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View Full Version : Phelps ready to try out new freestyle technique



Dario Tirado
April 22nd, 2009, 05:01 PM
As quoted in the AP article (http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/swimming/news/story?id=4089582):

"You'll all have to see. I'm not saying anything until we unveil it," Phelps said with a grin when asked how he's tweaked the stroke. "It's a significant change. You'll be able to tell exactly what I did as soon as I take my first stroke."

He's on tap to swim the 100- and 200-meter free and the 100 butterfly at the Charlotte UltraSwim in NC. Should be interesting to see.

tomtopo
April 22nd, 2009, 05:28 PM
Every swimmer should be tweaking or trying to improve their stroke. I'm glad Phelps doesn't think that hard work alone is going to make him swim faster.

The girls swim team has a new coach who acts like she knows everything. Her name is Claire Buoyant.

Pun from Mark - Hebo, Oregon

Couroboros
April 22nd, 2009, 05:43 PM
Something besides loping, even?! Jeez louise!

Yeah, can't wait to see it.

SLOmmafan
April 22nd, 2009, 05:49 PM
Sounds like he will be pushing the shorter distance events for the World Championships this year. It will be interesting to see how he lives up to the extra-high expectation levels fans will have when they tune in to the meet in Rome! I especially look forward to seeing what he can do focusing on the 100 m free!

Couroboros
April 22nd, 2009, 05:55 PM
Phelps hasn't done very much really short distance stuff, has he? It always seems like he's in 200 or 400 stuff (of course, there's the 50 or 100 in the relays he does). And the 100 fly he likes. I guess he wants to dominate a completely new area of the sport. It'll be fun watching him. :)

Daaaave
April 22nd, 2009, 05:59 PM
What else could it be besides straight-arm / windmill recovery? I can't think of anything technique-wise that we'd notice on the first stroke, as he says...unless it's something totally new that no one's seen before...which would be so awesome.

Presuming he'll still use his "normal" technique for a 200, can anyone think of an elite swimmer that employed fundamentally different techniques in the same stroke depending on the nature or distance of the race? Does this happen a lot and I'm just naive?

I'm not talking about different breathing patterns or stroke rates or anything similarly subtle -- but something legitimately different that looks like two different swimmers.

I've seen the Race Club's "Three Styles of Freestyle," but those styles don't seem as drastically different as a possible Phelps lope vs. windmill. (maybe I was just caught up in the trippy cinematography).

ehoch
April 22nd, 2009, 06:00 PM
Well - he seems to believe it's very obvious --- so I am guessing straight arm recovery + instant catch on entry.

quicksilver
April 22nd, 2009, 06:23 PM
Here's a guess...the new stroke (http://www.cybertex.us/res/Landscape/windmill.jpg) is...

knelson
April 22nd, 2009, 06:57 PM
I'm going to go out on a limb and say it won't be a straight-arm recover. I'm thinking more of a rotary stroke without the lope and long glide he has now.

KEWebb18
April 22nd, 2009, 08:07 PM
One question-how long does it take to make an obvious change in the stroke that it is effective and doesn't slow the swimmer down? I guess it would be longer for us mere mortals compared to Phelps. Just curious to know how long it takes.

hofffam
April 22nd, 2009, 08:52 PM
I wish I could find the article - but I read that in general it can between 7,000-14,000 repetitions of a technique change before it becomes the new "normal." The article cited the experience of tennis players who change some element of their strokes.

If you take 15 strokes per 25 - that means 467 lengths of the same thing or almost 12,000 yards if 7,000 repetitions are required.

That's why it is so hard sometimes to fix a bad stroke habit!

rtodd
April 22nd, 2009, 09:08 PM
Let's see, Phelps popped off the 4x100 relay in 47.51 in Beijing shortly after swimming a 200 free prelim. World record is 47.05.

He could break it in his sleep without changing a thing. Playing with his stroke will just affect how much he breaks it by.

tjrpatt
April 22nd, 2009, 10:16 PM
The press is going to be all over that meet. Some network really needs to run this meet live. NBC, here is a way to get some ratings. I am sure that this will get bigger 18-49 numbers than Hereos or all the Law and Orders.

I think that Phelps is having fun now with his swimming. He doesn't have to do anything anymore because he has proven that he is the greatest swimmer of all time. Now, he can experiment with new techniques and focus on new events like the sprints. If he doesn't dominate, the mainstream sports press will call him a failure. If he dominates, good for Phelps.

Maui Mike
April 22nd, 2009, 11:30 PM
Maybe he's going to swim stoned?

(Down boys! --- just kidding):angel:

qbrain
April 23rd, 2009, 09:05 AM
Windmill lope with dolphin kick would be pretty obvious from the first stroke.

hofffam
April 23rd, 2009, 10:28 AM
Whatever it is - I'm looking forward to it. I'd love to see Phelps take the 100 free and 100 fly WR at Worlds.

quicksilver
April 23rd, 2009, 10:59 AM
Windmill lope with dolphin kick would be pretty obvious from the first stroke.

Either way...it'll be interesting to see what happens. Both stroke wise and time wise.

There's a video of Stefan Nystrand training. He gets his own lane. That's probably a good idea.



"Okay kids, Put your paddles on. Let's all try to swim like Mikey does" :afraid:

ande
April 23rd, 2009, 11:02 AM
What ever Phelps technique change is, you can be sure Bob Bowman is the architect of it. My guess is Bob studied Eamon & Alain's technique (the only 2 swimmers who swam faster in the 100 free than Phelps.) Bowman asked "What can Michael do to swim faster?"
He came up with some ideas, they've tested it in workouts, decided it's a good thing, worked to make it a habit and now Phelps is going to test it in a race.

Probably straight arm recovery
Maybe dolphin kick instead of flutter while swimming freestyle.

On a different note, since Phelps is no longer swimming the 400 IM. Bowman's probably determined Phelps needs to be stronger to swim faster 100's.

