Swimming World December 2021 Presents – Swimming Technique Concepts – Maximizing Swimming Velocity Part 6: The Push Phase

Swimming World December 2021 - Swimming Technique Concepts - Maximizing Swimming Velocity Part 6 - The Push Phase
FIG. 1 >This graph shows the decrease in the pull and push phase time from distance to sprint pace for all four strokes for elite male swimmers.

 

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Swimming Technique Concepts – Maximizing Swimming Velocity Part 6: The Push Phase

By Rod Havriluk, Ph.D.

 

Previous articles in this series (SW July, August, October) showed that swimmers substantially decrease time in the non-propulsive stroke phases (recovery and entry) to increase stroke rate and increase swimming velocity.

In contrast, research shows only a small decrease in time in the propulsive phases (pull and push) with increases in swimming velocity. The findings support the importance of keeping the hand submerged long enough to maximize propulsion and swimming velocity.

 

PULL AND PUSH PHASES
The graph in Fig. 1 shows that elite male swimmers had only a very small change in either the pull or the push phase time with an increase in swimming velocity. Hand force analyses clearly show that swimmers who decrease the push phase time sacrifice propulsion.

 

FREESTYLE PUSH PHASE
The swimmer in Fig. 2 (see in article) is a typical example of how swimmers decrease push phase time. The swimmer’s right elbow is only about 1-tenth of a second into the push phase, and his elbow is already breaking the surface. Because the swimmer’s elbow is pulling his hand upward, his hand force is decreasing.

It is natural for a swimmer to prematurely elevate the elbow during the push phase to increase stroke rate and swim faster. The upward elbow motion pulls the hand upward, which decreases the push phase time, but also compromises propulsion.

In contrast to the swimmer, the biomechanical model’s elbow (right image) is 2-tenths of a second into the propulsive phase and below the surface in a very strong position to generate force. Although near the end of the push phase, the model’s hand force is still near the peak.

 

To continue reading about maximizing propulsion and swimming velocity in the push phase, 
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Dr. Rod Havriluk is a sport scientist and consultant who specializes in swimming technique instruction and analysis. His newest ebooks in the “Approaching Perfect Swimming” series are “Optimal Stroke Technique” and “Swimming Without Pain,” and are available at swimmingtechnology.com. Contact Rod through info@swimmingtechnology.com. All scientific documentation relating to this article, including scientific principles, studies and research papers, can be provided upon demand.


Swimming World December 2021 - World Swimmers of the Year - Caeleb Dressel and Emma McKeon Lead the Way - Double COVER[Dressel Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher / USA Today Sports]

 

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FEATURES

014 2021 SWIMMERS OF THE YEAR
by Dan D’Addona, Matthew De George, John Lohn and David Rieder
World: Caeleb Dressel (Male American) & Emma McKeon (Female Pacific Rim)
Male Pacific Rim: Zac Stubblety-Cook
Female American: Katie Ledecky
European: Evgeny Rylov & Sarah Sjostrom
African: Ahmed Hafnaoui & Tatjana Schoenmaker

022 THE TOP 10 PERFORMANCES OF 2021
by John Lohn
Five-time Olympic champion Caeleb Dressel heads the list of the best swimming performances produced in 2021, thanks to his world record in the 100 meter butterfly at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Overall, the top 10 performances consisted of seven women’s efforts and three from the men. A further breakdown reveals seven individual swims and three world record-setting relays.

025 HONG KONG HERO
by David Rieder
People gathered in shopping malls, crowding in front of big screens to watch their national hero race for Olympic medals. Others watched on office conference room TVs, while passengers on the train had their mobile devices tuned to the Tokyo Games. What they saw was Siobhan Haughey become the first and only Olympian from Hong Kong to capture multiple medals—two silvers in the 100 and 200 freestyle.

032 ISHOF FEATURE: AQUATOTS MURDER CASE—THE KATHY TONGAY STORY (Part 3)
by Bruce Wigo
This is the final story of a three-part series about “The Aquatots Murder Case” regarding the death of 5-year-old Kathy Tongay and the subsequent murder charge against her father, Russell. This month’s episode: Russell Tongay’s appeal, life in (and out) of prison, what happened to Kathy’s brother, Bubber, and the impact the case had on age group sports in America.

044 NUTRITION: HOLIDAY/INTENSE TRAINING
by Dawn Weatherwax
To train hard, you need to eat hard! Make sure you put as much emphasis on nutrition and sleep as you would on your workouts.

COACHING

036 COACHING IN A CHANGING ENVIRONMENT (Part 2)
by Michael J. Stott
Last month, in Part 1, Swimming World explored how COVID-19 altered swim training as we have known it. This month, we look at some issues and opportunities facing club swimming as it strives to be the sport of choice for a younger generation.

042 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: MAXIMIZING SWIMMING VELOCITY (Part 6)—THE PUSH PHASE
by Rod Havriluk
In freestyle and butterfly, swimmers typically decrease the push phase time to increase stroke rate and swimming velocity. In doing so, the premature upward motion of the elbows pulls the hands upward and compromises propulsion. Most swimmers can gain additional propulsion on the push phase by pushing the hand backward instead of pulling the hand upward.

045 SPECIAL SETS: ZOE DIXON—VERSATILITY IS KEY
by Michael J. Stott
Zoe Dixon, 2021-22 National Junior Team member, has had quite a year. Swimming for Coach Norm Wright at NOVA of Virginia, the 17-year-old is ranked No. 1 in Virginia and 11th nationally for the Class of 2022, and has committed to the University of Florida.

047 Q&A WITH COACH BRENT BOOCK, ELMBROOK SWIM CLUB (Wis.)
by Michael J. Stott

048 HOW THEY TRAIN CAMPBELL STOLL
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

041 DRYSIDE TRAINING: FINISH STRONG
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

051 UP & COMERS: THOMAS HEILMAN
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS & SPECIAL SECTIONS

012 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

013 DID YOU KNOW: ABOUT THE 1951 PAN AMERICAN GAMES?

028 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

050 HASTY HIGH POINTERS

052 GUTTERTALK

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