Swimming World Presents – Swimming Technique Concepts: Freestyle Technique For Sprint and Distance (Part 2)

SW February 2021 - Swimming Technique Concepts - Freestyle Technique For Sprint and Distance (Part 2)

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Swimming Technique Concepts: Freestyle Technique For Sprint and Distance (Part 2)

By Rod Havriluk

 

Many sources suggest that swimmers use a different freestyle technique for sprint and distance events. For example, a “straight-arm” underwater motion is often promoted for sprinting and a “bent arm” is frequently suggested for distance events. As explained in Part 1 (SW Jan), science—both physics and research—shows us that a swimmer can optimize performance in events of all distances by using the same arm motion with a different arm coordination. Part 1 also explained the most effective arm coordination for distance events. This article—Part 2 and the final part in this series—explains the arm coordination for sprint events.

OPPOSITION COORDINATION FOR SPRINT OR DISTANCE
The Index of Coordination (IdC) quantifies the relative position of the arms in a stroke cycle (Chollet, Chalies & Chatard, 2000). When one hand begins to pull at the same time that the opposite hand completes the push, the arms are in opposition, and the IdC is zero (Fig. 1, left panel).

Swimmers can use opposition coordination for a range of swimming velocities by varying the average propulsive force. For example, opposition coordination hand force curves for sprint (solid lines) and distance (dotted lines) are shown in Fig. 2. For both the sprint and distance curves, the duration of the propulsion and non-propulsion phases are both 0.6 seconds for a stroke time of 1.2 seconds and consistent with the model in the left panel of Fig. 1 and the data presented in Part 1 (SW Jan).

The sprint and distance curves are different in the average force generated on each underwater arm motion. For a distance swim—with a peak force of 40 pounds and an average force of 20 pounds per stroke cycle—the velocity is calculated as 1.5 meters/second (substituting values that are typical for fast swimmers: body cross-sectional area of 1,000 cm2 and an active drag coefficient of 0.8). For a sprint, fast swimmers often achieve a peak hand force of 65 pounds for an average force of 30 pounds per stroke cycle and a swimming velocity of 1.8 meters per second.


Dr. Rod Havriluk is a sport scientist and consultant who specializes in swimming technique instruction and analysis. His newest ebooks are “Approaching Perfect Swimming: Optimal Stroke Technique” and “Swimming Without Pain: A Comprehensive Guide to Preventing and Rehabilitating Shoulder Injuries,” 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.


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SW February 2012 - Emma McKeon COVER[PHOTO BY DELLY CARR, SWIMMING AUSTRALIA]

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Swimming World Magazine February 2021 Issue

FEATURES

012 THE PRIDE OF GIRLS’ POLO IN THE GATEWAY CITY
by Michael Randazzo
When COVID-19 lockdowns last spring stopped polo, Rob Peglar and Abby VerMeer didn’t hesitate: they focused on getting girls water polo untracked in the Gateway City. The result: the St. Louis Lions, the city’s first all-girls team.

014 ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL
by Dan D’Addona
The popular motto of The Musketeers, built on supporting each other as well as the group, is just one of many reasons why the University of Texas remains among the strongest in men’s college swimming and diving.

020 READY FOR A BREAKTHROUGH
by Andy Ross
Melanie Margalis is an Olympic relay gold medalist and a three-time relay champion at Worlds, but a podium finish in an individual event has eluded her on the world’s biggest stage. After ranking No. 1 in the 400 IM and No. 3 in the shorter medley for 2020, her turn to win a medal for the United States could take place this year in Tokyo.

022 PERSEVERANCE AND HARD  WORK PAY OFF
by David Rieder
After not qualifying for Australia’s Olympic team in 2012, Emma McKeon was ready to quit…but over the next several months, she had a change of heart and understood what was necessary to compete at a higher level. Since then, she has become a significant international force, a consistent podium presence and one of the world’s most impactful relay swimmers.

026 TAKEOFF TO TOKYO: TARNISHED GOLD
by John Lohn
East Germany’s Kristin Otto will long be remembered as a highly decorated athlete, and for turning in one of the greatest Olympic outings in history, winning six gold medals at the 1988 Games. But because of the links to her and performance-enhancing drugs, what she accomplished—before and in Seoul—will always be tainted.

029 WHO “SHOT” THE SWIMMERS? (Part 2)
by Bruce Wigo
Shortly after the 1936 Olympics in a lab in Boston, Harold “Doc” Edgerton, an electrical engineering professor at MIT, began tinkering with equipment that would change the way science explains natural phenomena—and with it, the art of aquatic sports photography—forever.

032 NUTRITION: TO BE THE BEST, YOU NEED TO EAT THE BEST!
by Dawn Weatherwax
Each year really does build onto another—nutrition is an imperative part of the process, even at an early age.

COACHING

016 SELLING PROCESS TO SWIMMERS (Part 2)
by Michael J. Stott
In 1993, psychologist Anders Ericsson wrote that greatness wasn’t born, but grown. Fifteen years later, author Malcolm Gladwell suggested that it takes roughly 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery in a skill or field. Known by the term, “process,” swim coaches use that learning curve to improve the performance of their swimmers.

036 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: FREESTYLE TECHNIQUE FOR SPRINT AND DISTANCE (Part 2)
by Rod Havriluk
Optimal freestyle technique for sprint and distance is identical with respect to the arm motion throughout the stroke cycle, but the arm coordination is different. While a swimmer can swim a wide range of velocities with opposition coordination, a swimmer will only achieve his/her fastest velocity with superposition coordination.

040 SPECIAL SETS: TRAINING THE PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE—THEN AND NOW
by Michael J. Stott
In his lengthy career, Gregg Troy has mentored athletes of all ages and abilities, which has given him a unique perspective of how to prepare post-college grads for excellence at the international level.

042 Q&A WITH COACH JOE PLANE
by Michael J. Stott

044 HOW THEY TRAIN ANDREW IVERSON
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

035 DRYSIDE TRAINING: TIME TO GET STRONG…AGAIN!
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

038 GOLDMINDS: JUST GO WITH THE FLOW
by Wayne Goldsmith
How can you control—and even master—your emotions? The answer is by learning to become a more resilient swimmer. Here’s how…

046 UP & COMERS: RICHARD POPLAWSKI
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS

010 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

011 DID YOU KNOW: 

ABOUT FREDERICK LANE?

047  GUTTERTALK

049 PARTING SHOT

 

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