Especially since Rafael Munoz Perez proved at the French Long Course National Championships (http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/20949.asp?q=French%20Long%20Course%20National%20Ch ampionships:%20Rafael%20Munoz%20Perez%20Threatens% 20World%20Record%20Twice) that his 50 Mariposa speed wasn't a fluke.

mctrusty
April 23rd, 2009, 11:28 AM
Maybe dolphin kick instead of flutter while swimming freestyle.


My first thought was a dolphin/free hybrid. Whatever it is, I'm sure you're right about Bowman being the architect.



One question-how long does it take to make an obvious change in the stroke that it is effective and doesn't slow the swimmer down? I guess it would be longer for us mere mortals compared to Phelps. Just curious to know how long it takes.


I think Phelps also has the benefit of access to moving underwater cameras and pretty sophisticated stroke power/velocity monitoring software to let him know that he's on the right track to a faster stroke. I don't believe that Phelps could necessarily make such a change faster than a lot of swimmers who seriously and consistently work on stroke correction. I do believe he has more ways to measure that correction than are available to the non-professional to ensure him that he's on the right track.

ande
April 23rd, 2009, 12:10 PM
he'll do the change just by concentrating on it during the race

not sure how long it takes to get technique mods to stick

some swimmers are more coachable than others.
Some get a coaches feedback and do the suggestion.
Other swimmers hear the feedback but can't picture it or make mods.

One swimmer left our team because the coach suggested he change his stroke.


Swimmers:
What actual technique modifications have you made?
Did they STICK?
What did it take to get them to stick?

I've written about this somewhere before

to change your technique:
you have to concentrate on what to do during every second of training.
The instant your concentration lapses, you're likely to fall back into your old habit.

My rule of thumb for changing technique is
Will it make me faster?

I think some swimmers attempt to make technique mods that won't make them faster.

I've made a few technique mods
1) reg start to track start
2) SDKing further on backstroke & fly
3) faster recovery on breast pull / riding the glide, &
4) adding a single dolphin to my breastroke pull out

What changes are you thinking of making to your stroke?

Also as you're changing your technique it helps to have a coach or a knowledgable swimmer watch you and give you feedback. You have to learn how the new technique feels.
Usually it feels strange because it is different.
I think it helps to test the new technique to see if it is faster.




I don't believe that Phelps could necessarily make such a change faster than a lot of swimmers who seriously and consistently work on stroke correction. I do believe he has more ways to measure that correction than are available to the non-professional to ensure him that he's on the right track.

cantwait4bike
April 23rd, 2009, 12:21 PM
how could he swim faster with a dolfin kick, especially with those fin-like feet he has now? wouldn't he have a big lope in the stroke?

craiglll@yahoo.com
April 23rd, 2009, 12:56 PM
What I just read it will have a higher turn over rate and a short pull.

Allen Stark
April 26th, 2009, 02:15 AM
I think his focus on shorter events proves what I have known all along-everyone would rather be a sprinter if they could.:bolt:

Warren
April 26th, 2009, 01:48 PM
I think his focus on shorter events proves what I have known all along-everyone would rather be a sprinter if they could.:bolt:

:agree:

Guvnah
April 27th, 2009, 08:48 PM
Butterfly developed as a variation of breaststroke.

Perhaps we'll see history made with the birth of another new stroke.

Couroboros
May 5th, 2009, 06:58 PM
It's windmill. New AP article here (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090505/ap_on_sp_ot/swm_phelps_returns).

tjrpatt
May 5th, 2009, 07:17 PM
I think his focus on shorter events proves what I have known all along-everyone would rather be a sprinter if they could.:bolt:

Well, he has nothing to lose by attempting to be a sprinter. He already has the American Record in the 100 LCM free. Of course, the mainstream sports press will call him a failure if you doesn't win the World Title in the 50 and 100 at Rome. But, if he can get in the Top 5 of the 50 and 100 free, I think that it would be pretty amazing.

thewookiee
May 5th, 2009, 08:26 PM
It's windmill. New AP article here (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090505/ap_on_sp_ot/swm_phelps_returns).


I have never really understood the term "windmill" Are the arms straight? Bent? Always opposite of each other? Is that for the whole time, regardless of speed or just when racing?

geochuck
May 6th, 2009, 01:02 PM
I just saw a TV news release that Phelps is considering retiring. He does not like the press interferring with his life.

tomtopo
May 6th, 2009, 01:14 PM
The recovery of Phelps stroke will have an insignificant impact compared to what he might change when his hands are in the water. He can change many things but only two options will make a significant positive change, and both have to do with stroke pattern changes. He can move his stroke more towards Bernard's or move it more toward Adlington's. That's about it.

aquageek
May 6th, 2009, 03:02 PM
I will see Phelps on the morning of the 17th at prelims of UltraSwim here in Charlotte in the 100 free and will report back.

orca1946
May 6th, 2009, 04:31 PM
Maybe he will stop that Goofy loping style.

tomtopo
May 6th, 2009, 10:40 PM
Loping ~ ???? What the heck??? EVF is and Early Vertical Forearm or a more precise way of describing what a catch is. SDK is a submerged Dolphin Kick or underwater dolphin kick, DPS is Distance per stroke, Rotory Breathing is breathing to the side, Loping ~ teach loping! Do you tell swimmers to stop intertia that is vital for speed then glide? Is loping a lazy stroke? Is loping a recovery that waits for the other arm/hand to catch-up to the other. Is it like Mohammad Ali's Rope a Dope but Lope a Dope. If you teach someone to stop a propulsive mechanism and hope that gliding will make them faster, you're kidding yourself. Read the "Science of Swimming" by Dr. James Counsilman and tell me where gliding or the loss of inertia makes any sense at all. I swear if Phelps picked his nose while swimming, you'd have some coach or swimmer calling it flicking and encourage everyone to start picking their noses. Come on people!!! No more loping talk. To talk about the lope is to admit to being a dope!!!



I was going to start an Apathy Anonymous group, but why bother.


punstir - NYC

thewookiee
May 7th, 2009, 07:53 AM
Come on people!!! No more loping talk. To talk about the lope is to admit to being a dope!!!



