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Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday: Bent Arm Workout

This week’s Swimming Tip Tuesday, we’ll talk front crawl and focus on the movement of the arms as we progress the skill. Specifically, we will talk about keeping your elbow slightly bent as you reach your hand in front of your body to enter the water. Front crawl is a skill we begin learning in the upper preschool levels and swim kids 1 and 2. Teaching us the basic movements of Front Crawl. To make coordination as simple as possible, beginners move their arms in a full circle. As we progress through the levels swimmers develop more strength through conditioning. It is when we enter swimmer 5 that bent elbows are introduced.

Why do we bend our elbows during the recovery phase of the stroke? For starters the recovery phase is when our arms are above the water. Bending the elbow reduces the recovery phase time and makes the stroke more efficient, so we no longer must full rotate at the shoulder blade. This also allows the swimmer to focus on generating more force during the push phase. The push phase occurs when we push the arm through the water and past our hips.

Beginners often bend at the wrist instead of the elbow. The reason this difference is important is because bending at the wrist does not reduce time spent in the recovery phase. Furthermore bending at the wrist creates drag, as the body is no longer streamline when entering the water.

Remembering to bend at the elbow slightly as you reach your hand in front of your body to enter the water is a key component in advancing one’s front crawl from a beginner stroke to an intermediate stroke. To help graduate your stroke from beginner to intermediate, check out the workout below.

Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday: Cullen Jones from 2012 Team USA performing Freestyle.

Bent Arms workout for Front Crawl:

Swimming Tip Tuesday Workout 1:

Equipment: Flutter board

Use of Equipment: hold the Flutter board in both hands in front of the body

Action: Perform Bent arm Front Crawl

Emphasis: Focus on exaggerating the rotation of the body and having your armpit facing upwards as you recover the arm around.

Distance: Repeat for 100m, 30 seconds of rest in between each 50m.

Reason: The flutter board will provide extra buoyancy during exaggerated rotation. This motion will give us enough room to focus on bending the elbow high above the body.

For more workouts on how to improve your strokes, visit us again.

That’s a wrap for today’s Swimming Tip Tuesday!

Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday Front Crawl: Avoiding Drag.

This weeks’ Swimming Tip Tuesday, we will discuss how to avoid ‘drag’ when performing Flutter Kick, specifically during Front Crawl.

Before we get right down to it, lets quickly review what drag is. Drag is the force that pulls the body backwards as we swim. It comes into effect when the body exits streamline position. Understanding that one does not swim only in streamline position, the swimmer learns to use the water to move forward.Natation Conseil Mardi

A common beginner mistake when kicking is to kick from the knees down. However the as a swimmer you want to utilize the whole leg. Focusing on the action and generating momentum at the hips. Using the larger muscles in the leg to generate power.

Swimming Tip TuesdayFor those who cannot make it to a pool here is a way to practice generating force from this hip on land. To practice this one can stand on a stool or on the stairs so there is a handrail to assist for balance. Standing sideways with one hand on the rail, swing the one of the legs back and forth focusing on the movement of the hip initially keeping the whole leg straight. Still swinging back and forth, focus on the up swing, remembering that the swimmers body will be face down throughout the stroke. The swimmer will start by pushing down on the thigh and then flicking the ankle up. The emphasis on the whole motion, the leg should look like a small controlled wave. While the most pressure should be on your feet, also move your whole legs in small, steady motion.

Translate this action into the Flutter kick, focusing on feeling a wave run down the leg from the hip to the toes. Another method of practice is to add flippers and focus on the same movement. The elongation of the leg due to the addition of the flippers forces the swimmer exaggerate the wave motion.

That’s all for this week until next Swimming Tip Tuesday.Swiming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday Front Crawl Speed and Power

This weeks Swimming Tip Tuesday will dive a little deeper into building our power as we do Front Crawl which will ultimately assist with our overall speed of the stroke. Despite swimming being a full body exercise, an area often neglected by swimmers is developing upper body strength. Fortunately for most swimmers, when sharpening our technique we can also enhance our upper body strength, with that said, let’s dive in.

