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RayT
December 15th, 2005, 01:03 AM
I would like to learn...
Is the SPLITS essential to a competitive swimmer?

Why or why not.

Thank you.

jswim
December 15th, 2005, 01:30 PM
Do you mean splits as in.. keeping track of lap times during a set or race?

or...

Splits as in.. she/he is so flexible she can do the splits?

If it's the former I don't have enough experience to say, sorry,
if it's the latter, I don't think so.

;)

J.

scyfreestyler
December 15th, 2005, 01:34 PM
I think the top racers will pay close attention to their splits (time wise). However, I think that most Masters swimmers are satisfied to finish in the top 5 regardless of splitting.

LindsayNB
December 15th, 2005, 03:23 PM
Look at Ande's swimming faster faster tips for info on splitting. Talking about splitting is the same as talking about pacing and I think most people would say that correct pacing is critical in the middle distances not so much for 50s and 100s.

MichiganHusker
December 15th, 2005, 03:56 PM
It is a really good indicator of conditioning as well as learning how to race competitively.

For example: If you are swimming a 100 yd race and your first 50 yd is far more faster than you second 50 yds, you went out too fast and you can look at the splits to know that you should conserve your energy.

It is only a measurement, not essential. I am wondering if that is the exact word that you meant to use. Essential no. Knowing what splits are and using them for your benefit, yes. It is just a tool.

ande
December 15th, 2005, 05:08 PM
I believe if you want to swim
the fastest times you are capable of swimming
splitting is ESSENTIAL.

Even for a 50
Especially in 100's, 200's, and up

Splitting is all about controlling the amount of effort you exert,
how hard you pull and kick
how much you breathe
how many underwater dolphin kicks you take.

If you push too hard too soon
YOU WON'T swim as FAST as you would have if you split it right.

for (distance) you want the first and 2nd half of your race to be between ____ seconds

050's 0.25 - 1.00

100's 1.00 - 2.50

200's 0.00 - 4.00

(IM's are different depending on what strokes you're best at)


If you swim too hard at the beginning of your race
you won't split your race correctly.
Going out too hard and dying is painful, foolish, and unnecessary.

Correct splitting is all about finding your easy speed gear.

Part of it comes from conditioning,
Part of it comes from being psyched and mentally tough,
Part of it comes from making that right choice in your race,
Part of it comes from correctly doing the technique.

Practice correct splitting in training.

Ande

RayT
January 15th, 2006, 10:23 PM
Thank you for the expertise.

So what about the °•splits°¶ as in.. she/he is so flexible she can do the splits.

Do you guys think the splits mentioned above is essential to be a great swimmer?

globuggie
January 16th, 2006, 01:57 PM
I'm not an expert, but I would say that as long as you are reasonably flexible, being able to do the splits is not important for swimmers. If you think about the range of movement necessary for a good kick, it comes nowhere near a full split in any direction.

There are a few other parts of the body where good flexibility can be very important for swimmers. One is the shoulders, so you can perform a good streamline. Another is the ankles, which is important for your kick.

Personally, I was a gymnast until I was about 13. I was one of the least flexible on the team, but I could do the splits almost all the way (within 4? inches of the floor). I am now in college and much less flexible (over a foot from the floor for all splits). I do not think this decrease in flexibility affected my swimming.

Basically, I would recommend that swimmers stretch, but focus on flexibility in the shoulders and ankles, not in the hips.

ande
January 16th, 2006, 03:02 PM
being able to do the splits is not a critical factor for swimming fast
if it were I would have mentioned it in swim faster faster

you never need your legs in that position when you swim
they would just act as brakes

for swimmers,
being able to do the splits is just a party trick

you do need flexible ankles and shoulders
you do need to bend over enough to get in starting position

being able to do the splits might help avoid groin injuries, but it's over kill

being able to do the splits is
not a critical factor for swimming fast

Sorry,

Ande



Originally posted by RayT
Thank you for the expertise.

So what about the °•splits°¶ as in.. she/he is so flexible she can do the splits.

Do you guys think the splits mentioned above is essential to be a great swimmer?

The Fortress
November 1st, 2006, 10:46 AM
This is a funny thread.:rofl:

Globuggie and Ande:

I was a former gymnast and I can still do the SPLITS. But it is a party trick I only do to entertain my children (when I'm sufficiently warmed up). In fact, I think too much flexibility (apart from shoulders and ankles) is bad. I have a flexible, constantly arched back. Sometimes when I'm swimming I have to really concentrate on getting the arch out of my back so as not to break streamline. A friend from the lovely and inviting state of NC -- not Geek or Gull -- taught me the "suck in your stomach" drill for maintaining streamlines on free. Now I do need to work on my other splits... My 100 IM splits are a travesty. I'm sure I would be faster if I could do an elegant and refined butterfrog instead of the :frustrated: breaststroke.

geochuck
November 1st, 2006, 11:32 AM
Splits could be part of your cross training. Is this thread remmnents of 2005?

