Monthly Archives: May 2016

What Swimming Means to Me


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Straight Arm Freestyle vs. High Elbow Freestyle

One of the most controversial arguments there is in freestyle sprinting is whether a swimmer should do straight arm swimming or high elbow catch swimming when it comes to how they move their arms through the water. Here, Swim Technique TV demonstrates the two different techniques and explains their effectiveness.

Depending on the person, each technique may vary. It has different results for each person. The only way to find out what technique will work for you is to experiment and play around with the two techniques. You can then see which one will work best for you.

Sleep More and Swim Faster

You can be the hardest trainer in the world. You can train all the time and totally outwork your competition, but If you do not give your body enough time to recover, all that time spent training will be wasted. The best and easiest way to ‘recover’ is through sleep. The amount of sleep an athlete gets per night has a direct impact on their athletic performance.

In numerous studies it has been proven that getting extra sleep while training improves athletic performance. It not only helps performance, but also helps one’s mood and sharpness during the day.

Why this post is relevant to swimming? It’s because particularly college athletes, as well as school children and professionals have a full schedule that has a lot of demands. In order for them to satisfy these demands, they tend to sacrifice sleep. As a result, it can often be seen to have a negative impact on their performances. Sleep helps improve athletic performance because when you asleep, the body releases hormones that help rebuild muscles, which helps you recover quicker.

So, more sleep, faster recovery. So next time you feel exhausted from swim practice, maybe ask your coach if you can take the morning off and sleep in. You will see a big difference the next time you get back into the pool.

Training The “5th” Stroke 

Traditionally, swimming has consisted of 4 swimming strokes. The butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle. Those 4 strokes form the bases  of swimming which leads to other events. For instance the individual medley, which is a race that consists out of all 4 strokes at once. But in recent years, a 5th stroke has come into play and that is the underwater body dolphin.

The underwater body dolphin is pretty much exactly how it sounds. Swimmers put their arms into a streamlined position above their heads and try mimic the movement a dolphin would make if it was in the water. Many of the professional swimmers in the world, like Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte have become masters in the underwater body dolphin and have the results to prove it.  A classic example of how the stroke is implemented is when one is watching the NCAA swimming championships. Majority of the races are spent underwater, as for some people, the their under water body dolphin is faster than their actual swimming on top of the water.

To become a master of this 5th stroke, one requires a strong core to hold the shape required to move through the water most efficiently. Other than core, it takes a lot of practice to reach 15meters off each wall.

So if you want to be as great as Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte, I recommend that you work on your underwater body Dolphins! They make a huge difference!