Thursday, May 20, 2010

Increase Your Efficiency in the Water to Build Speed

Integrating changes to your swim strokes or workout routines can often be so difficult that it becomes easier to throw in the towel, than work through the challenges.

Most seasoned swimmers find it hard to take on new ideas or methods to improve their swim stroke, when they feel their current way works just fine. It’s likely a swimmer could go faster and move through the water cleaner if they modify their stroke.

Here are some helpful suggestions:
1) First, find a trusted eye (coach, instructor, or personal trainer) that has knowledge, credentials, and proven track record. Explain to them your goals, and remind them of any physical problems that might get in your way (diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, etc.).
2) Find your weaknesses, and seek drills to improve upon those pieces.
3) Train with others that make you work harder/more often, yet encourage you to swim efficiently.
4) Periodically time yourself for different distances or a predetermined amount of laps.
5) After you warm up, and before your cool down, check the number (count one hand only per length) of strokes it takes you. This will encourage you to not forget to glide in your stroke.
6) Remember that it always takes less work to swim efficiently, and makes you faster in the long run.

Written by Dan Lavin
Aquatics Director, Seattle Athletic Club Northgate

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