June 18, 2009

Swimming Technique – Front Quadrant Swimming

I get alot of questions about swimming, and it certainly is an intimidating thing to most people. I see so many mistakes being made in the pool and I realise that a bit of practise on technique will change so much to many triathletes. I am currently overhauling my own stroke and trying to get into a technique called Front Quadrant Swimming. Sounds like a really fancy term and there is certainly alot of misconception on the wwwonderful internet out there. For me, from what I can tell technically, it simply relates to both your hands being in the front quadrant of your freestyle stroke at a given point in your stroke cycle.

If you look at the picture above, that’s what it means. watch the awesome video here to get a full idea of the awesomeness of Monsieur Phelps.

In order to achieve this, I have had to:

1. Drop the height of my arms in the water – shoulder is the highest point, then elbow slightly below, and hand slightly below elbow.

2. A high elbow in the “catch” phase is vital, and the elbow only moves once the forearm reaches a 90 degree angle (well that’s I’m aiming for – I didn’t say I was there just yet).

3. The hips need to be still, and the upper body rotating, at the same time. The head should be still, and breathing as low to the water as possible. No checking the birds and the clouds in the sky.

4. A constant, balanced kick at the back, straight out the hip, with a straight leg to the knee, and some flex in the foot and calf. You’ll see it in Mr Phelps’s kick. Most tri heads kick out of their knees, and that slows you down.

Ok, so I am going to put this video up here again, because I believe its the best show of what you should be aiming to look like under the water. If you can get 50% of the way to this – you are doing well. 80% of the way there, and you will be out the water in the front pack.

Swimming is so hard as it is for the new guys, I am hoping this basic advice will help you in your sessions. Keep it up!

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