feel there are ideal approaches, methodologies, and “rules” to consider when coaching any part of your swim stroke

I do believe there are some universal tenets to coaching body postion, good kick or a powerful pull that will not only allow a client or athlete to enjoy all its benefits but to do so in a fashion that won’t increase their likelihood of injury.

I’m interested in making people fast and strong, but I’m also interested in the long-game. It wouldn’t bode well for business (or my reputation) if all of my client’s swim strokes looked like this:

aid160540-728px-swim-a-50-yard-freestyle-step-6

 

To that end, with regards to universal tenets for freestyle – and swimming as a whole:

Get the body high in the water – preferably with a straight back

Keep the legs long and hidden behind the body

If you’re following these three golden rules, you’re doing a better job than most. It’s sad but true.

However, golden rules aside, there are many intricate, more nuanced things to consider person to person. One’s comfort and happiness in the water comes to mind. We can’t hold someone who’s scared of the water to the same standard as someone who’s been a competitive swimmer for 17 years.

Likewise, someone with a vast and delicate history of shoulder or back issues is not going to take the same path as someone with a “clean” health history. And, of course, other factors come into play such as goal(s), movement quality, and anatomical/structural differences between individuals.

There are many, many fantastic resources out there that help to break down anatomy, assessment, biomechanics, joint positions, and what’s considered ideal swim technique. I have my biases as to what I feel is correct – as does everyone – but it’s important to take every resource with a grain of salt, because…

Textbook technique only exists in a textbook

Textbook technique, in the real world, is every bit as much of a myth as barefoot running being the answer to all your running problems, or buying a £10,000 bike being the reason you WILL ride like a pro cyclist.

What we read or deem as “ideal” on paper, while often a great starting point for many people, doesn’t always translate to real-life. As coaches, it’s important to understand this. Anytime we corner ourselves into one-train of thought or that any one thing applies to everybody, we’re doing the industry – and our athletes – a disservice.

A Real-Life Example

A few months ago I started working with a guy who had real shoulder issues and swimming was aggravating them. He was frustrated because no matter what he did (or who he worked with), his shoulders got sore.

When people are starting a session, I like to be a fly on the wall. I want to see what their default movement patterns are. I let the athlete do a 100m warm up at his own pace, and while his stroke wasn’t the worst that I had seen, I could see why his shoulders were bothering him.

We established that his range of movement and flexibility around the shoulders wasn’t great – and yet he was trying to keep his elbows super high while reaching so far that his elbows and shoulders were collapsing into the water. Added to this the athlete was rolling all the way around onto his side to try and get air in, breathing every third stroke.

2 of the things this gentleman was doing are things that many people will read/hear and try to emulate; the long stretched out stroke and the high elbow recovery. Bilateral breathing also requires more oxygen/relaxation than many athletes can maintain.

However non of those things ABSOLUTELY HAS TO HAPPEN. Just because Michael Phelps or Ian Thorpe have high recovering elbows and long loping strokes, doesn’t mean that you should. Instead, work within the bounds of what you as an athlete – or the athlete in front of you can do.

With the athlete above, I got him to engage his core. This helped keep his whole body high in the water requiring less rotation to try and breath. I had him take straight arm recoveries meaning that his arms were far more relaxed. Equally, it helped to stop overreaching meaning that he maintained control and forward momentum, without stressing his shoulders.

Takeaway

I hope people can appreciate the narrow-mindedness of this type of thinking. To expect everyone to fit into the same scheme or way of doing things because that’s what YOU prefer to do (or because a textbook told you to do so) is about as narrow-minded as it comes.

No one has to breathe bilaterally.

Likewise…

No one has to swim with a high elbow recovery.

No one has to kick 2 beat kick even though they are a triathlete.

And no one has to start watching Planet Earth on BBC. Except, yes you do.

I’d argue a “good” coach understands and respects that everyone is different and that he or she will be humble enough to put their own personal biases in their back pocket and appreciate there is no ONE way to perform any stroke or part of the stroke. Cater the style to the athlete, and not vice versa.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch; either by email, facebook or leave a comment on here! Remember, you can always get your swimming reviewed in the endless pool with our video swim analysis packages.