Swimming Fit FridayWhat we want to remember: that the swimmer should not start pulling their arm back until they give themselves enough room to reach forward under the water. Here’s why, extending the arm as far forward as the swimmer can allows for a longer opportunity to generate power. The longer pull builds musculature within the biceps and triceps.

When performing Front Crawl the step before recovery (when the arm exits the water) is to pull the hand past the hip to propel the body forward. If the distance between reaching forward and pulling back is shorter, the swimmer will generate less power.

Less power generated from the arms will force the swimmer to rely heavily on strength from their legs. This is only optimal if the swimmer is performing a Front Glide. Movement of the arms out of the water brings the body out of a streamline position. When the arms are misused, or used incorrectly this slows the swimmer down. The purpose of utilizing the arms during a stroke like Front Crawl is meant to assist rather than burden the lower body. It creates a more effective opportunity to generate power, and propulsion as well as opportunities for breathing.Swimming Tip Tuesday

As a swimmer becomes more advance the addition of ‘S’ pull will allow the swimmer to generate much more power. As the swimmer is performing Front Crawl, there will be a longer and longer moment of forward movement in between each pull phase, due to the propulsion.

To Summarize, reach for the stars, or this case as far forward as you can before each and every pull!

Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday: Don’t Start pulling your arm back until you give yourself room to reach forward under the water.

Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday Common beginner mistakes for Front Crawl

Today’s swimming Tip Tuesday will focus on a common beginner mistake for Front Crawl, regarding ones head position.

When doing Front Crawl the swimmers head position is important because it is one of the key points of rotation when breathing. If the swimmers head is miss-positioned the head can act like an anchor and cause the body to sink. The act of sinking causes the swimmer to exert unnecessary energy to complete the stroke for any desired distance.

A common beginner mistake is the swimmer will pull their head up, or forward facing when going to take a breath, rather than turn to the side. This creates unwanted strain on the neck, and throws the body out of a streamlined alignment.

To avoid this, read the following listed below:

  • The swimmer should breathe rhythmically, exhaling for a fixed period (3 seconds) of time and inhaling for a fixed period (three seconds) of time
  • The swimmer should focus on the location of the ear and nose while turning the head to the side
  • The swimmer should turn their head with the movement of their arm as they go into a side glide

Side glide: The swimmer extends one arm past the head leaning the ear down into the water bringing the swimmer onto their side. Keeping the other arm resting slightly behind the hip.

Another common beginner mistake is the swimmer will look forward, towards the wall ahead of them while blowing bubbles. Again putting unnecessary strain on the neck and throwing the body out of alignment.

While the swimmer is blowing bubbles into the water via the mouth or nose, the swimmer should aim to keep their head in the water with their eyes looking down. The swimmers head should be in line with the body and the water level should come between the eyebrows and hairline.

Indications of proper head position are as follows:

  • The swimmers neck is relaxed and not strained upwards
  • The swimmers ears are under water completely
  • The swimmers eyes are facing the floor beneath them
  • The swimmers chin is slightly tucked towards the chest

If all of the above are performed, the swimmer has successfully executed the proper head position for Front Crawl.

Tip: With eyes looking forward and down, your head should be in line with the body and the water level should come between your eyebrows and hairline.

Well That’s all for this weeks Swimming Tip Tuesday!

Until Next Time!Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday, Improving Front Crawl

Today’s Swimming Tip Tuesday will focus on Front Crawl. As a swimmer graduates from each respective level the stroke Front Crawl is refined to increase power, speed and overall efficiency. This is done slowly as it takes time to commit the basic movements to memory with the proper amount of co-ordination. A common beginner mistake when starting Front Crawl is the swimmers pulls their head up as if they are about to breathe facing forward. When the swimmer pulls their head up out of the water it takes the body out of the streamline position, the swimmers body acting like an anchor the body will start to sink due to the major shift in body position. The swimmer must then exert more effort and energy to pull them selves back to the surface of the water. To avoid sinking, one can focus on the positioning of the ear and nose when turning to breathe. The ear should smoothly enter the water as the swimmer turns their head to the side to breathe.