I find that when I have a bit of a lope in my stroke, that swimming freestyle is a bit easier. If I try to swim smooth and with symmetry(sp?) that I go almost no where fast.

I doubt any of us can have as big a lope as Phelps and be effective but then again, none of us have his kick that goes along with his lope either.

His lope makes reminds me of skippin rocks on the water. He just bounces fast down the pool.

The lope is all in the timing to be effective, which I think we would all agree on.

geochuck
May 7th, 2009, 10:04 AM
Tom I have never commented on the lopeing style wrongly called looping which means continous.

When I make comments some get rilled up and defend their beliefs even when they are wrong.

We had a hockey player in Canada who seemed to lope when he played. Everytime I saw him skate his lopeing style I would laugh but even lopeing he did get it done. On ice he looked like a horse cantering. I would sooner see him gallop.

Maybe the loper type swimmers should call it a canter and high elbow fast swimming should be called a gallop.

thewookiee
May 7th, 2009, 10:39 AM
When I make comments some get rilled up and defend their beliefs even when they are wrong.




And how do you know that you aren't wrong?

geochuck
May 7th, 2009, 10:58 AM
I was wrong once, but I might be mistaken.

geochuck
May 7th, 2009, 11:02 AM
Phelps ready to try out new freestyle technique.
He has tried many things, some did not work out to well. He should be on that old show, I think it was called the Bong show.

lefty
May 7th, 2009, 11:57 AM
Do you tell swimmers to stop intertia that is vital for speed then glide?

Good points about loping though you miss the one advantage and that is when you are gliding with your stroke you are kicking your tail off. It is a trade off. You have to have a strong kick to even consider it.

tomtopo
May 7th, 2009, 12:12 PM
The best kick in the world can only slow down the loss of inertia when neither arm of the swimmer is working. Until a kick becomes more propulsive than pulling, loping or gliding will not make a swimmer faster ( maybe less tried). The term lope bothered me a moment ago but now I know it's simply silly and funny. Sorry for the weird vent. Lope all you want ~ Go for it!! To lope is to glide.

geochuck
May 7th, 2009, 12:18 PM
lope Verb
[loping, loped]
to move or run with a long easy stride

Noun
a long steady gait or stride [Old Norse hlaupa to leap]


I guess to lope when swimming it is a long easy stroke

mazzy
May 7th, 2009, 07:13 PM
The best kick in the world can only slow down the loss of inertia when neither arm of the swimmer is working. Until a kick becomes more propulsive than pulling, loping or gliding will not make a swimmer faster ( maybe less tried).

Maybe you're overlooking a basic fact: if Bowman and Phelps use that style of freestyle, that style must be the best for Phelps.
Do you think that bowman would work years to make phelps swimming a freestyle that is a "joke" ?
maybe only Phelps can swim like Phelps, but even Lezark swim in a very similar way.

Maybe the key to view it is that the asymetric stroke can produce more high top speed when the arms are in power phase back.to-back and with a superb gliding and a outstanding kick you can minimize the loss of speed and keep your average speed higher that using the classic symetric styles.

Maybe the focal point is: is the "looping" styles really legal ? Phelps completely submerge for few moments gliding, against the rules, the feet can or can't break the surface, it's hard to see.

tomtopo
May 8th, 2009, 08:18 AM
A style or quirk of an individual's recovery is just that a style or quirk. A good coach like Bowman knows that frill or style in and of itself doesn't make a swimmer faster. The style or quirk that becomes a habit of a world record holder is important for that person but to teach a style or quirk to a novice or beginner can be more than a stumbling block for the future success of that swimmer. Most coaches know there are techniques that every swimmer must achieve to become successful. Symetry is indeed critical to most athletic movements and swimming is no exception. As swimmers set records, you will see less loping / gliding. It is indeed all about the production of positive inertia. A straight arm recover takes the hand longer from exit to entry versus a hand from a bent arm recovery. Another disadvantage with a straight are recovery is the potential for more air to be created upon the hands entry. Air on the hand or around the hand creates less drag (e.g. a breaststroker who uses an over-the-water recovery may have a faster recovery but if the hands do not clear the air upon the entry ~ It becomes a stroke fault). There have been and will continue to be successful swimmers using a straight arm recovery but good coaches will continue to teach novice or beginners the best way first and adjust to that critical components for the individual. Good coaches teach sound fundamentals first then allow quirks or styles when they're not counter-productive to speed.

These are some of the critical propulsive characteristics that swimmers can change are:

The depth they pull
The speed they pull
How effectively the can achieve an EVF,
The path their hand takes (moving from turbulent to still water)
Hand position (more or less surface area)
Position of their body (efficient reduction of frontal resistance).

I'd like coaches to note that every swimmer should try to improve these critical propulsive characteristics. The future success of age group, beginner or novice swimmers depend upon the effective teaching, learning and application of these skills. Good luck!

lefty
May 8th, 2009, 11:37 AM
The style or quirk that becomes a habit of a world record holder is important for that person but to teach a style or quirk to a novice or beginner can be more than a stumbling block for the future success of that swimmer. Most coaches know there are techniques that every swimmer must achieve to become successful. Symetry is indeed critical to most athletic movements and swimming is no exception.

I agree with you on this 100%. Emulating the worlds best isn't always a good idea for a novice. The most obvious error I see along these lines is someone kicking 10M off each wall when they are much faster above the water.

ViveBene
May 8th, 2009, 11:41 AM
Coach T:

I'd just like to mention that the body is controlled asymetrically by the brain. For example, the right arm/hand excels at close-to-body movements; that's where its spatial understanding lies. The left arm/hand excels at out-there movements more distant from the body. The difference between in-here and out-there neural control (and subsequent practical execution) is one reason why baseball hitters can't switch hit easily: they are trying to reverse the fields normally dominated by one or the other arm/hand.

