Freestyle

Spread your fingers increase your speed

Spread your fingers increase your speed

In competitive swimming, sometimes a tenth or hundredth of a second can make the difference between first and last place, especially in the sprints like 50 Freestyle or 100 Freestyle. This can be easily achieved just by spreading your fingers apart in your stroke. The results of a new study were presented last week at the 69th Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics.

Build speed through sculling

Build speed through sculling

There is one technique that I rely on more than anything else when teaching swimmers the mechanics of swimming. It's sculling. Most sessions will have at least a few lengths of sculling, whether it's part of a warm-up, cool down or even part of the main set. Learning how your body moves, manipulates, and feels in the water is a crucial part of increasing both your speed and efficiency in the water. 

The Lochte Turn

The Lochte Turn

After a hundred years of competitive swimming, Olympian Ryan Lochte has innovated a new way to turn during Freestyle. I first noticed the new innovation while Lochte was competing for a spot on the Olympic team this past year in Omaha, but thought I was mistaken so I shrugged it off. Then I saw it again at the Olympic games and couldn't believe my eyes. 

Stable Head Freestyle

Stable Head Freestyle

There is so much we can work on when mastering Freestyle. One aspect of the stroke that causes a lot of swimmers trouble is head position. Some swimmers tilt their heads up slightly either when they breathe or when their heads are in the water during their strokes. Some swimmers move their heads from side to side, never really finding that perfect alignment position. If any of my old coaches are reading the previous statement, they are all nodding along as I used to be extremely guilty of that one.

Work towards a balanced Freestyle

Work towards a balanced Freestyle

Learning to be a balanced swimmer can be a lifelong task. Balance will not only help you in the water but help you build stability and strength outside of the water as well. Having great Freestyle is based on a solid body line, but sometimes swimmers mask their instabilities in the water by using their arms or legs to support them.

5 small tweaks that will improve your breathing

5 small tweaks that will improve your breathing

Breathing is a crucial part of swimming. Everyone knows this, but so many swimmers struggle to get it right. They often opt to lifting their heads forward or just keep their heads out of the water the entire time. These techniques not only make you less efficient in the water but can actually make your overall breathing significantly harder. Developing good breathing technique is one of the hardest thing for new or intermediate swimmers to master.

Swim like a giant

Swim like a giant

I once had a coach tell me that the best way to swim is to imagine yourself as twice the size you are. Over my career as both an athlete and coach, I've seen a lot of swimmers who swim like individuals half their size. What I mean is that they shorten their strokes, especially in Freestyle or as some call it Front Crawl, which causes them to lose out on some much efficiency in the water. One big idea that I try to get swimmers to understand is the notion of swimming like someone twice their size.