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We Don’t Want To Glide #SwimTechTues

We Don’t Want To Glide #SwimTechTues

Glide is a word that is synonymous with swimming, especially swimming effortlessly. Athletes always say that they want to glide through the water, talking about making their swimming easier. But actually gliding might not be such good thing when you want to swim faster and stronger.

Glide freestyle

What Does The Word Glide Mean?

The word glide means to move smoothly and continuously along, as if without effort or resistance. The problem with swimming is that you are always going to have resistance (even if you reduce it as far as humanly possible), so the moment you stop providing propulsion – or more likely have stops or pauses in you stroke – then you will be slowing down.

If your body slows down as you move through the water (rather than maintaining steady momentum) you have two issues; firstly your body will sink in the water slightly – adding resistance and also making it more difficult to breath. Secondly, if you are slowing down it takes more effort, power and control to generate the extra speed. This tends to cause issues like dropping your elbows, or grabbing at the water

Instead, you should focus on keeping your hands and arms moving at all times. That doesn’t mean that they need to be moving fast, but constant motion (with a good hold on the water) should lead to constant movement in your swimming. I like to think of a freestyle (or backstroke or butterfly too) pull as similar to that of a cam mechanism – the wheel is always turning, but the movement of the mechanism comes at different speeds depending on the part of the cycle.

If your hold on the water is good, then think about placing your hand in the water “softly”, displacing and splashing as little water as possible. From here you can engage automatically with the water, get your elbow high and wide and then accelerate the water back toward your hips. The smoother you go through this action, the less hard you have to work and the better propulsion you get.

Takeaway

To feel like you’re gliding through the water is good. But unless you are swimming breaststroke then you don’t really want to glide while swimming each individual stroke. Think about constant movement, even if your hands move a little slower around the entry point of your stroke.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch; either by email, facebook or leave a comment on here! Remember, you can always get your swimming reviewed in the endless pool with our video swim analysis packages.

See what’s up next week for our #SwimTechTues tip!

Posture – It’s Not Just For Running #RunFormFriday

Posture – It’s Not Just For Running #RunFormFriday

The main thing I look to assist with when I look at athletes running styles is their posture while running. Good posture will help keep you injury free (apart from over training…!). It will also provide you with more power.

 

However running is only a small part of your week. On the assumption that you might run 3 times a week, and that your runs take a total of around 2-3 hours, that still leaves you with 165 hours in the week. 165 hours where your posture might not be quite so strong!

Good posture stems from not just having a strong core – the muscles from your torso and glutes, front and back of your body – but actually using it as well. One of the things many of us do when we relax and aren’t thinking so much is we have our pelvis in “anterior tilt”. This means that the top of your pelvis/hip structure is tilted forward. If you imagine your pelvis like a bowl of water it might help you visualise this.

 

pelvic tilt bowl of water

To level off that bowl of water that is your pelvis, while standing squeeze your glutes slightly. At the same time draw your belly button toward your spine. You might feel your spine lengthen when you do this!

Good posture standing

If you find feeling this difficult you can try standing against a wall or even lying flat on your back. Either way, the aim is to eliminate space between your lower (lumbar) spine and the surface.

Once you can feel that “core” engage, try walking with it. The main key here is to keep that belly button drawn in slightly. Every now and again just let everything switch off and see how different that feels.

Good posture walking

You can take all of this in to your running as well, and by keeping your pelvis tilted correctly under your spine you should stay more stable as well as limiting chances of injury.

Because we as humans spend a lot of time sitting, it’s worth occasionally thinking about good posture while sat at a desk too

Good posture sitting

Of course no-one is going to remember to keep good posture all of the time. And things like heels on shoes – even small heel raise – can affect how you stand. But a couple of seconds thought a few times a day can have a big impact on your body. It can also influence your well being and even your confidence.