I agree it's best not to teach loping as a technique to be implemented by young swimmers.

tomtopo
May 8th, 2009, 11:52 AM
I enjoy the give and take, thanks! An important note was made that a SDK is only as effective as the swimmers. I use the Hillmen Chart to objectively evaluate breakouts and it's an awesome tool to show a swimmer when they should get up and get going. Dara Torres gets up quicker and catches up to those ahead of her. Baseline training is vital. Coach T.

geochuck
May 8th, 2009, 12:01 PM
When my frayed tendons were acting up I used to swim with my thumb almost touching my body during the catch phase. This enabled the healing process by not putting pressure on the tendons. I raced roughly 350 miles over 2 months with frayed tendons plus training.

tomtopo
May 8th, 2009, 01:15 PM
When my frayed tendons were acting up I used to swim with my thumb almost touching my body during the catch phase. This enabled the healing process by not putting pressure on the tendons. I raced roughly 350 miles over 2 months with frayed tendons plus training.

Now this is news you can use. When you're injured and you can alter your stroke, where the pain goes away so you can train, it's an awesome thing. When I injured my rotator-cuff, I stopped doing bench press and pushups. I replaced those exercises with flys and modified wall pushups and was pleased with the training results. I had to stop swimming for almost a year but I came back to one best time in the 50 fly and a tenth off my PR's in all 50's. The 100's I lost two seconds but not training for a year ~ what the hey!

Great information.

That Guy
May 9th, 2009, 11:25 AM
Now this is new you can use. When you're injured and you can alter your stroke where the pain goes away so you can train, it's an awesome thing. When I injured my rotator-cuff, I stopped doing bench press and pushups. I replaced those exercises with flys and modified wall pushups and was pleased with the training results.

I can't do any kind of presses either - my left shoulder lets me know pretty quickly that I need to stop. So instead I do chest flys and lat pulldowns. Those are the only two weight exercises that I do!

geochuck
May 9th, 2009, 12:13 PM
We sometimes get information to stop training from the doctor. Many believe the healing process works with rest. I did go against what to specialists said and kept swimming but as "Tom said" and I am a believer in stroke modification.

I was a believer in the past of no pain no gain. Now I beleive no pain complete recovery.

swimshark
May 11th, 2009, 07:47 AM
When my frayed tendons were acting up I used to swim with my thumb almost touching my body during the catch phase. This enabled the healing process by not putting pressure on the tendons. I raced roughly 350 miles over 2 months with frayed tendons plus training.

I do this as well. I have had surgery for DeQuervain's tendinitis http://www.eatonhand.com/hw/hw008.htm which occasionally acts up. When it does, I don't stop, I just tuck my thumbs under and keep going. I swam like this for 12 months prior to surgery and now when it acts up post-surgery (it's been almost 2 years). I think it has helped my catch a bit, too.

tomtopo
May 11th, 2009, 08:39 AM
Avoiding pain with alternative styles ~ would be a good thread. When my swimmers complain about shoulder problems, I tell them to change the way they remove or exit their hand from the water (look at their palm) and it usually helps. I got that one from George Block. Thanks for the information, Coach T.

P.S. If you could be a little more specific (exactly how you do it), that would be awesome. Thanks again.

quicksilver
May 17th, 2009, 06:14 PM
Did any folks from NC get to see him swim?

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hzNJx82I7YgB1Dy2zz5NXlhIedPQD98849N00

geochuck
May 17th, 2009, 06:21 PM
I managed to see a short video of his last few yards of his swim. I did notice the fingers of the hands were not open, it did not seem to be his new windmill style. His hands seemed to enter very close to the center line.

aquageek
May 17th, 2009, 07:16 PM
Did any folks from NC get to see him swim?

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hzNJx82I7YgB1Dy2zz5NXlhIedPQD98849N00

Saw the 100 prelims today, the straight arm is in full force.

quicksilver
May 17th, 2009, 07:22 PM
That must have been fun to watch.
From what he describes, it seems to be working.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) ó
Using his new windmill stroke for an entire lap, Michael Phelps tied for the fastest time in the preliminaries of the 100-meter freestyle Sunday morning at the Charlotte UltraSwim. Phelps, swimming in the next-to-last heat, advanced to the evening final with a time of 49.50 seconds, which was matched by fellow Olympian Ricky Berens.

"If I can perfect it, it's definitely a faster tempo for me," Phelps said. "That's something I need in the 100. My stroke is more a 200 or 400 stroke."

aquageek
May 17th, 2009, 07:40 PM
Oh yea, a big shout out to Mike Ross, blazing fast.

tdrop
May 17th, 2009, 09:16 PM
Did any folks from NC get to see him swim?

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hzNJx82I7YgB1Dy2zz5NXlhIedPQD98849N00
I just got home from watching the 100Free finals at ultraswim.

Phelps switched back and forth between his regular stroke and the windmill stroke several times during the race. I think he switched back and forth two times. He looked very uncomfortable. Or, maybe he planned to swim like that, I don't know.

Either way, I'm guessing this stroke is not going to last in its current form. Generally, swimming with a locked elbow on recovery doesn't work for taller swimmers. Shorter swimmers, I can see it. I'm not saying that Phelps won't continue with his stroke evolution, but it probably will not stay a straight arm locked elbow freestyle.

What I do know is Fred Busquet is really freakin fast and does not swim with a straight arm. don't get me wrong he doesn't do a high elbow recovery either. Its just a natural motion with no real glide after entry. Well maybe a little glide but its gliding down towards the bottom not towards the other side of the pool. His hand is high on the recovery with a bent elbow. His hand stabs down into the water.

Fred is moving so fast that unless you are moving at this velocity you will not be able to mimic his stroke with the same effect.

geochuck
May 17th, 2009, 09:39 PM
Does anyone have a good video of his swims.

tdrop
May 18th, 2009, 09:25 AM
Does anyone have a good video of his swims.
http://www.universalsports.com/mediaPlayer/media.dbml?SPID=11652&SPSID=104284&DB_OEM_ID=23000&id=409166&db_oem_id=23000

quicksilver
May 18th, 2009, 09:45 AM
Phelps switched back and forth between his regular stroke and the windmill stroke several times during the race. I think he switched back and forth two times. He looked very uncomfortable. Or, maybe he planned to swim like that, I don't know.


