please comment my stroke

Welcome! Ask your questions and chat about swimming, technique, swimming training or Mr Smooth.
s.sciame
Posts: 255
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:48 pm
Location: Rome, Italy

please comment my stroke

Postby s.sciame » Fri Oct 14, 2016 4:09 pm

Hi all,

here is a first rough attempt at taking a footage of my stroke. Normally I don't like to spend precious swimming time on videos but, since I'm self coached, I thought I might get some useful feedback out of it. I apologise for the quality of the video (I'll do better the next times), hope it's enough to find some major flaws. Any critique is welcome:

Above water view (at 1500m pace, breathing right on way out and left on way back, alternating 2bk and 6bk):
https://youtu.be/hIwi7gq1kCk

Under water view (at 4k or recovery pace):
https://youtu.be/nU09Z79aSgo

I found that I overrotate when breathing right (my less favourite side) and this causes bad stuff especially when I'm not fresh. Guess this overrotation doesn't happen (or is less visible) when I swim at faster paces.

Some additional info: I swim 3 to 4 times and 12 to 14k per week in a 25m pool. I'd like to take my css toward 1:30/100m, currently it's 1:36 but I seem to be stuck on a plateau.

Thanks in advance,
Salvo
Other SS forum members and I are also on swim.palstani.com

Shenaram
Posts: 88
Joined: Fri May 20, 2016 2:00 pm

Re: please comment my stroke

Postby Shenaram » Fri Oct 14, 2016 5:52 pm

s.sciame wrote:Under water view (at 4k or recovery pace):
https://youtu.be/nU09Z79aSgo

I found that I overrotate when breathing right (my less favourite side) and this causes bad stuff especially when I'm not fresh. Guess this overrotation doesn't happen (or is less visible) when I swim at faster paces.

Nice video. So some swimming pools do allow video taking... lucky you.

I have no intention to tell you what to do or what training programme you should follow as I think that you are front crawling very nicely and, from your previous posts, understand that you do have your own effective programme. However, I noticed in your under water footage, that you tend to make a bit of snaking, probably due to breathing assymetry. You tend to lean/point your head on the side (on your right side) when your right arm is in front, which eventually leads you body to make a "coil" movement.

I am not sure which one creates the other: the body balance or the head movement. It may be something else as well.

1.jpg
1.jpg (63 KiB) Viewed 4513 times

1b.jpg
1b.jpg (68.86 KiB) Viewed 4513 times

3.jpg
3.jpg (71.16 KiB) Viewed 4513 times

Shenaram
Posts: 88
Joined: Fri May 20, 2016 2:00 pm

Re: please comment my stroke

Postby Shenaram » Fri Oct 14, 2016 5:57 pm

By watching the footage in slow motion (Youtube has this function, for instance speed 0.25) this coil movement is quite noticeable.

I am not sure if this happens on the other side as when you breathe on the other side, you are swimming away, thus we can only see your feet and some bubbles, if we are lucky.

Very nice swim style anyway.

No need to tell you to keep going and posting, I guess...
Go for CSS 1:20!

smootharnie
Posts: 1770
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:56 am

Re: please comment my stroke

Postby smootharnie » Fri Oct 14, 2016 8:35 pm

I see a bit of paltrinieri :D
First impression is a very nice stroke with little room for technique improvement. Looks all basically sound and relaxed.
Comparing the general impression with faster swimmer, my gutt feeling is that faster swimmers release more power to the water and look somewhat more precise, tight and powerfull.
First impression: best to start training with Ducky and do a lot of fast 10x 100 or 20 x 50 sort of stuff. Tighten everything up a bit under increased load and get some more pepper, control and precision

Whats left to improve technically
Your kick is heavier than expected.
You are twisting and moving around a bit too much. More straight torpedo is better for streamline and you seem to use more energy as needed make small corrections to get everyting cruising straight forward all the time.
Sometimes you are spinning out of control.
The big kick seems to be a part of it.
Maybe do more no kick swimming and check if you can keep your body straight when doing that.
Your pull goes a bit wide and seems to slip some water at the end. There is some sloppiness there, but the basics are good. Again the slighly too relaxed layer thats laying over the movement.
Maybe focus on keeping the head more stable. Your body is following the head movement.
Its all tiny stuff thats not going to make you much faster if its fixed i guess.A few seconds per 100?
Swimming more and harder will probably give more result. You already reached a good level.
If you dont have an elite engine, getting faster needs a lot of training I guess.
Last edited by smootharnie on Sat Oct 15, 2016 8:19 am, edited 3 times in total.
GO to the new swimforum, called ....... THE SWIM FORUM......swim.palstani.com