We have always considered times in workouts, more important in longer swims than 100 but still important in the 100. We know if you go out to slow for the first 25 of a 50 or 100 you are in for a slow time.

I always worked on how fast I had to do each 25 on my way to a 100.

KaizenSwimmer
November 1st, 2006, 11:55 AM
I agree with Allison and Ande. Leg splits is a party trick that will have no impact on your swimming. It's not a range of motion we come close to employing when we swim. Other forms of flexibility are helpful, but none is absolutely essential. It would be a good idea to ask yourself whether time invested in increasing range of motion will pay off more than the same time invested in improving stroke mechanics - some of which may compensate for lack of ROM, others which may help you adapt your stroke to an ROM that's less than optimal.

aquageek
November 1st, 2006, 12:23 PM
Terry - is there anything in your opinion that will benefit swimming other than doing a bunch of drills in the pool? You have downplayed the benefits to swimming of any sport but swimming. There are many elite swimmers and even those of us regular swimmers who don't want to spend all our time in the pool and find other exercises of benefit. Where in your philosophy of swimming do you put other forms of exercise?

The Fortress
November 1st, 2006, 12:32 PM
Geek: I wanna see you do the SPLITS! I do remember on the cross training thread that Terry said he like to mountain bike. Me, I'm running and weight lifting today. No swimming whatsoever. Sore shoulders.

Allen Stark
November 1st, 2006, 12:33 PM
I am going to kind of agree with Geek on this one too(gasp.) I think that swimming is the best way to develope timing,flexibility,and biomechanics for swimming. I don't find I can develope power fo'r sprinting without weights. I can't improve core stregth without ball exercises and I can't develope leg endurance for breaststroke without biking(swimming enough breaststroke to do so kills my knees)

chaos
November 1st, 2006, 04:15 PM
I have been trying to do a split ever since I saw jc van damme jump up and support himself across the walls of an elevator, (with legs only), that had the floor fall out of it. It left his hands free to snap the necks of a few bad guys.
I consider this a useful skill to try to obtain, though, I don't see a benefit to my swimming. Now, the forward bend hampstring stretch....big swimming benefit.

The Fortress
November 1st, 2006, 09:09 PM
But I though we didn't use hampstrings in swimming (except maybe on starts). We only use those when we cross train by running or doing the SPLITS.

chaos
November 1st, 2006, 09:34 PM
I think my hampstrings are engaged at every wall.
Tightness and cramping in the hampstrings has long been an issue for me.(my work involves lots of heavy lifting)
During the manhattan marathon swim this year, i was forced to resign after about 16 miles due to hampstring cramping.

The Fortress
November 1st, 2006, 09:42 PM
David:

You better stay off those walls then! I'm so sorry about your marathon. Here you were trying to cross train and do something without walls and you were still stymied by the non-swimming hampstrings. Are you that guy doing all that fly in Terry's group? Do you have big strong shoulders from that heavy lifting job of yours? I'm thinking that might account for those healthy fly shoulders...

chaos
November 1st, 2006, 10:02 PM
what would scy be without walls? (i actually like the walls)
and...friday is flyday!

KaizenSwimmer
November 1st, 2006, 10:10 PM
Terry said he like to mountain bike.

What do you know? I did say that. I also recall saying I love to do yoga, x-c ski, and row. Still I don't think time spent trying to remodel one's joints will affect one's swimming as much as working on one's stroke. Or at least that's the approach that has worked very well for me so far.

KaizenSwimmer
November 1st, 2006, 10:13 PM
friday is flyday!

What's Wednesday then? Didn't we do at least 800 yds of Fly tonight?

The Fortress
November 1st, 2006, 10:17 PM
Terry and David:

I don't know about you two, but I'm doing fly on Thursday.

Terry, the concept of yoga sort of appeals, but I'm already flexible and I'd rather do pilates. But no time. Cross country skiing. Too cold. I spent/wasted my entire youth in the states of Minnesota, New Hampshire and Illinois. Rowing. My husband did that in college. Now we could start a thread on whether cross training with rowing helps swimming. My husband is always telling me I should get on that rowing machine....

swimmerlisa
November 2nd, 2006, 03:20 PM
Terry and David:

I don't know about you two, but I'm doing fly on Thursday.

Terry, the concept of yoga sort of appeals, but I'm already flexible and I'd rather do pilates. But no time. Cross country skiing. Too cold. I spent/wasted my entire youth in the states of Minnesota, New Hampshire and Illinois. Rowing. My husband did that in college. Now we could start a thread on whether cross training with rowing helps swimming. My husband is always telling me I should get on that rowing machine....

leslie - i love the rowing machine. it is one of the few arm machines that really doesn't hurt my shoulders. my coach said it was okay to do since I wasn't reaching overhead or around. I found another thread, http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=5897&highlight=rowing+swimming,
where other swimmers talk about enjoying rowing with swimming. You should give it a try.