It did look uncomfortable. A mix of both styles?
Great quality video by the way.

Bousquet meant business. 48.2 is flying!

thewookiee
May 18th, 2009, 10:26 AM
Bousquet meant business. 48.2 is flying!

Craig Lord wrote on swimnews that there is "no way" Bousquet can swim as fast as he is doing without a Jaked suit. He said in an FS-Pro suit or any suit before 2007, Bousquet doesn't do these times.


My thought...he is wrong. I think there has to be a lot given to the mental side of an athlete, that once he/she has a major breakthrough, then it becomes much easier to repeat those preformances or even improve upon them.


Bousquet has had those breakthroughs the last 2 years...training under Brett Hawke, swimming the Cielo, Targett, Bovell, and improved suits. I think if the current suits are banned, Bousquet will still be swimming as super fast as he is in an FS Pro or similar suit because he know believes that he can swim long course as well as he does short course.

geochuck
May 18th, 2009, 11:18 AM
I did notice Bousquet's Jaked swim suit.

Phelps did seem uncomfortable in the water. His stroke jumped all over the place between strait arm and his regular stroke. It was a great comeback after all of his controversy stuff. It had to play with his head. Terrible dive by the way.

I can only hope with all the stuff that went on he can get his head right back into his swimming. I did see his meeting with somelittle kids and it was a good thing.

May I add a suggestion for him keep your private stuff private.

aquageek
May 18th, 2009, 11:20 AM
Take the suit away and he's still fast as crap, maybe just as fast, maybe faster, maybe slower. Chalking it up to the suit is the coward's way out.

thewookiee
May 18th, 2009, 11:25 AM
Chalking it up to the suit is the coward's way out.

AMEN!

Paul Smith
May 18th, 2009, 12:32 PM
It did look uncomfortable. A mix of both styles?
Great quality video by the way.

Bousquet meant business. 48.2 is flying!

We are going to see a horde of people playing with this staright arm recovery...as Jonty Skinner recently pointed out (and Bowman concurs in todays USA Today) the new suit technology allows swimmers the buoyancy to maintain this far more fatiguing/powerful technique. I've been playing with it for 6 months but have yet to give it a shot in a meet...

Here was one of the first breakthrough swims with it:
YouTube - Stefan Nystrand Worldrecord 100 m freestyle

tdrop
May 18th, 2009, 12:43 PM
I think it is important to look at it in its totality...physchology, physiology, central nervous system, technique, and the suits. It seems that we are probably past the point of questioning the efficacy of the suits. (I'm almost afraid to enter an opinion here. But...) A pretty simple statistical analysis leads one to conclude that the suits have played an important role in the recent swimming achievements.

For instance, Joel Stager ran a statistical model (which you can listen to him talk about on floswimming.com) on the time drops which came with the suits. Nothing special happened until the LZR came around. Things were pretty much the same up through the fs pro historically. After the LZR and the suits that have followed, strange things started to happen that were and are out of whack with the long history of speed progression.

So, I have to agree on some level that Fred would probably not be able to accomplish yesterday's swim without the assistance of the newer suits. At the same time, you could have put anybody in Fred's suit and they would not come close to swimming like him. Its amazing.

Now don't get me wrong. I don't have a strong opinion about the suits as it relates to the swimming world at large. I personally have a love/hate relationship with them. They are a pain in the butt, but they feel great. And, that's just for me personally...my own opinion as it relates specifically to me and my swimming. And, as long as they are legal, I'll be sporting one.

quicksilver
May 18th, 2009, 12:44 PM
Every time I see that clip...I keep expecting to see his face, cause it looks so much like backstroke.
Weirdest stroke ever!

Someone commented about taller swimmers...and how this style might be better suited for those with less reach.
Phelps looked like a giraffe when he had the arms in full swing.

Have you been timed Paul? And do you like they feel of it?

tdrop
May 18th, 2009, 12:57 PM
We are going to see a horde of people playing with this staright arm recovery...as Jonty Skinner recently pointed out (and Bowman concurs in todays USA Today) the new suit technology allows swimmers the buoyancy to maintain this far more fatiguing/powerful technique. I've been playing with it for 6 months but have yet to give it a shot in a meet...
Swimming always does this...following trends I mean. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. But, teaching a straight arm recovery to everyone will be a mistake the same as trying to teach everyone to do the high elbow recovery was a mistake.

It will be slow unless you have already have serious speed to make it work.

My guess is many people will focus on what their arms look like above water and unless it is somehow connected to what's going on underneath it won't make any real difference.

Is it the speed that creates the technique or the technique that creates the speed? For instance, put fins on and sprint a 100 free. See what happens to your recovery with the additional speed. I know my arms naturally go a little straighter. Its just the natural result of the increase in speed for me.

What I think is great is it has stopped some coaches from forcing a high elbow recovery on everyone. Now hopefully in time we'll learn that you can't force a straight arm recovery on everyone either.

lefty
May 18th, 2009, 01:05 PM
I wonder if Phelps is physically strong enough to optomize a straight arm recovery. He is puny compared to alot of these guys especially in the shoulders and deltoids.

tomtopo
May 18th, 2009, 01:15 PM
Swimming always does this...following trends I mean. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. But, teaching a straight arm recovery to everyone will be a mistake the same as trying to teach everyone to do the high elbow recovery was a mistake.

It will be slow unless you have already have serious speed to make it work.

My guess is many people will focus on what their arms look like above water and unless it is somehow connected to what's going on underneath it won't make any real difference.

Is it the speed that creates the technique or the technique that creates the speed? For instance, put fins on and sprint a 100 free. See what happens to your recovery with the additional speed. I know my arms naturally go a little straighter. Its just the natural result of the increase in speed for me.

What I think is great is it has stopped some coaches from forcing a high elbow recovery on everyone. Now hopefully in time we'll learn that you can't force a straight arm recovery on everyone either.