Send us a message or leave a comment and let us know if you have any questions! We all have our own thoughts on the matter, and we all have something different that suits us.

See what’s up next week for our #RunFormFriday tip! For more in depth understanding on how to put this into practise, get in touch and we’ll see how we can help!

Should You Learn Bilateral Breathing? #SwimTechTues

Should You Learn Bilateral Breathing? #SwimTechTues

Have you been told or read that you should learn bilateral breathing? Do you know what bilateral breathing is?!

What Is Bilateral Breathing?

Bilateral breathing is breathing to both sides. It normally equates to breathing on an odd number of strokes – 3, 5, 7 etc. It CAN be really useful in keeping your stroke even and help you maintain a straight line as you swim. Additionally the swimmers who tend to get shoulder/neck injuries and problems tend to be the swimmers who only breath to one side – a feature of poorer posture and reliance on one side doing the majority of the work.

However I’d argue that breathing bilaterally is not a necessity and could potentially hold athletes back in the water. Especially with (but not confined to) new swimmers, there are so many things to try and focus on that breath control becomes really difficult, and trying to hold on to breathing every third stroke results in very quick fatigue.

In most sports, we don’t have to work very hard to get oxygen. But in swimming, specifically in freestyle , we have to turn our head to get air.

Maintaining good posture and a straight spine will keep your stroke as smooth as possible while breathing.

Cycling or running at maximal exertion requires between 50 and 60 breaths per minute. If you are swimming anywhere from 400 metres to 2.4 miles, chances are your stroke rate is 50 to 60 strokes per minute. If you are an alternate breather, breathing every third stroke (1:3 ratio), your respiratory rate is only 20 breaths per minute. A swimmer taking 60 strokes per minute and breathing to one side on every stroke cycle (1:2 ratio) takes only 30 breaths per minute, far below the body’s chosen rate.

So it’s not surprising that maintaining bilateral breathing can potentially be a challenge!

When coaching I prefer to focus on making sure that the swimmer in front of me has a balanced stroke – that both the left side and right side are doing the same thing, that the core and spine are staying straight and not bending round to one side or another. From there you can ensure that general breathing technique is good. The next step is to make sure that when breathing, you don’t let your hand cross under your body. My favourite drill is to swim with out breathing, and slowly reduce the number of strokes between breaths. Try to maintain the smoothness as you add in more breaths per length!

Obviously it is a great asset to be able to breath to both sides; specially in open water where waves, wind or bright sunshine could make breathing one way more difficult.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch; either by email, facebook or leave a comment on here! Remember, you can always get your swimming reviewed in the endless pool with our video swim analysis packages.

See what’s up next week for our #SwimTechTues tip!

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Get Over The Fear Of The Tumble Turn #SwimTechTues

Get Over The Fear Of The Tumble Turn #SwimTechTues

Have you watched people effortlessly swimming up and down, and gracefully flipping over at the wall, bouncing off and swimming the opposite direction? Have you ever wondered how people do it? Or do you watch in fear of trying something like that?! Here’s how you can get over the fear of the tumble turn!

First and foremost, doing tumble turns aren’t a necessity; they aren’t even important. They can be useful though, if you do them well. A well executed tumble turn, as well as looking cool, slick and fast can give you power and speed off the wall as well as saving you lots of time. That said, a poor tumble turn could be slower than what you do now, so practice is required!

Learning to flip turn

1. Practice doing somersaults in the water. Do them from standing to help give you the power and propulsion to get over. Don’t forget to tuck up tight! The tighter you tuck up, the quicker you will spin over.

  • If you find water goes up your nose, blow out hard. If air is coming out, water can’t go in!
  • Not going over straight? Push off both feet, and tuck both your knees tight against your chest.

2. Swim a couple of strokes and somersault. Try swimming a length and do a tumble every 5-6 strokes. The key with this is to make sure your last pull is strong, then drive your head and shoulders down and tuck your knees into your chest.

  • Don’t worry if you get a little disoriented the first couple of times! As you get more used to the skill, you’ll get more comfortable and be able to carry on.

