How To Swim 20 Seconds Faster (Per 100m)

How To Swim 20 Seconds Faster (Per 100m)


Hi, Brenton Ford here. Welcome to the Effortless
Swimming YouTube channel. This is our second edition
of Feedback Friday, where every Friday we bring you an
analysis of someone’s stroke to help you better understand
what we’re trying to achieve in freestyle to swim faster. And this is something that we
do at our freestyle clinics. And this is something we’re
also providing now a membership. And today’s edition is
someone who we recently had on our podcast. Her name’s Tabitha Jones. And if you listen to the podcast
you would have heard that she’s taken over 20 seconds off
per 100 for her half ironman distance swim, which is 1.9 k. So that’s over five minutes off
in her 1.9 kilometer swim time. And what we have here
is the very first video that she did with us. She came to one of our clinics. And then we’ve also got
a very recent video. So these where about
nine months apart. And you can see in
the videos– once we go through them– there’s some
very noticeable differences. And some very
noticeable differences that have allowed her
to take off 20 seconds. And you can still see there’s
a few things that we’re going to work on to try and
get her down to sort of 1:30, 1:25 over the next
12 to 24 months. She’s gone from just
over two minutes per 100 down to around 1:40 per 100. So there’s still definitely
some room for improvement. But within the space of eight
to nine months, some very good improvements. So the three things that I find
probably the biggest ones here, number one is her catch. You can see in the first video
as she’s entering and extending forward, the fingertips, the
hands, the wrist, they all stay very high as she is
extending out in front. What we like to try and get
to is the position where her fingers are slightly
lower than the wrist, wrist is slightly
lower than the elbow, as you’re entering
and extending forward. This allows you to
start the catch. This allows you to start
pressing back on the water a little bit sooner as opposed
to pressing down on the water, or putting the brakes on when
those fingertips come up. And so this is probably
one of the biggest things that have helped her
take off those 20 seconds. Because when someone comes to
us, and they’re doing this, it’s slowing them down so much. And when we go through
some of the drills, like some of the
sculling drills, some of the kicking
drills, we get them to practice doing the
right thing and the wrong thing. And the right thing is fingers
below wrist, wrist below elbow. And they find out when
they go through some of these drills in the wrong
position, there’s so much drag, so much resistance
created out in front. So if we can just get
you to enter and extend in that position there,
with that nice long line out in front– where you should feel
the water coming just over the top of your fingertips
when you’re extending out in front there– that sets you up so much better
for the rest of the stroke. So that’s probably one of the
most noticeable differences. You’ll see it from the
front position as well. That’s allowed her to get
a slightly better angle in the catch. So when we look from the
front, as she’s pulling through past her shoulder, we
want to get to the angle where it’s around
100 to 120 degrees. If we take the angle
from the shoulder to the elbow to the hand,
that should be 100 to 120. So you’re not quite there yet. But much better than what
it was originally, where the arm is quite straight. So that is a very
obvious difference there. The other thing you can
see with her right hand is she’s finishing off
the back of the pool– she’s finishing a long way from
her hip in the initial video. And now she’s
finishing much closer to the hip, which
is what we want. If you finish out too
wide from the hip, it’s a much weaker position. And it’s also not directing
you straight forward. So when you push yourself
trying to pull yourself out of the pool with
that wider position, you haven’t got
quite as much power as if you are pressing back– almost brushing that hip there. So that’s the first one
and most obvious one. And probably where the biggest
improvement has come from. Second thing is the alignment. So in terms of
alignment, we like to look from the top,
so the bird’s eye view. And here we like to use
the analogy of swimming on a set of train tracks. So picture you’ve
got a set of train tracks in line with each
ear or your shoulders. And every time you enter
and extend forward, you’re following
those train tracks. It doesn’t mean that you
pull straight through and follow the train
tracks on the pool, it’s just when you enter
and extend forward. And seeing the
original video, she was coming across the head–
so quite a bit of crossover– and then swiping out
very wide on both arms. Now on the most recent
one, yeah, there’s still a little bit of that
swipe, the hands drifting out a touch, but nowhere
near as much– especially on that right one. So much better. And left isn’t quite
as much as before. But that right one is
noticeably different. And you can just see
through the body as well. There’s much less drifting
of the hips out to the side, and bend, and talking
through that body. So she’s managing to keep her
body line much more stable and still. And that nice and stable
core and body, that’s what gives you the
ability to kind of apply pressure in the water. Because if your
hips and your body is moving side to side,
if that’s snaking, its much harder to generate as
much propulsion in the catch and pull through. Second thing is the kick. She’s got a slightly
narrow kick, and keeping the
legs a little bit straighter in the
most recent video. Not a huge difference,
but enough to just reduce the amount of drag that
she’s creating there. So she’s able to be a bit
more effective with the kick. So there are the three key
points that we’ve change there. Now this very last video here
is after we did a little bit of work at the second clinic. And you can see here one
thing we were working on was a slightly better
alignment, still. Not throwing that
shoulder too far forward. So we don’t want to overreach
once we’re in there. We just want to keep that
shoulder back a little bit, kind of close to the
side of the face, without throwing it too far out. Because that’s what can put you
in that weaker position again. And it can also just cause the
hips to push out a little bit. The other thing
we’re working on was keeping the head dead center. So that’s like the steering
wheel of the rest of your body. In the other videos, head
was moving up and down to the side a
little bit too much. So what we aimed to do here
was to keep that dead center. Unless you go to breathe, don’t
move your head side to side. And you can see, doing a
much better job of it here. So a great improvement
in eight to nine months. And I’m excited
to see what we can do in the next 12, 24 months. Because improving
your swimming isn’t going to happen overnight. It takes time. It takes hard work. She’s done a lot of training
and been very consistent with her swimming. So all of these
changes don’t come without the hard work and the
consistent, regular swimming involved as well.

4 thoughts on “How To Swim 20 Seconds Faster (Per 100m)

  1. My 9yr old is 1:38/100m, she is coaching me to bring my 2min/100m down, and I tell you, nothing is worse than living with your 9yr old coach 😔

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