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arrieros
January 19th, 2018, 12:32 PM
here I go again;

Was doing a 10X50yd on :50 (video is truncated)


Any comments? (i'm the one in the pink swim cap).

Thanks again,

__steve__
January 20th, 2018, 12:17 PM
Looks very good to me. All I could notice was the need for higher elbow. Camera angle not the best.

arrieros
January 20th, 2018, 12:43 PM
Looks very good to me. All I could notice was the need for higher elbow. Camera angle not the best.

Thank you for responding! I’ll work on being more consistent with a higher elbow; it looks like it’s dropping at points -getting more tired perhaps.

Also, compared to other swimmers in the video who are doing a 2 beat kick I think, I might be overkicking? I never got the hang of kicking at a slower tempo.

Glenn
January 20th, 2018, 05:19 PM
The one thing I can say for sure is that your head position when you push off is way too low. Your ears should be squeezed by your arms in order to get a better streamline. Your head seems to be below your arms causing more drag.

How many strokes per lap/length are you taking (25 yards)? With a high elbow you will start grabbing water sooner and thus pull and push more water each time you stroke, using fewer strokes. You also should be finishing the stroke better, i.e., when your arm is passing your shoulder and you switch from pulling water to pushing water, you should "close the door" behind you by engaging your triceps and pushing all the way back.

In terms of kicking, do not look at the other swimmers in the video! All have terrible technique. They are kicking with too much amplitude which means they are not keeping a good streamlined body. From what I can see, your kick seems fine.

arrieros
January 20th, 2018, 06:47 PM
The one thing I can say for sure is that your head position when you push off is way too low. Your ears should be squeezed by your arms in order to get a better streamline. Your head seems to be below your arms causing more drag.

How many strokes per lap/length are you taking (25 yards)? With a high elbow you will start grabbing water sooner and thus pull and push more water each time you stroke, using fewer strokes. You also should be finishing the stroke better, i.e., when your arm is passing your shoulder and you switch from pulling water to pushing water, you should "close the door" behind you by engaging your triceps and pushing all the way back.

In terms of kicking, do not look at the other swimmers in the video! All have terrible technique. They are kicking with too much amplitude which means they are not keeping a good streamlined body. From what I can see, your kick seems fine.

Good obervation re: head position. It does look odd now that I see it. I was aiming for a hyper-streamline https://swimswam.com/hyper-streamline-swimming-instead-simple-streamline-video/, but maybe it’s too hyper-streamlined.

Stroke count... with a dolphin kick to the 10 yard mark I can do the first 25 yards in 15-16 strokes, and maybe the 2nd 25 yard in 17, assuming they’re 50s. Any distance over 50 yards, and stroke count increases to 19+-1.

I would say say my freestyle is all pull, finishing at my waistline, and no push. I’ll try to incorporate a longer pull/push stroke...maybe that will lower the number of strokes as well.

About the 6 beat kick... it takes so much energy.... however I swim faster with a kick than if I were to pull only, so I’m definitely relying a lot on my kick.

The thing I notice about the majority of swimmers who have the 2 beat kick (mostly males) is that they can sustain their pace and don’t seem to get as winded by longer distances. I struggle with sustaining my pace with sets of 100s... was wondering if I should try learning a 2 beat kick instead of doing the 6 beat.

Thanks!

Glenn
January 20th, 2018, 07:38 PM
Good obervation re: head position. It does look odd now that I see it. I was aiming for a hyper-streamline https://swimswam.com/hyper-streamline-swimming-instead-simple-streamline-video/, but maybe it’s too hyper-streamlined.


Stroke count... with a dolphin kick to the 10 yard mark I can do the first 25 yards in 15-16 strokes, and maybe the 2nd 25 yard in 17, assuming they’re 50s. Any distance over 50 yards, and stroke count increases to 19+-1.


I would say say my freestyle is all pull, finishing at my waistline, and no push. I’ll try to incorporate a longer pull/push stroke...maybe that will lower the number of strokes as well.


About the 6 beat kick... it takes so much energy.... however I swim faster with a kick than if I were to pull only, so I’m definitely relying a lot on my kick.


The thing I notice about the majority of swimmers who have the 2 beat kick (mostly males) is that they can sustain their pace and don’t seem to get as winded by longer distances. I struggle with sustaining my pace with sets of 100s... was wondering if I should try learning a 2 beat kick instead of doing the 6 beat.


Thanks!

The key to correct head position in the push off and dive is to squeeze your ears with your upper arms. In the SwimSwam video it is hard to tell if he is doing that. You are clearly keeping your head below your arms.


