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Thread: Freestyle: Critique and Please Help Improve my Stroke.

  1. #1
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    Freestyle: Critique and Please Help Improve my Stroke.

    Please critique my freestyle and help improve my stroke.



    Been couple of years or so since I posted a video here, or for that matter, looked at a video of my freestyle. Didn't realize this before, and was horribly surprised! Here is what I noticed.

    1. The stretched out arm (that is, the non-breathing side arm) cross over the mid-line. It is almost like the non-breathing side stretches out over the mid-line, to help in the breathing. Terrible! I thought I had fixed this! To my untrained eye I am thinking at least the other side is OK?

    2. My legs are all screwy! Used to have a horrible case of scissor legs, even while that seems to be gotten better, however, the legs currently are terribly ungainly and lacks any sense of rhythm. Why is this?

    3. Do I roll OK. Am I rolling too much, and consequently, having the wacky leg movement?

    4. Please do help identify anything else that ailing my stroke.

    Please critique my stroke and suggest some drills I could do to help get over the nasty, inelegant stroke on display. (The last time I had suggestions of learning bilateral breathing for better balance from this forum, and at least I have gotten to do that comfortably)

    Thanks for your patience and help.
    Venkatesh

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    Very Active Member flystorms's Avatar
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    Re: Freestyle: Critique and Please Help Improve my Stroke.

    Yes, you are crossing over and that's what's causing your legs to go all screwy too. But this is totally fixable.

    1. Think of your arms as tank treads where they stay exactly on a track with your shoulders that doesn't move side to side. To go back to basics and over-exaggerate the motion, you can focus on slapping your palm on the surface of the water right in front of your shoulder, pulling with a high elbow, then doing a little flick of your palm as it exits the water at your thigh.
    2. Practice timing with the catchup drill. Glide on your extended hand just a touch longer so that your top arm is entering just as you're starting your pull with your other arm. This change in timing should also help to keep your track a bit straighter as well.

    Good luck!
    "If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to meet it." - Jonathan Winters, actor and comedian

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    Swimming gives me a buzz! Bobinator's Avatar
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    Re: Freestyle: Critique and Please Help Improve my Stroke.

    I agree w/flystorm about the cross-over and agree w/her drill idea.
    It looks to me like you're swimming in a serpentine fashion. I think you need to tightened your core and think about a straight body alignment. Instead of rolling in segments, think of your midsection (shoulder to hip) as 1 fixed unit and roll it as one.
    Other than that I think you look smooth, relaxed, and strong.
    HTFU!

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    Very Active Member ForceDJ's Avatar
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    Re: Freestyle: Critique and Please Help Improve my Stroke.

    I agree with the things you pointed out yourself. There are some who’ll disagree with my assessment, but I see your hand entering the water before your arm is fully extended in the catch. Some swimmers do this, and begin their pull from there. Obviously you wouldn't be getting a maximum pull in that case. Comparatively, think of running, and as you extend your leg out in front for your next stride you don't extend it all the way. In your case, you’re hand is entering the water…THEN you’re extending it the rest of the way…under water. That is counterproductive -- you’re pushing against the oncoming water. In the running comparison, instead of extending your leg out in the air, you drag is across the ground. For a more efficient stroke, you should get a full extension/catch and begin your pull as soon as your hand enters the water.

    Dan
    Last edited by ForceDJ; May 23rd, 2016 at 02:24 PM.

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    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Freestyle: Critique and Please Help Improve my Stroke.

    Agree with above. Also , when you dive in , they to keep the knees from bending and landing on your upper thighs. Point your legs and toes straight back on the start and entry.

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    Re: Freestyle: Critique and Please Help Improve my Stroke.

    Thanks everyone for your attention, and for the drill idea by flystorms (been practice a change in timing); much appreciated. Have a couple of follow up questions.

    1. As an aside: am I rolling (like on a barbecue spit) sufficiently, or am I over doing it? My thinking: I think I am doing just fine, for I roll just enough to get my arms out of the water. Am I wrong? My concern is I may be rolling too much, and hence, may be ANOTHER reason for my screwy legs. Expert and experienced swimmer thoughts, please?

    2. Regarding keeping the torso as a single unit. To get this going, I have been advised previously in the forum to scrunch my butt and/or suck my navel towards the back. Both I find particularly difficult to sustain, beyond a few strokes off the wall or may be a few strokes. Any other cues, ideas, or tips that may help to accomplish this?

    Thanks again for your help.
    Venkatesh

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    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    Re: Freestyle: Critique and Please Help Improve my Stroke.

    Quote Originally Posted by vteshusms View Post
    2. Regarding keeping the torso as a single unit. To get this going, I have been advised previously in the forum to scrunch my butt and/or suck my navel towards the back. Both I find particularly difficult to sustain, beyond a few strokes off the wall or may be a few strokes. Any other cues, ideas, or tips that may help to accomplish this?
    If you haven't tried yoga it is excellent way to increase spatial awareness and control that transfers to the water. Also helps with flexibility which is very improtant

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    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: Freestyle: Critique and Please Help Improve my Stroke.

    Quote Originally Posted by __steve__ View Post
    If you haven't tried yoga it is excellent way to increase spatial awareness and control that transfers to the water. Also helps with flexibility which is very improtant

    +1! In January, I added yoga to my post-swim dryland routine. I spend about 30 minutes, 6 days/week after my swims, and it has helped my strength, flexibility, and balance. Perhaps balance isn't a top priority for a swimmer, but it sure helps me on land!
    http://ElaineiaKsTravels.wordpress.com

    ~ Believing in your dreams can be far more rewarding than living by your limitations ~Karla Peterson

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    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    Re: Freestyle: Critique and Please Help Improve my Stroke.

    Quote Originally Posted by ElaineK View Post

    +1! In January, I added yoga to my post-swim dryland routine. I spend about 30 minutes, 6 days/week after my swims, and it has helped my strength, flexibility, and balance. Perhaps balance isn't a top priority for a swimmer, but it sure helps me on land!
    That's awesome Elaine!

    I'm thinking balance may also very important when swimming.

  10. #10
    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: Freestyle: Critique and Please Help Improve my Stroke.

    Quote Originally Posted by __steve__ View Post
    That's awesome Elaine!

    I'm thinking balance may also very important when swimming.

    Yes, I agree, but it's important in a different way. You don't have to worry about falling when you're swimming!

    I have Meniere's, an inner ear disorder, so balance on land is an issue in certain situations. If you would have been at UGA this past Saturday, you would have seen what I mean. I have to be very careful when I get up on the block and bend over at the command, "Swimmers, take your mark," so I step up and bend over very slowly.
    (That's why I don't do flip turns; they make me dizzy to the point of getting seasick after repetitive turns.
    http://ElaineiaKsTravels.wordpress.com

    ~ Believing in your dreams can be far more rewarding than living by your limitations ~Karla Peterson

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