Shenaram
Posts: 88
Joined: Fri May 20, 2016 2:00 pm

Re: please comment my stroke

Postby Shenaram » Fri Oct 14, 2016 10:54 pm

Oh, and I forgot: nice bubble moustache, indeed!

Sprinter
Posts: 330
Joined: Sat Feb 22, 2014 7:54 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Re: please comment my stroke

Postby Sprinter » Sat Oct 15, 2016 12:27 pm

To me, the head movement seems the biggest problem.
I recommend practising with the snorkel, concentrating at keeping the head as still as possible (that is, keeping the snorkel as still as possible).

It seems you hand entry is wider than your shoulders. Some recommend that, some don't. For me, clearly the precise entry in front of the shoulders works by far best, minimising the frontal area, and the overall movement. You might try it out: for me it works best when with the push-off I concentrate on this, by pulling the shoulder-blades actively together (as discussed here http://www.feelforthewater.com/2016/07/ ... ation.html ), and going in a streamline as good as possible.

This holds much more for your left arm, which recovers rather close to the surface, while the right arm shows a high elbow recovery.

s.sciame
Posts: 255
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:48 pm
Location: Rome, Italy

Re: please comment my stroke

Postby s.sciame » Sat Oct 15, 2016 4:33 pm

Thank you everybody so much, you guys have amazing eyes! I totally agree with you: yes, that head movement is a bad habit I might have developed while trying to stretch my shoulder up to cheek. The front snorkel indeed has to be my best friend, I believe it'll help me fixing head movement and overrotation to the right (which probably means getting rid of the big left kick as well).

When I watch Jono Van Hazel swimming relaxed at 60SPM (ie my stroke rate in those videos), not only I see a super still head, but it also seems that he hits the water with much more power and precision, as smootharnie points out. That's probably the main difference between fast and average swimmers. Fixing the above flaws is definitely a must do anyway: it won't me much faster in the short term but it will hopefully allow me to build a better platform to train on.

I'll eventually take another footage in a while to compare, thanks again everyone!

Salvo
Other SS forum members and I are also on swim.palstani.com

User avatar
Tom65
Posts: 357
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:59 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: please comment my stroke

Postby Tom65 » Sat Oct 15, 2016 8:24 pm

s.sciame wrote:When I watch Jono Van Hazel swimming relaxed at 60SPM (ie my stroke rate in those videos), not only I see a super still head, but it also seems that he hits the water with much more power and precision, as smootharnie points out. That's probably the main difference between fast and average swimmers.
Salvo


Don't see too many elite swimmers moving as smoothly as Van Hazel when they're going fast.
Forum locked, might go to TI's forum, looked at SS's facebook page, too many photos...ewww...for me.
New Forum http://swim.palstani.com/

The Dodo
Posts: 111
Joined: Tue May 24, 2016 8:44 am

Re: please comment my stroke

Postby The Dodo » Sat Oct 15, 2016 9:37 pm

Tom65 wrote:...Don't see too many elite swimmers moving as smoothly as Van Hazel when they're going fast..


I remember the CMC DVD "extra" of Jono swimming - was really impressed by the AW view looking from his rear towards his head - noting how he really snatched an inhalation and got his head back to neutral pronto - so he could resume his passage through the water like a torpedo! Do we waste precious time making sure we get an adequate inhalation and then are a bit tardy in getting the head back to the front again, in line with the spine? Turning the neck to facilitate inhalation changes the water flow around the body - and such "disruption", even for only a fraction of a second, must have a detrimental effect and needs to be minimized!? Do the really fast elites minimize body roll so as to reduce such disruption - taking care to keep head movement as small as possible, almost inhaling UW, very much in the bow-wave trough?

