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View Full Version : Crawl, advice for beginners?



Jigoro
November 9th, 2007, 03:39 AM
This looks like a nice forum. I'm from abroad (the Netherlands) so Englisch isn't my mother language.

I recently started 'learning' the crawl and I could really use some :help:
I can generate quite an acceptable speed with my arms but I do have 3 big problems with my crawl right now.

1. I swallow way to much water. This often happens right after inhaling air. I am under the impression that I stop inhaling before I turn my head and I start exhaling once my head is back under the water surface.

2. I can't generate any speed with my legs, not even one tenth of a meter per second.:(
Right now I just move my legs up and down, I keep my legs and feet straight with my toes extended. Since I don't get any speed and I have strong legs I must do something wrong.

3. I don't know how the arms and legs should work together. I hear 3 different versions:
- don't pay attention to the legs, you will move them automatically to compensate
- 2 strokes with the legs for 2 strokes with the arms
- 6 strokes with the legs for 2 strokes with the arms
What is indeed the best technique for the crawl?


Thanks to anyone who gives me some good tips.

Jigoro
November 9th, 2007, 07:06 AM
The double post wat unintentional.:doh:

geochuck
November 9th, 2007, 09:01 AM
Don't just turn your head, roll your body.

Kick can be 2, 4, 6 beat.

Some say 2 beat for distance swimmers, 6 beat for sprints.

It is what feels comfortable for you.

I was a sprinter and a long distance swimmer, I always did a six beat kick. I just let the legs balance me in the distance races without a lot of effort.

geochuck
November 9th, 2007, 09:47 AM
Swim Tips

1...Did you know many shoulder injuries for swimmers come from stretching exercises before they are warmed up? Some experts say you should not stretch at all, and do longer warm up and cool down swims.

2...What I've noticed, is that any movement which causes stress or pain should be eliminated from your stroke.

3...Races are won or lost on dives and turns. The body should go through the water with the least amount of resistance. Hands are extended, head down not looking forward, shoulders touching the ears.

4...If you slap the water, the water will slap you back with equal force. Remember Newton's third law... "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction"

5...If you drop your elbow, you will push yourself backwards.

6...If you press your thumb against your index finger, it causes tension in the forearm. Swim relaxed.

7...If you cup your hand you actually press less water when it's cupped, don't cup your hands.

8...If you force your fingers together, this also creates tention in the forearm. Swim relaxed.

9...Always finish your stroke, touching your thigh as far down the thigh as possible but keeping the body streamlined.



How the hand enters the water.

It really doesn't matter.

I found it easier to place my hand in the water with the thumb and all of the fingers entering the water at the same time. The elbow is at 90 degrees away from your little finger with a slight bend in your arm. As your hand enters the water extend and press the hand down, out from the center line of the body (about 3 to 5 lbs pressure per sq inch) very gently for about 6 to 8 inches.

Then you press the hand back towards the center line of the body (at 9 to 12 lbs pressure per sq inch) not applying full pressure and take it to the catch point of your stroke.

When you get to the catch point max it (about 25 lbs per sq inch) keep the hand as close to the body as practical and press down to your thigh.

Jigoro
November 11th, 2007, 05:58 AM
Thanks for the info and tips geochuck.
I'm still wondering about how you should kick your legs. At this site they give an explanation about the technique: http://www.zweminfo.nl/borstcrawl.htm
You'll probably not be able to read this (Dutch) but they also use pictures: http://www.zweminfo.nl/bcboverz.htm. ;)

So, they say that you have to bend your knees and feet. Is their explanation correct?

Jigoro
November 11th, 2007, 06:17 AM
Swim Tips

1...Did you know many shoulder injuries for swimmers come from stretching exercises before they are warmed up? Some experts say you should not stretch at all, and do longer warm up and cool down swims.
great, my warming up with swimming and running is simply that I start with an easy speed. Usually after 10-20 minutes (depending on temperature, fitnesslevel etc.) I will increase my speed.
I've never experienced stretching to be useful so as long as I don't train in a group I don't stretch. Luckily I don't easily get injured.



2...What I've noticed, is that any movement which causes stress or pain should be eliminated from your stroke.

That's never been a problem for me (maybe I'm not flexible enough to make such large movements that it damages my tendons?). Luckily I'm receiving some training from a teammate who is a licensed swimmingtrainer (highest degree in the Netherlands) so I guess that should guarantee that I will learn the proper technique as long as I follow her instructions. Sometimes I get a cramp when I swim too long or too intensively.
I already have quite a good breaststroke (from a lifeguardcourse), I also wanna learn the butterfly and the backcrawl as soon as I feel comfortable with the breaststroke.
I practiced yesterday and it turned out that I held my mouth in the wrong way while breathing with the crawl, I looked to my side in stead of above me to the left. I don't bend my elbow enough before the push, so that's my first priority. I also started with making turns, now just a roll on my back.
Right now I can't imagine myself to be capable of synchronizing 6 kicks with 1 armcycle but I guess it is gonna be possible as soon as all the rest is an automatism.