Your stroke count for the first 50 seems pretty good, 19+ after 50 yards, not so good. I mentioned stroke count because that is a good way to measure if changes in your stroke are making a difference. Pulling more water behind you and being more streamlined should result in fewer strokes per length.


Incorporating a longer pull/push will lower the stroke count by your moving more water behind you on each stroke...a good thing. You will feel it in the triceps and it will feel akward for a while. Also, when in an all-out sprint, you will not be pushing all the way back, but you should be pushing back more than you now are doing. Those going the fastest are not only better streamlined, but also pullling and pushing more water behind than anyone else. Thus the concept of high elbow catch. A high elbow catch gets your hand and forearm quickly in position to grab the water and pull it back. I can't tell for sure from your video, but it appears that when your hand enters the water it is goiing more or less straight down before you get into the actual pull. You need to get in position to be pulling water behind you as quickly as possible (high elbow). Pushing straight down in the beginning of the stroke only raises your body in the water rather than pulling the water behind you.


If you are pulling without a pull bouy your legs probably sink somewhat and cause more drag so the kick helps to keep your legs up. Some coaches believe that the flutter kick is not propulsive. What the kick does do is keep you balanced in the water. The other swimmers in your video are getting a lot of drag from their kicks as their legs are extending beyond the "tube" you should be swimming in. A four beat kick is fine and a 6 beat kick seems to be a natural number that people do, three kicks on each stroke (arm).


If you are going to be a distance swimmer, you can still do a 6 beat kick, just not as hard. If mid distance and below you should be doing at least 4 beat and likely 6 beat.

Windrath
January 20th, 2018, 09:04 PM
Arrieros,

There are a couple of adjustments you might consider making:

a) As Glenn commented, your head position when you are swimming is much too low. There are times when your head is completely underwater instead of in-line with the rest of your body. Not only does this cause drag, it puts you in a position that is not good for pulling strength. I coach swimmers to have the water line somewhere between the forehead hairline and the top of your head - closer to the hairline. If you cannot figure out the head position I describe, looking forward is better than what you are doing now (IMO).

b) Next, it looks a little like you are working on pushing your hips up slightly which is a current freestyle technique that I don't agree with because it makes rotation much more difficult. When rotation is difficult, so is kicking and finishing your stroke. The result is arms and legs working without being connected through the core. If you are doing this, try to be more like "superman" (in yoga) - you should feel a little tension in your lower back to accomplish this. Have someone watch - if your butt is more out of the water than in, your hips are too high which leads to, what I call, "bubble butt."

c) Once body position is adjusted, you will be able to work on your pulling pattern. In the video, your pulling pattern is entirely "outside" your body and the finish of your pull shows your hand to be moving away from the body. This results in early rotation during the pull as well as some fish-tailing (aka swiveling). Your thumb should be very close to touching your thigh at the end of the stroke before you recover.

d) There are several schools of thought about when to rotate. I believe in rotating the hips towards the end of the pull. Others advocate earlier hip rotation which requires a much strong kick and results in a pull pattern more outside the body mid-line. The other swimmers in your video tend to rotate towards the end of their stroke.

e) As for the kick, once your body position is better, you can consider your kicking options. 2 beat kick does not use much energy and also will be a slower tempo. It is possible to 6 beat kick without getting tired if you keep the kick synched with the arms - hard for some people to do.

Between Glenn's comments and mine, you have alot to digest.

Side video would be helpful as well.

Good luck

ForceDJ
January 20th, 2018, 09:42 PM
Any comments?


Water looks a bit cloudy.

Dan

arrieros
January 21st, 2018, 06:32 AM
The key to correct head position in the push off and dive is to squeeze your ears with your upper arms. In the SwimSwam video it is hard to tell if he is doing that. You are clearly keeping your head below your arms.


Your stroke count for the first 50 seems pretty good, 19+ after 50 yards, not so good. I mentioned stroke count because that is a good way to measure if changes in your stroke are making a difference. Pulling more water behind you and being more streamlined should result in fewer strokes per length.


Incorporating a longer pull/push will lower the stroke count by your moving more water behind you on each stroke...a good thing. You will feel it in the triceps and it will feel akward for a while. Also, when in an all-out sprint, you will not be pushing all the way back, but you should be pushing back more than you now are doing. Those going the fastest are not only better streamlined, but also pullling and pushing more water behind than anyone else. Thus the concept of high elbow catch. A high elbow catch gets your hand and forearm quickly in position to grab the water and pull it back. I can't tell for sure from your video, but it appears that when your hand enters the water it is goiing more or less straight down before you get into the actual pull. You need to get in position to be pulling water behind you as quickly as possible (high elbow). Pushing straight down in the beginning of the stroke only raises your body in the water rather than pulling the water behind you.