Tumble turns

Think fast entry

3. Swim a length (with or without somersaults) and as you head over the T at the end of the length, do a somersault so you can finish with your feet flat against the wall – hopefully level with your head!

  • Ideally you want to be less than a metre from the wall, but this will come with practice and experience as to what works for you. Use the T as your guide, and adjust once you get a feel.
  • Maintain some speed into the wall. It’s counter intuitive, but if you slow down it makes it harder to tumble, there is less momentum. That speed and momentum gets carried round in the circle for you to push off – whereas if you slow down, you actually travel closer to the wall. It’s another example of speed being your friend!

Tumble turns

Tuck

 

4. Swim a length front crawl and somersault into the wall as above. Then push off on your back. Simple!

  • If you find yourself pushing down toward the bottom of the pool think about staying tucked up for a fraction longer. It’ll make waiting a lot shorter!

Tumble turns

Plant your feet against the wall

 

5. Once you have mastered the skill of planting your feet on the wall and pushing off level – and not downwards – you can take on the last part, getting onto your front. There are two ways to do this. My favoured way is to plant your feet pointing upwards, but with one foot slightly above the other. This means that when you push off you will roll on to your side – and be ready to take that first stroke on your front. Alternatively you can plant both feet together then twist both together by about 45 degrees.

  • If you find your feet slipping off the wall, focus on planting your feet first before trying to twist them.

Tumble turns

And push off!

 

 

Take your time with learning this – as with any skill. The point is that drills are there to make you smoother, stronger, more efficient. Make sure you hit all those target points!

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch; either by email, facebook or leave a comment on here!

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Biggest Tip To Improve Your Swim – Enjoy Swimming! #SwimTechTues

Biggest Tip To Improve Your Swim – Enjoy Swimming! #SwimTechTues

The biggest barrier to people improving their swim is the fact that many don’t enjoy it! If you don’t enjoy swimming, it doesn’t matter how often you get in the pool, or show up to training – or even have lessons – it’s going to make improvements very difficult to come by. Put simply, if you can enjoy swimming regardless of your ability, be comfortable in the water and maybe even look forward to sessions (OK that might be pushing it a little!), it will make life far easier to swim faster/stronger/more efficiently.

 

Enjoy Swimming

I’d say its fairly obvious that it’s not just as simple as deciding to enjoy swimming. But that said, there are things you can do to make your time in the water more enjoyable.

Firstly you need to understand why you don’t enjoy swimming. For some, they don’t feel comfortable in the water, they don’t feel relaxed. Others don’t find it easy to breath. The majority don’t enjoy swimming because they find it boring to do.

Then you need to work out a way round your roadblock to enjoying swimming. If you find swimming boring, that’s probably the easiest to sort! You can do any number of things with your swim sessions, but what it comes down to is creating some variation in your swim sessions and then not just ploughing up and down the pool aimlessly. Variation you can bring by changing the pace, adding in drills. You might even try swimming a different stroke. All of the above will not only alleviate boredom, but they will improve your swimming too. It’s a no brainer really!

For those swimmers that find it difficult to relax in the water, focus on good posture and being able to float well. Try and do some floating exercises, learning to allow the water to support your body.

Simply being able to relax in the water can help you float – then you can work on the technical bits!

 

What ever you do, your swim sessions should be enjoyable – that’s why we do sport after all!

 

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch; either by email, facebook or leave a comment on here! Remember, you can always get your swimming reviewed in the endless pool with our video swim analysis packages.

See what’s up next week for our #SwimTechTues tip!

 

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Strength Exercises For Swimming #SwimTechTues

Strength Exercises For Swimming #SwimTechTues

Strength Exercises For Swimming

I often get asked about what strength exercises for swimming – either to avoid injury or to get faster and stronger. Strength training of any sort can be incredibly useful – but it is only a tool. You can do all the strength work in the world, but if you don’t then adapt your technique to make the most of it, then there is no benefit at all. That’s why all the articles you read about gaining good core strength are good – but only if you then focus on strong posture and balance.