Let’s walk through the steps of Front Crawl to illustrate what to do for the stroke.

Please read the following steps:

  • The swimmer should start in the glide position
  • As the swimmer lowers one of arm down towards the hip
  • The swimmers’ body will rotate onto it’s side
  • As the swimmers body rotates, one will drop the shoulder down into the water
  • Rolling with the body of the swimmers head will turn as well
  • Stretching their mouth upwards to take in air
  • To ensure the swimmer doesn’t pull their head up upon enter:
  • The swimmer will focus on the position their nose
  • Turning the head so that the nose of the swimmer faces the floor.

Remember to avoid lifting your head too much out of the water. Well that’s all for this weeks Swimming Tip Tuesday.Swimming TIp Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday: Breathing FC

Today’s Swimming Tip Tuesday we will look at Front Crawl, specifically breathing and how to correct common mistakes.

Front Crawl, as we progress through the levels, becomes more and more about positioning and coordination. Timing is just one small element of getting this stroke in motion; especially in regards to breathing throughout a stroke.

Through my own teaching experience I have seen a multitude of interesting ways to breathe incorrectly. It is common for swimmers at all stages to develop habits that do not aid us in perfecting the stroke.

In order to retrieve a full breathe while doing Front Crawl, the swimmer must keep various things in mind.

  • When pulling the arms around to whether we are doing big circles or Front Crawl with bent arm, we want to be in the beginnings of side glide position as we take the breath. A common mistake occurs when we breathe as we are exiting the recovery phase. Simply put, breathe as you bring the arm out of the water, and not while you are putting your arm back into the water.
  • Head positioning is crucial, we want to keep about half our face within the water. Angling our chin towards the ceiling to bring in more air. As ones stroke increases in speed, you will want to stretch your mouth to the top side to keep it clear above the water.
  • Another way to bring our face to the correct position when first beginning to learn Front Crawl, is to bring our ear down shoulder during the side glide phase of the stroke.

Another thing to keep in mind, while performing Front Crawl is that breathing during swimming shares the same principles as breathing during other physical activities we exhale on the effort (in the water), and inhale during the recovery (while we bring our arms out).

Until Next Weeks Swimming Tip Tuesday!Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday – Diving and lift off

Todays’ Swimming Tip Tuesday, we are going to discuss diving and the importance of using our legs!

When diving it is important to bend at the knees to provide proper lift off.

A common mistake amongst new divers happens when we forget to use our legs correctly, especially during a standing dive. Trying to generate force without bending at the knees creates the opportunity to enter the water chest first instead of hands first. What those of us familiar with diving blunders call a “belly flop”. To avoid this painful lesson, here are some tips about how to position ourselves to enter the water hands first.

From the start push your feet down into the ground preparing to jump, pointing where you want to enter the water with your hands. Remember to keep your hands together, throughout the glide phase of your dive.

  • Place feet side by side

If this is uncomfortable, one may spread their feet no wider than shoulder width apart. This marks our take off point, make sure ones’ toes are as close to the edge of the pool as possible.

  • Bend at the knees till about mid-squat position

This position allows the swimmer to prepare for proper execution of the dive. Furthermore, holding this position we will want to push off with our toes pointed towards our take off point.

  • Bend at the hips bringing the upper body close to the legs.

By lowering the body, we give ourselves a closer point of entrance into the water. We also allow the swimmer to achieve the arch necessary for entering the water hands first.

Remember when moving from the take off point, we want to aim our body out. As to travel forwards, as well as upwards. The image we want to form in our mind is an half moon.

Best of Luck, and Happy Diving!Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday: Front Crawl Breathing

Our Swimming Tip Tuesday of the week:

When you are swimming, exhale slowly through the mouth, nose or both. Inhale upon rotation of the head.

The most common problem swimmers have with their breathing is not exhaling under the water. If you exhale under the water between breaths you only have to inhale when you go to breathe. This makes things much easier. It also relaxes you and helps greatly with bilateral breathing.