If you are pulling without a pull bouy your legs probably sink somewhat and cause more drag so the kick helps to keep your legs up. Some coaches believe that the flutter kick is not propulsive. What the kick does do is keep you balanced in the water. The other swimmers in your video are getting a lot of drag from their kicks as their legs are extending beyond the "tube" you should be swimming in. A four beat kick is fine and a 6 beat kick seems to be a natural number that people do, three kicks on each stroke (arm).


If you are going to be a distance swimmer, you can still do a 6 beat kick, just not as hard. If mid distance and below you should be doing at least 4 beat and likely 6 beat.



Arrieros,

There are a couple of adjustments you might consider making:

a) As Glenn commented, your head position when you are swimming is much too low. There are times when your head is completely underwater instead of in-line with the rest of your body. Not only does this cause drag, it puts you in a position that is not good for pulling strength. I coach swimmers to have the water line somewhere between the forehead hairline and the top of your head - closer to the hairline. If you cannot figure out the head position I describe, looking forward is better than what you are doing now (IMO).

b) Next, it looks a little like you are working on pushing your hips up slightly which is a current freestyle technique that I don't agree with because it makes rotation much more difficult. When rotation is difficult, so is kicking and finishing your stroke. The result is arms and legs working without being connected through the core. If you are doing this, try to be more like "superman" (in yoga) - you should feel a little tension in your lower back to accomplish this. Have someone watch - if your butt is more out of the water than in, your hips are too high which leads to, what I call, "bubble butt."

c) Once body position is adjusted, you will be able to work on your pulling pattern. In the video, your pulling pattern is entirely "outside" your body and the finish of your pull shows your hand to be moving away from the body. This results in early rotation during the pull as well as some fish-tailing (aka swiveling). Your thumb should be very close to touching your thigh at the end of the stroke before you recover.

d) There are several schools of thought about when to rotate. I believe in rotating the hips towards the end of the pull. Others advocate earlier hip rotation which requires a much strong kick and results in a pull pattern more outside the body mid-line. The other swimmers in your video tend to rotate towards the end of their stroke.

e) As for the kick, once your body position is better, you can consider your kicking options. 2 beat kick does not use much energy and also will be a slower tempo. It is possible to 6 beat kick without getting tired if you keep the kick synched with the arms - hard for some people to do.

Between Glenn's comments and mine, you have alot to digest.

Side video would be helpful as well.

Good luck

Thanks for your advice! The video is not the greatest; it would probably be easier to see whether I have a high elbow pull from the side.

I'll work on keeping my hairline at the waterline, and finishing my pull closer to the body. The high hips might be a result of holding my head too far down.

About rotating early vs later, I think I rotate early because I'm trying to use my lats to pull instead of my shoulder. If you rotate at the end of your stroke, are you using your shoulder more to pull? When I used to swim 'flat', I was definitely pulling with my shoulder.

Lots of good tips!

arrieros
January 21st, 2018, 06:36 AM
Water looks a bit cloudy.

Dan

Haha maybe. At least at 5am it's as clean as it can be. The amber colored goggles I wear are pretty good for visibility.

__steve__
January 21st, 2018, 12:34 PM
Also, compared to other swimmers in the video who are doing a 2 beat kick I think, I might be overkicking?.no

Xu_rick
January 21st, 2018, 01:16 PM
I think your underwater dolphin kick can be more powerful. When kicking down, you can kick in a more accelerated way, instead of a same speed as your feet is going upwards. Toes can be pointing a little bit more towards each other. I believe that will make you faster.

Windrath
January 21st, 2018, 03:07 PM
Arrieros,

I probably should NOT have used the terms "early" or "late" with regards to the rotation I was referring to. As you watch your video, do you see how your shoulder begins to rotate upward at the same time you are trying to get a "high elbow" catch? That shoulder movement results in a loss of power during the stroke.

This is difficult to describe, but here goes. IMO, a swimmer's shoulder should be quite stable during the catch phase and stay that way - independent of the catch movement of the arm. Only when the hand is moving past the shoulder should the shoulder begin to move upward. If the shoulder moves upward before that moment, the hand and arm slip upward and there is little propulsion taking place.

