Swimming World January 2022 Presents – Swimming Technique Concepts – Maximizing Swimming Velocity Part 7: Optimal Stroke Cycle For Butterfly and Freestyle

Maximizing Swimming Velocity Part 7 - Optimal Stroke Cycle For Butterfly and Freestyle
FIG. 2 > The model demonstrates the propulsive phase (top image) and non-propulsive phase (bottom image) of butterfly.

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Maximizing Swimming Velocity Part 7: Optimal Stroke Cycle For Butterfly and Freestyle

By Rod Havriluk

Previous articles in this series presented the stroke cycle component times for the arms for elite male sprinters. The average propulsive phase times could be slightly longer because swimmers do not always take full advantage of the time that they could generate propulsion. The average non-propulsive phase times could be shorter because swimmers waste considerable time.

A swimmer who takes full advantage of the propulsive phase and eliminates the wasted time on the non-propulsive phase can optimize stroke cycle time. This article presents optimal times for both the propulsive and non-propulsive phases of butterfly and freestyle with corresponding predicted performance improvements.

PROPULSIVE AND NON-PROPULSIVE PHASES
In butterfly and freestyle, the propulsive phase includes both the pull and push phases. The non-propulsive phase combines the recovery and entry phases. The striped bars in the graph in Fig.1 show the average propulsive and non-propulsive phase times at sprint pace for elite male swimmers from two studies (Chollet, Seifert, Boulesteix, Carter, 2006; Seifert, Chollet, & Bardy, 2004).

AVERAGE PROPULSIVE PHASE TIME
The butterfly and freestyle arm positions are similar at the beginning of the propulsive phase as shown in Figs. 2 and 3. The average propulsive phase is longer than one-half second for both strokes. However, swimmers often prematurely lift the elbows to begin the exit phase—a technique limitation that is almost universal. A propulsive phase of 6-tenths of a second is consistent with gaining maximum benefit.

 

To read more about the optimal stroke cycle for butterfly and freestyle complete with illustrations,
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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 January 2022 - Ariarne Titmus - Swimming Toward Greatness - COVER[Photo Courtesy: Robert Hanashiro / USA Today Sports]

 

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FEATURES

012 THE TOP 5 STORIES OF 2021
by David Rieder
While the pandemic and its massive effects on the sport were the lone top story of 2020, the action in the pool returned to center-stage in 2021. Unsurprisingly, the focus of the year’s top stories centers on Tokyo, where the Olympics produced some amazing performances and historic results.

016 2021 ATHLETES OF THE YEAR
by Dan D’Addona and Matthew De George

  • Diving: Shi Tingmao, China & Xie Siyi, China
  • Artistic Swimming: Svetlana Kolesnichenko & Svetlana Romashina, Russia
  • Water Polo: Maddie Musselman, USA & Filip Filipovic, Serbia
  • Paralympic: Jessica Long, USA & Maksym Krypac, Serbia

018 THE GREATEST WORLD RECORDS IN HISTORY
by John Lohn
As the 2022 campaign gets underway, Swimming World decided to look at the greatest world records in history. No, this is not a perfect science, but the eight records featured are—plain and simple—spectacular in nature and deserve all-time recognition.

020 ISHOF FEATURE: REMEMBERING SAN FRANCISCO’S SUTRO BATHS
by Bruce Wigo
Located on the ocean side of the southerly entrance to San Francisco Bay’s Golden Gate, the Sutro Baths—built in the 1890s by Adolph Sutro and eventually destroyed in the 1960s—was the world’s largest indoor swimming facility and one of the most amazing recreational and entertainment complexes ever built.

024 2021 WORLD & AMERICAN RECORD PROGRESSION
by David Rieder

026 SWIMMING TOWARD GREATNESS
by David Rieder
Australia’s Ariarne Titmus first beat Katie Ledecky, history’s greatest female distance swimmer, at the 2019 World Championships. She repeated the feat this past summer at the Tokyo Olympics, and now has her sights set on achieving even more challenging goals.

029 NUTRITION: CHILLED TO THE BONE
by Dawn Weatherwax
Bone broth is a home remedy worth adding whether you live in a cold or warm climate.

034 MENTAL PREP: BEFORE THE BEEP WITH MAX McHUGH
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COACHING

032 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: MAXIMIZING SWIMMING VELOCITY (Part 7)—OPTIMAL STROKE CYCLE FOR BUTTERFLY AND FREESTYLE
by Rod Havriluk
A swimmer who takes full advantage of the propulsive phase and eliminates the wasted time on the non-propulsive phase can optimize stroke cycle time. This article presents optimal times for both the propulsive and non-propulsive phases of butterfly and freestyle with corresponding predicted performance improvements.

036 COLLEGE SWIMMING POST-COVID
by Michael J. Stott
College swim coaches from around the country offer their thoughts on how COVID has affected their sport.

042 SPECIAL SETS: LETITIA SIM—DYNAMITE TALENT FROM TNT SWIMMING
by Michael J. Stott
Coach Jan Mittemeyer shares some sets he has given to Letitia Sim and her fellow senior swimmers at TNT Swimming in Daphne, Ala. Now swimming for Michigan, Sim was 2021’s No. 1-ranked recruit from Alabama and 15th nationally.

043 Q&A WITH COACH BRENT ARCKEY, SARASOTA SHARKS (Fla.)
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044 HOW THEY TRAIN OLYMPIC SILVER MEDALIST EMMA WEYANT
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

031 DRYSIDE TRAINING: READY, SET, GO!
by J.R. Rosania
With the new year, it’s time to think about what lies ahead and how to begin preparation for winter and early spring racing. This month’s dryland article focuses on exercises for each stroke and some explosive and core training exercises.

JUNIOR SWIMMER

039 GOLDMINDS: THE ART OF SWIMMING
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The key to fast swimming is to follow the coach’s leadership and guidance, but it’s also important to choose and make the workout special and unique just for you.

047 UP & COMERS: MAXIMUS WILLIAMSON
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

009 DID YOU KNOW: ABOUT OSCAR NORIN, CHAMPION HIGH DIVER OF THE WORLD?

041 THE OFFICIAL WORD

046 MOMS AT MEETS: BETH CURTISS

048 GUTTERTALK

049 PARTING SHOT

 

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