7/1/06 - 8/1/06

Be a Safer Swimmer - 360swim SaferSwimmer

Jul 22, 2006

How Not To Swim Freestyle (Top 4 Freestyle Stroke Mistakes)

Ok, for a change let's check out how the freestyle stroke is NOT supposed be done. In this post, I will examine a short video where you will see a front view of a freestyle swimmer who is swimming against the current in a small swim flume (endless pool) which is then shown on the image at the end of the post.

These endless swimming pools are quite nice, especially if combined with a front snorkel depicted in the second picture. This way you could practice a perfect freestyle swimming stroke without being distracted with flip turns or breathing. However, Let's get back to our front view freestyle video analysis.

I am not sure who this person is, but I'll point out a few obvious bad mistakes he is doing, so perhaps he will appreciate this review. First, play the video all the way through and then play it again and try to figure out yourself what he is doing right and what he is doing wrong. Then click below to see the entire post to see if you correctly identified some of the most common freestyle stroke technique mistakes.

OK, here it is:

1.) Why is he looking at the camera? His eyes should be pointing toward the bottom of the pool and his neck should not have any wrinkles. Why do you need to look down? The answer is simple, to keep your feet elevated and therefore having less resistance when you swim through the water. More information can be found in the body position post.

2.) Imagine a line going through his body which would split him in two halves (right and left). Now check out his hands and where they enter into the water. The hands should never reach over to the other half (passed the axis). This causes the swimmer to snake through the water instead of going in as streamlined of a position as possible.

3.) From our view, the left hand is tilted with the palm out when it enters the water. That shouldn't really happen. He could catch a lot more water if he would point his palm more toward the bottom of the pool. Also, such a hand entry is the major cause of shoulder injuries, so be careful here.

4.) Stretch, stretch, stretch. Check out how on some of the strokes his elbow is still bend and he is already starting a movement through the water. He should reach forward as far as possible to find his catch and roll a little more to each side in order to achieve this. On the other hand, notice how he is keeping his head steady and only the sholders rotate, this is a very good indication of a correct freestyle stroke.

5.) I'd also like to point out that the hand on the left from our view, when in the water, goes too far to the left when grabbing the water. He should concentrate to go more under his body with his arms, thus putting less stress on his shoulder and being more streamlined.

I am sure you can think of a few more things that are wrong with the video. Please don't be shy to share them with me on the comments section. To get you started on your way to effortless and efficient swimming, check out the introduction to better body and head position in the water while swimming freestyle.

Be seen, keep your stuff dry and take a break when needed.

Jul 6, 2006

Freestyle Slow Motion (Grant Hackett - the ultimate distance freestyle stroke)

Ok guys, I have decided to go a little more high tech on this one. What is a good swimming lesson without a proper demonstration? So, here you have it. Watch Grant Hackett do his thing. Now, while you are watching the freestyle swimming video, I'd like you to think about a few key points.

a.) Look at the head position and the breathing. Not much movement there. Head is neutral and you can barely see his goggles coming out of the water. Basically, it is almost like he is sneaking a peak in there. :)

b.) Watch how smooth and relaxed he looks. This is the key to fast and efficient swimming. Looking at the underwater video, I'd guess this is from his 1500m swim (I guess you can see that on his time :)).

c.) When underwater, check out how he is grabbing so much water with his forearms up front and then pushing it behind him. He is also stretching out of his shoulders forward and finishing his stroke all the way below his butt.

d.) There are more key points that you can get out of the video, but these are the main ones. Feel free to comment on this and give us your opinion.

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