When you watch videos on Youtube, alot of elite swimmers rotating earlier than this. They get away with it by superior strength, flexibility, and kicking power. Should we emulate them - I am not so sure that is a good idea for the majority of swimmers (young and old)

Anyway, think about the amount of shoulder movement you have and when it takes place.

Paul

ourswimmer
January 21st, 2018, 03:40 PM
IMO, a swimmer's shoulder should be quite stable during the catch phase and stay that way - independent of the catch movement of the arm.

To feel this stability, think about keeping your shoulder blade depressed and perfectly still. People often reach forward and hunch their shoulders up toward their ears. That move produces a longer reach, but through a less stable joint. You can't translate as much lat power through your shoulder to the pulling surface through an unstable joint, but you can hurt yourself. Getting in touch with your scapular stabilizers can help you pull more strongly and avoid injury.

Your forearm is nice and vertical. With a little improvement in your shoulder mechanics it will work even better for you.

Your kick looks pretty good to me, way better than the others in the video. I can't keep up a six-beat kick (3/3) for more than a minute or so, either. For longer races, until the finishing segment, I use a 3/1 pattern. You could try that.

arrieros
January 21st, 2018, 06:16 PM
I think your underwater dolphin kick can be more powerful. When kicking down, you can kick in a more accelerated way, instead of a same speed as your feet is going upwards. Toes can be pointing a little bit more towards each other. I believe that will make you faster.

Respectfully acknowledged. I used to kick harder on the down kick however a coach suggested that I’d get more from an up and down kick.


Arrieros,

I probably should NOT have used the terms "early" or "late" with regards to the rotation I was referring to. As you watch your video, do you see how your shoulder begins to rotate upward at the same time you are trying to get a "high elbow" catch? That shoulder movement results in a loss of power during the stroke.

This is difficult to describe, but here goes. IMO, a swimmer's shoulder should be quite stable during the catch phase and stay that way - independent of the catch movement of the arm. Only when the hand is moving past the shoulder should the shoulder begin to move upward. If the shoulder moves upward before that moment, the hand and arm slip upward and there is little propulsion taking place.

When you watch videos on Youtube, alot of elite swimmers rotating earlier than this. They get away with it by superior strength, flexibility, and kicking power. Should we emulate them - I am not so sure that is a good idea for the majority of swimmers (young and old)

Anyway, think about the amount of shoulder movement you have and when it takes place.

Paul

Whoa, I’m getting tons of awesome advice here.... yes I definitely think my shoulder is not stable and is lifting when I initiate the catch, now that you point it out.



To feel this stability, think about keeping your shoulder blade depressed and perfectly still. People often reach forward and hunch their shoulders up toward their ears. That move produces a longer reach, but through a less stable joint. You can't translate as much lat power through your shoulder to the pulling surface through an unstable joint, but you can hurt yourself. Getting in touch with your scapular stabilizers can help you pull more strongly and avoid injury.

Your forearm is nice and vertical. With a little improvement in your shoulder mechanics it will work even better for you.

Your kick looks pretty good to me, way better than the others in the video. I can't keep up a six-beat kick (3/3) for more than a minute or so, either. For longer races, until the finishing segment, I use a 3/1 pattern. You could try that.

So, to stabilize the shoulder throughout the pull and really get the lats working, I should ‘squeeze’ (lacking a better word) the scapular muscle which will also prevent hunching and overreaching, which is something I see other swimmers do all the time. That is a great tip. I never knew how to correct it but think that will work.


Thank you all for your expertise :) I wish I could train with you all. I have to take down the video now but appreciate all the feedback that was given.

ourswimmer
January 21st, 2018, 07:35 PM
So, to stabilize the shoulder throughout the pull and really get the lats working, I should ‘squeeze’ (lacking a better word) the scapular muscle which will also prevent hunching and overreaching, which is something I see other swimmers do all the time.

I don't mean to think about retracting your shoulder blade in toward the spine. I mean to think about holding it down toward the waist rather than letting it ride up your ribcage. Your lower traps and serratus anterior will be doing the work.

This video shows a nice exercise you can do to get acquainted with each of the muscles that can move your scapulae. At my gym we usually do exercises like these as part of our warmup. We usually do this one with outstretched arms (forward at about 45 degrees).

https://youtu.be/EK0qnK2Z7JI

flystorms
January 21st, 2018, 09:14 PM
This has been a great discussion thread, thanks everyone!

JPEnge
January 22nd, 2018, 09:32 AM
Lots of awesome tidbits here. My freestyle is a mess right now, I'll be keeping some of these things in mind trying to fix it.