Swimming: video analysis

A key part of the training camp this weekend was swim video analysis. Despite my timed swim test performances (1500m, 4x400m, 20x100m) improving substantially of late – principally due to the squad-based fitness sessions I’ve been attending – I knew my technique was pretty raw. I took five 1-on-1 lessons with Swim for Tri in April/May: this got me breathing bilaterally and showed me basic extension and rotation drills. But – never having seen myself self on screen before – I was otherwise at a loss as to what to work on this winter.

Here’s my video.

HEAD ON: rotation is improved (Dan tells me!). But the main faults you notice are: 1/ my straight-arm action – especially on the left arm – failing to bend the elbow and point the hands down at the black line. This means I’m only using shoulder power to propel through the catch. By bending at the elbow I can a) use the entire forearm as a paddle, and b) engage the ‘lats’ (latissimus dorsi muscles of the back) to be stronger through the first catch phase. This provides a less stressful and more powerful muscle engagement. Also: 2/ the hand entry creates too many bubbles (especially left hand) thus creating drag.

What to work on: 1/ focus on correct hand/arm pathway in drills and full stroke; 2/improve ‘piercing’ hand entry.

SIDE PROFILE: where to start?! Two major problems slowing me down: 1/ my alignment is tilted down from head to feet, and feet are pointed down at the ankle (despite kick being reasonably well controlled in range). This creates drag and prevents maximum stream-lining through the water; 2/ no proper glide phase with the lead hand. I have worked on this using extension switch drills, but I slip back to ‘wind-milling’ when trying to go quicker (fine if you’re a sprinter, but inefficient for swimming 1.5 to 3.8k during a triathlon).

What to work on: 1/ strengthen leg kick through drills to properly engage glutes and lift the legs; 2/ slow the full stroke down and focus on full extension, and also use extension and catch up drills. This will also further aid rotation.

Swim for Tri can be reach for coaching, lessons and endless pool video analysis at http://www.swimfortri.com

Leave a comment

No comments yet.

Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s