Jan 112016
 

MusclesAs swimmers, we often feel pretty fit and definitely have a bias toward being in the water for our exercise. But, it is critically important to your health and well-being to also incorporate land-based training. You need to establish and maintain strength, stretching and balance (which goes as we age).

Doing so will really help your swimming and especially help your shoulders which can take quite a beating in the pool. It’s also a nice way to simply change things up. You might surprise yourself with how good it feels, so give it a go!

We’re no different than pitchers with our astronomical repetition count on those shoulders. Think I’m kidding? Next time you are in the pool, count just your freestyle strokes. Every single freestyle stroke. Now multiply that by how many workouts you do each week, each month, each year. Yeah, it really adds up.

Help your shoulders, improve your core stability, and strengthen your hips, glutes and legs by doing land-based exercises. You don’t need to have a gym membership. Hiking, walking, and running are good, but sometimes you don’t have that much time. So make the most out of the time you have and try incorporating workout options you can do right in your own home.

For a no-cost option look no further than Darbee.com. I stumbled on this site recently and am blown away by the number of offerings they have. You can do the workout straight from their web browser or download a PDF of that day’s challenge. There are hundreds of workouts here and many require no equipment at all. Be sure and read Darbee’s overview and instruction manual before you set off doing the routines. And, know your limits! Start small and build. After all, we don’t want you missing any pool time, right?

Take the challenge and broaden your fitness horizons. You’ll love the feel and your swimming will probably improve if you stick with it. Happy exercising!

Here’s the link to get an overview of the variety of programs Darbee offers. http://darebee.com/programs.html

Here are some samples of the workouts you can download from Darbee. Each workout also lets you know who it is geared toward and what muscles are worked. How cool is that?

Hear Me Roar for Ladies

Purgatory HIIT Workout

Sun Salutation Yoga Workout

 

Sep 032015
 

flip-turnLearning a flip turn can be intimidating but definitely worth your while to learn. I’ve done some previous posts here on our website and those posts are listed at the end of this posting. I stumbled on two new videos on freestyle flip turns. One is a drill to learn the initial “flip” technique and the other walks you through the full flip turn sequence with some excellent tips. Both are great!

Many open water swimmers and triathletes ask why they should bother learning flip turns since they don’t use them out in the open water. There are three compelling reasons to learn flip turns if you practice in a pool!

  1. Don’t you get frustrated watching everyone get by you on those walls? :-) Of course you do! Why not level the playing field?
  2. Flip turns are really good for learning airway management which you most definitely need in an open water swim. Once you master the steps to the flip turn, then learn to manage your air as you go into the turn and then come out of the turn. Always exhale through the turn and, optimally, don’t breathe that very first stroke off the wall. Why? You create your own wave action coming off the wall and you create resistance by going for air through that wave. Ride the wave out a little bit with a few strokes and that will lead to a more efficient start to your next lap. 
  3. Save energy by learning to maximize your wall action with an efficient flip turn. The very fastest you will be when you swim is off the starting block and off the walls. An open turn can be efficient, but a flip turn executed properly is really efficient.

Ok, here’s the first video and it has a very easy drill to set you up for learning the action of the initial flip. All you need is some lane space and a kick board.

This second video take you through the actual turn on the wall with some terrific pointers on how to refine the flip turn.

If you want more information on flip turns and the other turns we use in swimming, here are some of our other postings available on our Swymnuts website:

The Importance of Turns

Open Turns

Individual Medley Turns

Back to Breast Crossover Turn

Freestyle Flip Turn Drill

Speed Up Your Turn!

Sep 022015
 

Great article on Backstroke Starts appeared recently in SwimSwam featuring The Race Club’s Gary Hall Sr. and World Champion Backstroker Junya Koga. Key take away points:

  • Foot placement is key – shoulder width apart to get the most power
  • Hips should be above the water when in the ready to launch position
  • Head snaps back like you are looking for the other end of the pool upside down
  • Arms go up over the top (not out to the side)
  • Thrust the hips to the sky to help your back get the arch it needs
  • Start should be quiet – you slip through the water not crash onto the water
  • We need a backstroke ledge! Good news, we are in the process of getting one to fit the IVC blocks

Click here for the SwimSwam article that goes with this video below:

May 052015
 

Dr. G. John Mullen is one of my favorite Dryland specialists out there. A swimmer himself, a physical therapist, and a guy that really understands how our bodies work, I find myself reading his blogs regularly. I come away knowing so much more. Today this landed in my reading feeds and the timing is perfect as I talked to a few swimmers about this subject this week. 

Many of us are week in our thoracic spine region. We cannot afford to be. So get off the couch and do these exercises! 
Thoracic Spine Mobility in Swimmers

Apr 202015
 

This past week British Swimmer Adam Peaty absolutely smashed the world record in 100M long course breaststroke at the British Championships in London in an amazing 57.92. Below is the video of his race and his interview after the race.

A few things in his technique stand out:

  1. He ALWAYS returns to the line out front. Even with a very quick tempo to his stroke, he does not sacrifice getting completely horizontal after each stroke. Note how his head and chest drop below his shoulders.
  2. His hip slide is phenomenal! Watch how far forward his hips slide on the insweep of the stroke. Note how dry his back is and how the wave behind him stays low on his back.
  3. His undulation is mild with hips always at or near the surface.
  4. The timing between his pull and his kick is perfection. Slow the video down and you will see that he is almost in streamline out front as his ankles quickly draw up behind him kicking him into a beautiful streamline.
  5. On the pull his elbows remain high and his hand strike forward is in very shallow water.

Adam is only 20 years old. Wow!

In this version you get a little better look at him close up, but it is missing the turn. Adam is in the lime green suit in Lane 4.

In the next video here, you get to see the turn (along with the crowd’s reaction).