- Hand entry – If your head is at 12 o’clock, your hands should enter the pool at 1 and 11. This helps prevent “cross over” which basically makes you swim like a snake back and forth through the water. You lose a lot of energy constantly trying to keep going straight. This also prevents over-rotation of the shoulder and hips which can also bleed power from your stroke.
- Hand glide position – This is where you start your pull. You want to make sure you hand reaches to the pool wall and glides for a moment at head depth before you start your pull. This lets you get every last bit of forward momentum before starting your pull and lets you get some “glide time” for a second or two on each stroke – that way you are fresh when you get out of the water.
- Kick – You want
First of all, breathing on both sides, or bilateral breathing, is a must. (I can hear the groans!!!) Let’s see if you are physically capable. Stand up and twist the upper half of your body to the right and then to the left. Then turn your head to the right and left. SCHEZAM!!! You can learn to breathe to both sides. Why is this necessary? Imagine or perform the following experiment. Find an open space about 400 yards long. Select a target and try to walk straight towards it EXCEPT close your eyes and turn your head, looking to the right every 2 steps. Sneak a look forward every 10 steps. Vision in the water will be even more restricted than this because you may or may not be able to see forward depending upon wave conditions, fog in your goggles or glare from the sun reflecting off of the … Read the rest
If you are going to compete against the world’s best, then being tall is a great advantage. The reason for this is because the taller you are the longer you can pull under water with each stroke. Being able to pull further with each stroke means that you can take fewer strokes per lap than somebody who is shorter. This is a great advantage for you as the shorter person would have to either outlast you or move their arms quicker and they are 2 things you could improve also. Unfortunately for them, they can’t improve their height.
Height is not the only factor so don’t despair if you are vertically challenged. Your stroke rate is an important element in increasing speed. Your stroke rate is calculated by how many strokes you take per second. The faster you can stroke the faster you can potentially go. The word ‘potentially’ is … Read the rest
If your hips and breasts have close or nearly equal measurements and your waist is small and defined, you have the hourglass body type, which is the same as Scarlett Johansson and Jessica Alba. Basically you can wear anything, from a bikini to a monokini, since your body is proportionate. If you are a bit voluptuous and are conscious about your upper body, you could get halter bikinis that are banded around the midriff, so you get the right amount of coverage and support. If you are wearing a one-piece suit, see to it that the straps are thick and the bust area has foam cups or under wirings. If you are a skinny hourglass babe, go for string bikinis with triangle tops or bandeaus. Avoid color blocking though in your ensemble, as this may contradict the proportionality of your body.
Now, if you have a triangular shaped body – … Read the rest
Swimming fast is as much about reducing resistance as it is about producing force. As soon as the body moves out of a streamlined position, the water slows the body down. The breaststroke action moves a long way from a streamlined position and as a result is the slowest stroke. As soon as the swimmer lifts their head to breathe, the legs are pushed downwards and the water hits them like a brick wall.
To overcome this problem the swimmer must do what they can to return to a streamlined position after each stroke. This is the key to swimming fast breaststroke. Training should be centred around both generating power and reducing resistance. One of the most common mistakes made by a swimmer when trying to race quickly in this stroke is to stroke too fast.
Increasing the stroke rate to create more speed is crucial to any swimming race. … Read the rest
Water Gear AquaFlex Paddles have adjustable fan blades on each side which allow the user to vary resistance level in the water. Their innovative design functions to increase resistance in the water for an upper body workout; however, they can also be used for therapeutic purposes. Try swimming freestyle while holding them, or even submerging to your shoulders and clapping with them for a chest workout. These are paddles you can certainly get creative with!
The Finis Freestyler paddles are the only paddles designed specifically for improving your freestyle stroke. The blade on the underside facilitates improvement of freestyle technique. These paddles glide across the water like miniature surfboards. Getting your elbows up high is important for freestyle swimming, and these paddles were designed to assist with that aspect as well as with maximum elbow extension. The Finis Freestyler paddles also facilitate proper hand position and entry into the water. … Read the rest
Arrive to the race start with plenty of time. You want to avoid rushing when putting on your wetsuit. To prevent tears, use BodyGlide, go slowly and pinch the neoprene instead of digging into it. You must wear your race cap but you may want your regular cap underneath for extra warmth. Prepare your goggles by using an anti-fog treatment. I find that Foggle wipes work best.
Entering the Water
With a beach start, run straight into the water until about hip deep, then dolphin dive. This involves using a butterfly-like stroke while diving down. You can grab the sand with your hands to help propel you forward. Put your feet down and push off the bottom. Repeat as necessary until you are past the waves and the water gets deeper. Practice this start either in a shallow pool or at the beach to master the skill.
Does that … Read the rest
Arms Under and Over
The arms work together at the same time. Both arms come out of the water over the head and around in a circle – vertical to the water. The arms land out stretched on top of the water in front of the shoulders.
They now have to push down towards the toes, and when they reach the thigh, they need to come out of the water, go over the head and land outstretched in front of the shoulders.
It is similar to doing the crawl with both arms at the same time.
The central part of the butterfly stroke is the kick. A kick that requires the legs and feet to be stuck together and act like a dolphin’s flipper. The legs should work together in unison in a fluid wave like manner. In the beginning wearing flippers may be a good idea to … Read the rest
While most goggle models don’t come in various sizes, there are various models that are designed for certain swimmers. Aqua Sphere has various Lady goggles available for female swimmers. This line is specifically geared towards women that have smaller face frames. Unlike larger goggles, these form-fitting frames won’t let in water from the sides. If you’re a fitness or competitive swimmer, try the form-fitting, ultra clear Aqua Sphere Kaiman Lady Goggle.
Both men and women will enjoy goggles that use a unique technology called ‘positive pressure system’. Found in many Barracuda goggles, this system allows the goggle’s frame to stay firmly in place without the feel of uncomfortable suction. The lenses are able to seal themselves into the eye socket for a comfortable, leak free fit. The Barracuda Standard Optical Grade Goggles produce a great seal and fit for any type of swimmer.
To avoid painful, irritating blisters, … Read the rest
Straight Arm Dolphin
What it helps: Feel for exact arm movements
This drill incorporates the dolphin kick in order to give your arms, hands and fingers a better feel for the water. Kick off from the wall, hands straight out in front of your body. Perform the dolphin kick and really feel your hands leading your body up and down in a gentle undulation. When you need to come up for a breath, perform a compact breaststroke upper body stroke to help bring your head to the surface. This drill can be performed with or without hand paddles. The Finis Agility Paddles work great with any stroke, but are especially good with the breaststroke because they increase a swimmer’s awareness of the hand and arm.
High Heel Kicks
What it helps: Kick efficiency; improves extension and glideIn this drill, instead of laying face down in the pool, you’ll want to … Read the rest