View Full Version : Total Immersion Strategies - A Closer Look

October 8th, 2006, 01:42 PM
The following recently landed in my inbox, you may find it interesting, I thought the use of video clips was quite instructive in a couple of cases. In other cases it wasn't clear whether the clips fairly represented the technique "swum by a swimmer proficient in that technique".


Total Immersion Strategies - A Closer Look
Professor Ross Sanders - Director, Centre for Aquatics Research and Education, University of Edinburgh


The ideas expressed by Terry Laughlin and John Delves in their chapter 'Swim Better Without Getting any Stronger?Yes!' were discussed with reference to a mechanical model featuring resistive and propulsive impulse. In agreement with the authors, reduction of resistive force was viewed as the key to improving swimming technique. Reducing resistance enables a slower stroke rate at any given speed and a reduced rate of energy expenditure. Increased stroke length is a natural consequence of the reduced stroke rate.

The question of how resistance can be reduced was then addressed. While consideration of a mechanical model led to explanations that differed in some ways from the explanations proposed by Terry Laughlin and John Delves, there was agreement that changing the stroke to a 'catch up' technique, by maintaining a streamlined reach of the arm and hand after entry, could reduce resistance. In this article it was proposed that the 'catch-up' technique reduced resistance by two main mechanisms:

1. It reduces the torques that tend to 'sink the legs' by moving the centre of mass forward so that it coincided more closely with the centre of buoyancy.
2. It encourages appropriate range and timing of body roll. Thus, the swimmer can readily adopt positions that minimise resistance during some phases of the stroke, particularly during exit and recovery.

October 8th, 2006, 01:50 PM
My goodness I thought I was watching the 1956 Olympic Japanesse swimmers using their catchup style swimming.

October 9th, 2006, 06:46 PM
Are you saying that a catch-up stroke helps increase speed?

October 10th, 2006, 09:12 AM
Are you saying that a catch-up stroke helps increase speed?
Probably only on longer swims.

This article talks about timing (identifying three basic patterns).
...which is indexed from this page that lists a truckload of cool tech articles.