There are many many exercises that you can do, so I’ve listed a couple here (with videos) that are my personal favourites and recommendations. The first section is gym based exercises, the second part is if you don’t have access to a gym, or want to be able to do some movements when and wherever you want.

Obviously these are just a guide to some exercises that you can do, form is important to minimise the risk of injury, and ask for guidance around weight that is right for you as well as number of reps or sets.

 

Gym Strength Exercises For Swimming

If you are doing gym work, two absolute staples as far as I am concerned are deadlifts and squats. Both teach you to brace your core properly and maintain great posture. Both are about much more than just using your legs (although this will help triathletes with their bike and run!) as if you are lifting relatively heavier weight you will be using your lats as well, so they are great all round exercises. Done with both legs at the same time you can build serious strength and power. Done with single leg variations you can improve balance, stability and control.

(Note, this is a sumo deadlift, there is less stress on the lower back. A standard deadlift would work just as well, feet under the hips with arms just outside the legs)

Another alternative to deadlifts are romanian or straight leg deadlifts – this takes the quads out of the equation and focuses purely on the posterior chain (ie hamstrings, glutes and lats) https://fitnesscrest.com/romanian-deadlift-vs-deadlift/

Pull ups are a good way of really working your upper body – especially your lats. Try and use an overhand grip (palms facing away from you), or a neutral grip (palms facing toward each other) to get the best benefit for swim strength. Not everyone has the strength to do a pull up, so a nice starting point is a hollow body hang; engage your core, pull your shoulders down and back, and just maintain a good solid hold for 10-15s to start with. If that is easy, you can try jumping up to get your chin above the bar and slowly lowering yourself down.

For good core strength and maintaining good body alignment, you could do a Pallof press. But I prefer this option as it gives you a longer extension through the body and makes it more relevant to swimming.

The final gym exercise that I am a fan of is a suitcase carry. Really simple this one: pick up a weight in one hand. Stand up straight, weight hanging by your side. Walk around for a minute. Swap hands and repeat – do two or 3 on either side. The benefit of doing this is twofold: Firstly it forces you to keep your spine and core straight and strong. Secondly it strengthens your forearm muscles which will help for sculling and keeping a strong hold on the water. The added bonus is you’ll never have to make more than one trip from the car with your shopping!

Non Gym Strength Exercises For Swimming

These two you can do with weight, with a stretch cord/thera band, or even without weight to groove the movement and create stability. The shoulders have a lot of small individual muscles controlling them, so ensuring that they are stable is important.

You can’t go too far wrong with a simple press up or plank – BUT MAKE SURE YOUR BACK/NECK IS STRAIGHT! There is no core benefit from doing a plank if your back/ass is sagging down. You should be able to balance a glass of water on your shoulder blades – if only for 10-15s! With a press up, keep your elbows in reasonably tight so you can use your lats as well as your shoulders and chest.

A really nice exercise for core and shoulder mobility is the bear crawl – doesn’t require much space, and you can do with young children to keep them interested in what you are doing too!

Similar to the hollow body hang above, as well as the squats and deadlifts, the hollow body hold teaches you to maintain a strong rigid core and to keep your back flat. Because its at full extension, it’s a great swimming specific exercise.

Maybe try adding one or two of these into your weekly routine. Remember, don’t try and go heavy straight away, or for too many reps! We want to create strength and stability, not soreness or injury!

 

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch; either by email, facebook or leave a comment on here! Remember, you can always get your swimming reviewed in the endless pool with our video swim analysis packages.

See what’s up next week for our #SwimTechTues tip!

Rock & Roll Swimming – What Is Rotation #SwimTechTues

Rock & Roll Swimming – What Is Rotation #SwimTechTues

Rotation is one of the really important parts of swimming – and also quite misunderstood! Rotating the body (rather than swimming flat on your front) has 4 useful benefits:

1) Increased reach (forward and backwards)

2) Reduced frontal profile (so less resistance)

3) Better ability to get the bigger muscles of your back involved (so more power)

4) Most importantly for many – easier to breath!