Your exhalation should be twice as long as your inhalation. A longer exhalation leads to a more relaxed exchange of air. Sustain this breathing pattern for a minute or two and your heart rate slows, your blood pressure drops, and your muscles begin to relax. The more you master this basic skill, the more effective your endurance swim will become. This activity can also be practiced on land.

It is important to be mindful of your capacity in this exercise. If you extend your exhalation farther than your capacity allows, your body will go into survival mode and reflexively gasp on the next inhalation. You’ll need to shorten your next breath slightly in order to compensate. One way to prevent yourself from overdoing here is to focus on creating a smooth transition between your in-breath and your out-breath, and back off a bit if you feel any urge to gasp for air.

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Exhale Through Mouth and Nose

MotivationMonday

Swimming Motivation Monday: Wish You Were Better

Today’s Swimming Motivation Monday:

Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better. – Jim Rohn

Both at work and in your day to day lives, we all face discouraging situations. Sometimes we even feel like throwing in the towel. It could be a difficult client or boss, or an exam that’s coming up. No matter what comes your way just remember; life doesn’t throw you anything you can’t handle. Keep your head held high and power through it. Summon your inner strength and seek help when you have to. Do what you have to do to get the job done.

Successful individuals don’t dream about being successful because they’re too busy being successful. They’re too busy to notice when or where it started. Success happens when you don’t have a lazy bone in your body and learn to efficiently manage your time. When you have this everything else will follow and you will achieve success beyond your wildest hopes and dreams. So here we encourage you to stop thinking and start doing. Get busy and begin to experiment with your gifts/talents. You’ll realize success looks nothing like you’ve ever imagined, nor is it suited for anyone any more than it is for you.

The quickest path to mediocrity is by living through established norms and standards. You are you and that is your greatest power. No one can take that away from you. There is something out there that you can do better than everybody else. Find it and set the standard for excellence. It is only through setting new standards that we can advance ourselves and humanity as a whole. That journey begins with understanding and embracing that you are unique and society is better off for it.

You want something, just go get it.

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Don’t wish it were easier wish you were better

Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday: Breaststroke & Slow Down

In This Week Swimming Tip Tuesday lets talk Breaststroke

  • Maintain glide position until you feel deceleration

Breaststroke is one of the more complex skills one can learn. To properly execute Breaststroke requires the brain to coordinate multiple motor functions, as a result of it’s complexity. This promotes brain health, and strengths neural pathways. To demonstrate the complexity of breaststroke we will compare it to a stroke like Front Crawl. The legs involved in Front Crawl are a quick and repetitive motion, requiring minimal engagement from the lower leg .This simple motion is coupled with a more complex arm movement. This arm movement is where intermediate swimmers engage the majority of their focus.

In contrast to Breaststroke both arm and leg movements require high levels of focus, and coordination. For example, prior to the execution of the whip, the arms begin a sequence of 2 main movements. As the arms move into their 3rd main movement the execution of the whip is completed.

Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday: An example of a swimmer entering the glide phase.

It is at this point that the body is in a full glide position. Many beginners have difficulty micromanaging these movements in proper succession. To which they never enter the glide phase. If the swimmer never enters the glide phase, they lose overall forward propulsion, and use too much energy to move a short distance. It is during the glide phase that we achieve our highest forward momentum.

A common beginner mistake is to put too many whips in succession without a proper glide phase. The reason this is not a desired movement is because the water acts as a vacuum and either leaves the swimmer in a relatively stationary position, or pulls them in the backward direction. If this continues the swimmers body will eventually sink. This is due to the large break in streamlined body position, as well as swimmer fatigue. Swimmer fatigue often happens due to the lack of efficiency in a stroke, in this case by putting too many whips in succession.

For all these reasons it is important to enter the glide position and wait until the body starts to slow down or decelerate. It is at this point that we can generate large amount of forward propulsion, without fighting water resistance. This water resistance is generated by the aftermath of our previous whip.

In Conclusion:

  • Whip one time, and one time only!
  • Enter the glide phase
  • Hold Glide ‘till Slow

Until next weeks Swimming Tip Tuesday!

Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday: Breaststroke & Deceleration.