How the hand enters the water becomes part of the setting-up of the stroke that is crucial to efficient swimming. If the swimmer creates a lot of air behind their hand the entry must be fixed. So, unless the recovery is creating an environment that is counterproductive to speed or creates shoulder problems, let the swimmer recover any way they want.

ande
May 18th, 2009, 01:29 PM
High-tech swimsuits give a power boost to freestyle (http://www.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/2009-05-18-swimming-notes_N.htm)
USA TODAY

"(suits are) the subject of a meeting today at the Lausanne, Switzerland, headquarters of swimming's international governing body."

"Swimming's international governing body, FINA, hired an independent lab to test all of the suits worn for records set over the last 15 months and will rule today on which suits will be legal for the rest of the year."

thewookiee
May 18th, 2009, 01:47 PM
So, I have to agree on some level that Fred would probably not be able to accomplish yesterday's swim without the assistance of the newer suits. At the same time, you could have put anybody in Fred's suit and they would not come close to swimming like him. Its amazing.



Seth,

We talked about the suit factore during the NC state meet last month. One thing I think that will happen, even if the 2008-2009 suits are banned, I do believe some athletes like Fred will be able to re-adapt and continue to swim at their current level.
I think a number of them will take what they have learned from wearing the current suits(body position) and work in practice to improve upon that position.
But as geek said, he and others may go faster, same or slower, we won't know until we know what suits are legal and which one's arent.

aquageek
May 18th, 2009, 02:04 PM
tdrop regularly puts the drop kick on me in practice so I defer to everything swimming related he says. He has impressive coaching and swimming credentials as well.

Frank Thompson
May 18th, 2009, 02:12 PM
AMEN!

Fred Bousquet went a :46.63 relay split in the 400 Free Relay going in the 3rd position at the 2008 Olympic Games. In all the excitement of the relay I did not catch what type of suit he was wearing but I don't think he was wearing a Jaked suit. He did not swim the 100 Free as an individual event because he did not qualify for the top 2 spots on the French team and those went to gold medalist Alain Bernard and Fabien Gilot so we don't know what he could have done in the individual event at the Olympic games but if his relay split is any indication, this is proof that Craig Lord's statement of "no way" does not hold up to this fact of fast swimming in the relay without the Jaked suit.

thewookiee
May 18th, 2009, 02:18 PM
tdrop regularly puts the drop kick on me in practice so I defer to everything swimming related he says. He has impressive coaching and swimming credentials as well.

I had the pleasure of meeting him at the NC state meet in Raleigh. Very fast and super nice guy.

tdrop
May 18th, 2009, 02:36 PM
Seth,

We talked about the suit factore during the NC state meet last month. One thing I think that will happen, even if the 2008-2009 suits are banned, I do believe some athletes like Fred will be able to re-adapt and continue to swim at their current level.
I think a number of them will take what they have learned from wearing the current suits(body position) and work in practice to improve upon that position.
But as geek said, he and others may go faster, same or slower, we won't know until we know what suits are legal and which one's arent.
Ya, I agree Wookie. I do think that once you achieve a certain speed your brain figures things out subconsciously and has an easier time repeating the same speed.

By the way, I thought you were you. Nice to chat. I need a job, man. I'm starting to feel guilty!

tdrop
May 18th, 2009, 02:38 PM
tdrop regularly puts the drop kick on me in practice so I defer to everything swimming related he says. He has impressive coaching and swimming credentials as well.
this is a lie...geekface kills me on a regular basis. in fact, every time we do something free style which is longer than a 50.

tdrop
May 18th, 2009, 02:40 PM
I had the pleasure of meeting him at the NC state meet in Raleigh. Very fast and super nice guy.
aw shucks, wookie. great to meet you as well.

lefty
May 18th, 2009, 02:46 PM
Fred Bousquet went a :46.63 relay split in the 400 Free Relay going in the 3rd position at the 2008 Olympic Games. In all the excitement of the relay I did not catch what type of suit he was wearing but I don't think he was wearing a Jaked suit. He did not swim the 100 Free as an individual event because he did not qualify for the top 2 spots on the French team and those went to gold medalist Alain Bernard and Fabien Gilot so we don't know what he could have done in the individual event at the Olympic games but if his relay split is any indication, this is proof that Craig Lord's statement of "no way" does not hold up to this fact of fast swimming in the relay without the Jaked suit.


I agree that the "no way" statement is wrong. But Bousquet has a history of being an incredible relay swimmer. I think he went a 47.00 in 2005 at Worlds, but then didn't final in the individual. What might be accurate is to say that Bousquet is finally showing the potential he exhibited in some relay swims.

thewookiee
May 18th, 2009, 02:55 PM
this is a lie...geekface kills me on a regular basis. in fact, every time we do something free style which is longer than a 50.

Then just have him flip over on his back...

Paul Smith
May 18th, 2009, 03:03 PM
Swimming always does this...following trends I mean. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. But, teaching a straight arm recovery to everyone will be a mistake the same as trying to teach everyone to do the high elbow recovery was a mistake.

Agreed. First because it won't work for everyone and second because it is VERY stressful on the shoulders.

Quiksilver, I have timed it in workouts up to about 80-85% max effort and found about a .5-.75 second difference for a series of 50's. Hoch noted in another post that he did the swiMetrics testing in Clovis and there was no doubt that the straight arm recovery was more powerful. He also mentioned that a straighter arm undeerwater pull vs. the old "S" pull was more powerful...interesting because I find that when I switch to straight arm recovery the underwater straightarm pull occurs more naturally as well.

Tdrop...please kick geek in the shhin for me next time you see him.

geochuck
May 18th, 2009, 03:04 PM
Experiments in stroke have gone on for a long time. I have used the strait arm recovery when sprinting. We even tried slamming the hand into the water which lifted the body higher in the water. I also had a very furious deep kick when swimming in 3 feet of water my toes almost touched the bottom of the pool and the heals exited the water. Then I again changed to not slamming the hand into the water re Newton's third law.

If you notice my avatar you will see my stroke as almost windmill style with a large body roll. no catchup there. The hand during the catch phase was well into the catch as the arm was exiting the from the finish. That picture was taken in 1956 at the Olympics but during a training session and pic opportunity.