There are two ways of controlling body rotation – either from your hips or from your shoulders. The problem if you only use your shoulders is that because they are relatively small muscles, and they are controlling what your arms are doing too, it’s very easy for them to tire very quickly. By off loading some of that stress – the control and balance of your stroke – to our core muscles, you can maintain a smoother and stronger stroke for longer

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Two of my favourite drills to develop balance and stability are kick based (every triathletes’ favourite) and a really good way of dialling in good posture and body position as well.

The first is side kick – focusing on maintaining good core tension (ie belly button toward your spine, good head position and a straight line from your hip to shoulder to the hand out in front).

The second is rotator kick – aiming to drive all the rotation from your hips, and keeping hips and shoulders in line at all times.

Both of these drills (like most drills) over exaggerate the motion that is needed when you actually swim. The ideal position in the drills is to get to 90 degrees to the water surface, when actually you only want to rotate somewhere around 30-45 degrees. By over exaggerating the motion in your drills, only going part of the way in full stroke should feel easy.

As a result, when I coach, I prefer to use the term ROCK rather than rotate when you swim. When you swim your hips should move the same as when you might skate, kayak or play a golf shot. If you can maintain good body/core tension and just gently rock from the hips, it should allow you the extra reach and easier breathing without causing the body to snake around from side to side.

Have a go and let us know what you think. Try it with a snorkel or doing half a length without breathing. Feel for a rhythm coming from your hips. Aim for that single axis running down the middle of your body.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch; either by email, facebook or leave a comment on here! Remember, you can always get your swimming reviewed in the endless pool with our video swim analysis packages.

See what’s up next week for our #SwimTechTues tip!

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Feel the POWER – double arm pulls, the biondi drill #SwimTechTues

Feel the POWER – double arm pulls, the biondi drill #SwimTechTues

One of the biggest issues I find for athletes (swimmers or triathletes) is being able to put power down in the water, and to connect up what they do from sculling drills into “real” swimming.

The Biondi drill is a fun but practical way of concentrating on getting a real hold on the water – anchoring your forearms on the water and pressing it back past your hips.

 

If you watch the video above, you might notice a similarity to butterfly- and you would be 100% correct. This drill is exactly the same as the underwater/power phase of a butterfly stroke. Which is exactly the same as both frontcrawl arms pulling at the same time.

How to do it:

  1. Lie flat on the water, arms out in front. You can do it from a push, or kick your legs up gently behind you.

2. Push the elbows out to the side, push your hands down toward the bottom of the pool so your forearms are     vertical.

3. Squeeze your arms back past your hips until your arms are fully extended.

4. Glide, then lift your head forward to take a breath.

5. Put your hands back in front, head back down and repeat.

 

How to do it well, the finer points:

  1. Try not to grab at the water, being a fraction slower and smoother bending your elbows will mean that you can feel pressure against your forearms and hands.

2. Squeeze everything back using your lats, get used to using these so that when you swim your full stroke you can feel the power there!

3. Keep your head still until your pull has finished – otherwise you’ll end up with a face full of water!

One of my favourite ways to do this drill is to get athletes to do it for 3 different lengths. On the first length, get used to the motion, the action and to feel the power. On the second length, do exactly the same but with maximum power, really accelerate your hands backwards, drive yourself forward as hard as possible each push. And finally follow the same technique, but with minimal power – what I would refer to as ghost pressure. Between the 3 lengths, what you should (hopefully!) feel is that it takes you roughly the same number of strokes to finish each length. But the difference should be the speed that you travel at…

Not only does this drill give you the opportunity to get used to really anchoring on the water and feeling power. It also makes sure that you understand how to go faster through the water, so that when you try and put more effort in you do it in the right way; without spinning your arms round and round but by putting more power down under the water.

 

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch; either by email, facebook or leave a comment on here! Remember, you can always get your swimming reviewed in  the endless pool with our video swim analysis packages.

See what’s up next week for our #SwimTechTues tip!