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s.sciame 05-19-2017 09:58 AM

a fun stroke efficiency test
We all know that we should anchor the hand/forearm somewhere in the water and try to leave it there while the body propels itself forward. This would be 100% stroke efficiency. But in reality there's always some slippage of the hand/forearm.

Curious to see how it feels to be (nearly) 100% efficient? Or really anchor the hand somewhere and don't have it slip while you travel forward? In backstroke, with some practice, while swimming you can anchor the fingertips on the rope and continue swimming without disrupting the stroke. I tried today for fun and it was really amazing :) I realized how much my hands slip while swimming normally.

Give it a try,

CoachBobM 05-22-2017 03:50 AM

Fistgloves can be a very effective tool for teaching you to grip the water better. By temporarily depriving you of the use of your hands, they force you to learn to grip the water using just your forearms. Then, when you remove the gloves, you end up using both your forearms and your hands to grip the water.

A simple way to use them is to wear them during the first 20 minutes of your practice, then take them off for the rest.


s.sciame 05-22-2017 12:54 PM

Thanks for the reply, coach Bob. I used the fistgloves in freestyle for a while in my TI early days, then they tore and I didn't buy another pair. After all, naked fist swimming did the job as well, at least for me.

Now that you make me think about it, I guess I never tried fist swimming for backstroke. That's a good idea, I'll try!

Anyway, the purpose of the test I promote in this thread is to give the swimmer a taste of what a perfect anchor (ie zero slip of the hand) feels like.


Zenturtle 05-24-2017 09:06 PM

A few weeks ago I pushed of from another womans butt who was doing breaststroke in another lane. 00-) Made her go faster and me to.

A big arm full of water is better for traction, next to a taut and streamlined body, but the most effectfull is having precise timing in combination with the right kicktiming.
I found that even in backstroke you can have something of the loaded catch effect, at least, thats how it feels.You really have to sink a bit into the cacth driven by rotation and have a true pinky first entry scooping water on the palm and then the whole arm after entry. Lifting the shoulder and elbow as much forward in the swimming direction as possible is a good method to get the biggest full body strokes.Also the same is keeping the hips and legs under control and work the upperbody the get maximal reach.
Like freestyle its crucial to to connect with the water right after arm entry and build toward the most powerfull part of the anchor/push without breaking the traction.
When combining all this and swimming in the pendulum rhythm you really get a sense of good anchoring.
Did my first 15 stroke length a few weeks ago at a decent pace with a 2bk.
That takes a lot of effort for me, moving into the limits of range of motion and working the core hard to get the most reach while keeping the body as streamlined as possible. Flexibility is a great thing to have as a swimmer.
Luckily working at the limits of your range of motion does make you more flexible over time.

I guess she feels something like a loaded catch

Her freestyle is pretty powerfull and ballistic too.

s.sciame 05-25-2017 01:24 PM


Originally Posted by Zenturtle (Post 62808)
A few weeks ago I pushed of from another womans butt

Did you travel at least 5m? ;)


Originally Posted by Zenturtle (Post 62808)
Did my first 15 stroke length a few weeks ago at a decent pace with a 2bk.

15SPL sounds pretty good. Anyway, if you try the rope anchoring test you may find you still lose some precious traction in the final part of the pull (just guessing here of course). Reaching far ahead is fine - as long as you don't overreach and break the axis of course - , however what do you think about this?

I guess she gets DPS not from reaching far ahead but from exploiting the pull/push phase till the end (ie from belly button to thighs).


Zenturtle 05-25-2017 04:46 PM

If you slip as much as you move forward during pressing on the water you already doing fine, so everybody will be surprised if they hit a ladder at the side of the pool.
By reaching i dont mean entering the arm at the centerline. Just at 10 and 2 oclock.
Its moro about lifting the shoulder as much forward as possible, with a high elbow so the forearm and hand can be positioned in the right angle as soon as possible.
The shoulder is in tension in this position and wants to move back to its normal position. You let that happen when the forearm is angled right and let elasticity take care of part of the job. The stretch runs over the whole torso.
You are right that fishtailing can happen when going too far, but with increased flexibility the compromise shifts to earlier holds on the water. Accelerating to the end makes the longer ofcourse.
All together the same old stuff that has been talked about in the freestyle section before.

pictures tell the same old story again

I like to start out in kpns V, get into a rhythm and slowly try go move the catch more upfront untill problems arise, but arms never pointing to the centerline.

3 min 40. Bodyweight right on the catchpoint, reach, high elbow, very little slip to tiles. Best traction and acceleration at shoulder height.. (but she has super kicking technique too)

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