After seeing the Japanese swimmers in the 56 Olympics my stroke changed quite a bit to an extending stroke. which delayed the start of the catch.

When I started swimming distance, the higher elbow and a much more increased roll and of course a different kick, not so agressive.

Frank Thompson
May 18th, 2009, 04:50 PM
I agree that the "no way" statement is wrong. But Bousquet has a history of being an incredible relay swimmer. I think he went a 47.00 in 2005 at Worlds, but then didn't final in the individual. What might be accurate is to say that Bousquet is finally showing the potential he exhibited in some relay swims.

Are you sure about that split at 2005 Worlds in Montreal? Or maybe it was another meet? I went to the Omega site and saw that Fred Bousquet split a :48.98 in the 400 Medley Relay. He did not swim the heats of France's 400 Free Relay and they did not make the final. The fastest split relay splits I could fine was by Neil Walker at :47.70 and Jason Lesak at :47.98 and they were the only swimmers to go under 48 seconds for the relay splits at the meet. The 100 Free was won by Filippo Magnini at :48.12 followed by Roland Schoeman at :48.28 and Ryk Neethling at :48.34.

At the 2007 Worlds in Melbourne, Australia Fred Bousquet swam the second leg in :48.48 and the fastest relay splits at that meet were by Filippo Magnini at :47.18, Jason Lesak at :47.32 and Roland Schoeman at :47.98 and they were the only ones to go under 48 seconds in the relay. The 100 Free was won in a tie between Filippo Magnini and Brent Hayden at :48.43.

2005 was the year that Fred Bousquet swam under 19 seconds in the 50 yard Free at the NCAA meet and I remember that he did not perform up to that standard in Long Course until last year when he did that :46.63 in the 400 Free Relay, which is the second fastest split of all time behind Jason Lesak split of :46.06 from the same 400 Free Relay.

lefty
May 18th, 2009, 05:42 PM
Are you sure about that split at 2005 Worlds in Montreal? Or maybe it was another meet?

I know that he had the fastest split in history for a while, and I am almost certain it was a 47.0 I'll dig it up...

Wowsers it was in 2003:
http://www.omegatiming.com/swimming/racearchives/2003/barcelona2003/F73_ResByHeat_108_Final_Men_4x100_Free.pdf

In fairness he did finish 6th in the race (I said he didn't final)

Jazz Hands
May 18th, 2009, 06:21 PM
I know that he had the fastest split in history for a while, and I am almost certain it was a 47.0 I'll dig it up...

Wowsers it was in 2003:
http://www.omegatiming.com/swimming/racearchives/2003/barcelona2003/F73_ResByHeat_108_Final_Men_4x100_Free.pdf

In fairness he did finish 6th in the race (I said he didn't final)

I remember that race. I recorded it (VHS!) and watched it several times. Since then, every amazing thing that Bousquet has done just seems like confirmation of the insane speed he showed in that race.

orca1946
May 18th, 2009, 06:34 PM
OK. I saw the new technique. Why will straight arms be better for going faster? I was always told to bend them to get the forward motion & momentum. What's up ??

ande
May 18th, 2009, 08:05 PM
straight arm free allows swimmers to turn over faster by:
fully extending out front and instantly catching

Tip 257 Propellers Don't Pause
explains it




OK. I saw the new technique.
Why will straight arms be better for going faster?
I was always told to bend them to get the forward motion & momentum. What's up ??

jordangregory
May 18th, 2009, 09:39 PM
I saw someone mention "Hillmen Chart " in an earlier post. Does anyone know what that is? Would love an explaination

Frank Thompson
May 19th, 2009, 11:05 AM
I know that he had the fastest split in history for a while, and I am almost certain it was a 47.0 I'll dig it up...

Wowsers it was in 2003:
http://www.omegatiming.com/swimming/racearchives/2003/barcelona2003/F73_ResByHeat_108_Final_Men_4x100_Free.pdf

In fairness he did finish 6th in the race (I said he didn't final)

Lefty:

This was some kind of swim back in 2003 and I remember watching that 400 Free Relay but don't remember Fred Bousquet doing that :47.03 so this makes Craig Lord's statement even more foolish that I originally thought. He was probably wearing the Arena equivalent of a Speedo Fastskin I. That :47.03 was the second fastest split ever at that time because Pieter VD Hoogenband went a :47.02 in a relay split at the 2001 Worlds in Fukuoka, Japan.

The one thing I do remember at this 2003 World meet in Spain besides Phelps, Popov, and Thorpe having great swims in the meet was on the last day of the meet in the 400 Medley Relay, Pieter VD Hoogenband went a :46.70 free split and that was the fastest split until last years Olympics. Pieter VD Hoogenband came close to this when he split :46.79 in the 400 Free Relay in Athens in running down Jason Lezak and winning a silver medal for Holland in the 400 Free Relay.

Gil
May 21st, 2009, 04:27 PM
Should"nt it be that Phelps tries old not new technique. I am 81 and at the age of 11 I was taught the straight arm recovery and the straight arm pull.

RFBG
May 22nd, 2009, 02:00 AM
To me true elite sprinters need to have an essential genetic component.
Michael Phelps should aim at the long standing Thorpe's and Hackett's 400m free records.

