Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Optimal Swimming Stroke

Everyone's a coach, right?

I have been swimming my whole life, although I never swam competitively.  Now that I teach swimming I know that swim instructors are just people who know something about swimming and want a job.  They may or may not know the correct way to teach or the correct way to swim.  So, the way I swim may or may not be the best way to swim.  Regardless, I do a pretty good job, I'm a little bit on the faster side, and I've done alright in races.  So, win?

Earlier this week I was at the pool while one of my good friends and fellow swim instructor and coach was in the guard chair.  I was doing a long workout consisting mostly of pulling drills.  She took a look at my stroke and form and gave me some pointers.  She said I had really low elbows both out of the water and in the water.  She said I don't reach far enough in front of me to pull all the water.  And she said I had a really high stroke rate, like 23 strokes per 25 yards.  She did say I had good hip rotation.

I relayed all this information to my coach and she basically said, "who cares?"  My friend is a good six inches taller than me and my coach is about my size (and an effing beast of an athlete).  My coach said there was nothing wrong with a high stroke rate and that I shouldn't worry about swimming with a straight arm to catch more water.

I have a few other confidants at the pool I've talked to this about.  They wondered about my shoulder rotation.  Sure I have good hip rotation but are my shoulders rotating too to be able to reach further?  They check out my flexibility in my shoulders and elbows and said it was good.  Hopefully I'll be able to get them to actually look at my stroke later this week (when I get over this cold enough to stop coughing and get my head into the water).

1 comment:

Kurlanska Family said...

Why would you waste your energy with a high stroke count when you could be more efficient under the water? Your core is key - If you roll your shoulders with rolling your core-(think from the tips of your finger tip to your hips)your reach/roll is longer- and an efficient stroke under the water means less rotations and less potential for should injuries.

I am not a beast of an athlete not am I a tri coach but I am a swim coach with many years of competitive swimming and coaching behind me. Shoulder rotation matters....high elbows matter...your core matters...size of your body does not. I have short 9 year olds that have the same stroke count as teenagers...guess who the better/more efficient swimmers are?

Would you tell a runner that foot/heel/toe strike doesn't matter?