Paul Smith
May 26th, 2009, 06:18 PM
Some interesting comments from Gary Hall Sr. over at the Race Club:

http://www.theraceclub.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1652
______________________________________________
Re: Shoulder Driven Freestyle
by garyhallsr Ľ Fri May 22, 2009 1:57 am

Dear Curious Swimmer,

Lord Bullington makes some good points. Mike Bottom, who originally described the shoulder vs hip vs body (core) driven freestyles, explains the difference this way. To sprint fast, much of the power is derived from the shoulder muscles and shoulder rotation. It also requires a faster stroke rate. Because the arms are turning over faster, the hips do not have time to rotate as much and remain relative flatter than with a hip-driven freestyle. The hip-driven freestyle, characterized by Phelps, Thorpe, Hackett, Lezak and many others depends on strong kick and a longer hold period in front. A sprinter must initiate the catch immediately and release earlier to speed up the stroke rate. Mike also equates the body-driven freestyle with a straight-arm recovery, which he believes makes the hips and shoulders rotate more evenly.
One of the most consistent findings in all great swimmers is the high elbow under water. Using a high elbow doesn't increase power. It increases efficiency tremendously by reducing drag. A bent high elbow creates much less drag than a straight arm pulling deep.
Curiously, though the straight arm recovery has been used more often for sprinting, Janet Evans used a straight arm, over the top, shoulder-driven freestyle with a fast stroke rate for the 200, 400, 800 and 1500. Google Grant Hackett and watch the finals of the mens 1500 in Beijing. Interesting contrast of strokes. First four finishers were around 4 seconds apart. Hackett and Maloulli use the classic hip/leg driven freestyle, while Cochrane (Canada) and the Russian use a fast turnover, mostly shoulder driven freestyle for the entire race.
Bottom line, if you have the legs, you can use a hip driven technique for anything over a 50. Not one sprinter in the Olympic 50 m finals uses hip-driven freestyle. If you don't have the legs, you must use a faster stroke rate, shoulder driven technique, regardless of the distance.
Hope this helps.

Regards,

Gary Sr.garyhallsr

Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 6:02 pm
Private message

Zurn
May 27th, 2009, 04:42 PM
"One of the most consistent findings in all great swimmers is the high elbow under water. Using a high elbow doesn't increase power. It increases efficiency tremendously by reducing drag. A bent high elbow creates much less drag than a straight arm pulling deep."

First things first, this is my first post on the web site; I've been lurking for a long time. I've just gotten back into swimming after being out for 10+ years. Iím trying to get back into shape and may do a few meets if I ever feel so motivated. I find the tech suit discussions very entertaining. On the other hand I find the looping and strait arm freestyle stoke discussions very interesting as Iím always looking to improve my stroke. The looping, or catch-up as Iíve always called it, as well as strait arm vs. bent arm has been argued for years, and probably will be for a long time to come. Iím not going to comment either way on what I may think is better on either the suit or stoke discussions since I donít have scientific proof either way for one or the other, but the quote above caught my attention. Does anybody have a video of the underwater view of what Gary Hall Jr. is talking about? I understand a strait arm vs. a bent arm, but what happened to the old ďSĒ shape you carved out as your body moved around the hand in the water? Is he saying that keeping the hand shallower in the water rather than stretching out is more efficient for a shorter swim? Any input you guys have would be great! Keep in mind, I'm not a beginner by any means; I was lucky enough to swim for Dick Hannula towards the end of my career and was forced to re-learn all my strokes at the age of 18. So I do have a good understanding of the basics of freestyle, but Gary Hallís quote seems a bit confusing.

Iíll go back to lurking nowÖ
:Lurking:

geochuck
May 27th, 2009, 06:23 PM
Zurn

I don't think anyone can give an answer as to what we should do under water or above the water. The swim stroke is a neverending story of development. Stroke changes will happen forever or until we can swim as fast as we could run. Once we introduce bubble technology into swimming we may even be able to swim at the speed of sound. If we are not able to do this, we will still try. But then Fina will say it is not acceptable.

Paul Smith
May 27th, 2009, 08:13 PM
Zurn

I don't think anyone can give an answer as to what we should do under water or above the water. The swim stroke is a neverending story of development. Stroke changes will happen forever or until we can swim as fast as we could run. Once we introduce bubble technology into swimming we may even be able to swim at the speed of sound. If we are not able to do this, we will still try. But then Fina will say it is not acceptable.

I think Hoch would disagree with you George after he got a chance to do some testing at Clovis...he found clea evidence that the straightarm recovery, along with a lower head postion and a straighter underwater pull vs. "S" pull all helped generate significantly more power...for HIM.

Hoch, if you read this I'm curious what suit you wore during testing? I bring this up because as we discussed earleir Jonty Skinners excellent article on the straight are recovery being successful because the suits buoancy allows for it to be maintained up to 100m (long course).

This is not to say it will or should work for everyone and I agree with you that there will be a continuing evolution of technique.

Zurn, welcome aboard! I'd suggest dropping in on the Race Club forums and asking Gary directly...

geochuck
May 27th, 2009, 08:37 PM
Paul you may find that I was talkig about the "S" stroke as almost irrelevant about 3 years ago and several forum members did disagree with me. I had of course, refferd to the "I" pull at that time. The evelution of swim strokes is not going to revert back to the straight arm pull in all distances. It can work for certain swimmers but not all. Body construction will dictate how you should swim. Tall long armed swimmers will always be prone to injury if they use a straight arm pull. But fortunately I have my own idea about swimming strokes and everyone is able to decide what is best for them selves.

No straight arms for me. I do not want to be injured. I will swim it the easy way as I did most of my life.

mattson
May 28th, 2009, 11:55 AM
When talking about the "S" shape, you have to define the reference frame.
1) Coach watching on deck (or underwater camera)
2) Arm relative to the body, which is rotating
3) What the swimmer thinks they are doing (but probably not)

Swimmers who thought they were pulling straight back, for the most part, turned out to be "S" pulling.

Don't worry about about the specific motion/arm angles, as much as sensitizing yourself to when you are (or are not) "catching" the water. Then play around with your stroke to see how it feels.

Paul Smith
May 31st, 2009, 10:00 AM
Glenn Mills has some great video of Scott Tuckers stroke...interesting again to see how everyone should adapt to find what works best...in this case Scott has a more classic "S" stroke;

http://www.goswim.tv/entries/5478/go-swim-straight-arm-freestyle-with-scott-tucker.html

rtodd
May 31st, 2009, 11:04 AM
Most of it looked like catch up with a nice glide. I think the very last segment of the video showed raw speed and his real sprint mechanics. You can see how he gets right into the catch. Real nice.

geochuck
May 31st, 2009, 11:12 AM
The only thing I did not like in his speed segment was the build up of water resistence at his shouders. Good video.