Another thought - looking back at the shot showing Salvo's left arm in mid-pull - it did strike me that his hand was a long way from the central axis, which suggests to me, that his motion forwards will be a series of pulls and "couples" acting to turn his body slightly, rather than move in a totally forwards direction. I no longer have the Mr Smooth animation on my PC, but seem to remember that the elbow is out to the side during the pull and the forearm is inclined inwards with the hand acting very close to the central axis. Am I mistaken?

smootharnie
Posts: 1770
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:56 am

Re: please comment my stroke

Postby smootharnie » Sun Oct 16, 2016 8:44 am

So far we have been kind.Lets talks some detail here.
I agree with Don and already said you are pulling a bit to wide.

Your underlying basic swim engine is working fine, its the execution og the details in the extremeties of the body that needs attention. And tying everyting together in a taut mainsection.

For example, your ampull

Putting on the brakes
Image


Pulling witth straight arm
plus efffective paddle surface to far from the centerline
Image

Palm pulling toward the centerline. Remember its swimming, not karate!
Image


Palm pointing toward the centerline again. You are slipping too much water in your pull.
Image

Compare energy level with you own pics
Image


Concluding,
crack that wrist a bit down on entry, sink the arm a touch faster, bend the elbow more when going to catch and thereafter, Dont pull-rotate your palms so many times to the centerline, but keep them facing back and keep pressure on them to the end.
Your kick probably has too much kneebend, but thats hard to see here.
Looking at it this way, maybe you can gain 5 sec per 100 from technique alone....or 3 sec..

One of my main inspirational clips is from Jaenette Ottesen. Power and precision. Lying stable in the water like a rock.
And I like Kylie on the background too :oops:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRO2o8x_7IU

and Ilike Duckys roll model too.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=no8hQalL8f8
You dont have to become a sprinter, but you get the idea by now.
Last edited by smootharnie on Sun Oct 16, 2016 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
GO to the new swimforum, called ....... THE SWIM FORUM......swim.palstani.com

User avatar
nightcrawler
Posts: 461
Joined: Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:03 pm
Location: Istanbul / Turkey
Contact:

Re: please comment my stroke

Postby nightcrawler » Sun Oct 16, 2016 11:23 am

Hi s.sciame,
Nice stroke, well done. Recovery nice, DPS is quite good, pulling is acceptable, kicking is effective, etc etc... Everyone can say something, but I just recommend you to try breathing bilaterally for fine tuning your stroke and avoiding the mistakes mentioned above.
Once something goes into motion, it stays in motion, the process itself feeds the fire!
Ref: http://self-inspiration.com/video/uncomfortable-vs-exhaustion

s.sciame
Posts: 255
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:48 pm
Location: Rome, Italy

Re: please comment my stroke

Postby s.sciame » Mon Oct 17, 2016 10:58 am

Wow, a lot of things to work on, that's great! To be honest, I had some doubts before publishing these videos because I thought their quality was too poor to get a decent feedback out of them, but you guys rock! @smootharnie: don't want you to be kind, I want you cruel :twisted:

So, in the last 2 days I went to the pool with 2 main goals:

1) lots of swimming with a snorkel to try and fix head movements and overrotation (plus all the consequences, ie late catch, jerky kick etc.)
2) feel the thumb brushing over my thigh on EVERY stroke to make sure I don't exit too early and too far from the body

The 3rd (less measurable) goal was visualizing Alexander Popov to try and pull under the body (not outside) with a bent arm and keep narrower tracks. In fact, the reason why I tend to keep wide tracks and pull outside of the body is that I often like to visualize Karlyn Pipes' stroke (see how wide she pulls in the front views: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bPvk0paWcg ).

Anyway, I tested this new "clean" stroke at several paces and into my main sets and for now the only difference I see is that I improved DPS (1 less SPL on average), while times and effort are the same (not that I expected to be faster in 2 days of course).

I'll keep swimming with these goals in mind and in a few weeks I'll take another video.

Thanks again everybody,
Salvo
Other SS forum members and I are also on swim.palstani.com

The Dodo
Posts: 111
Joined: Tue May 24, 2016 8:44 am

Re: please comment my stroke

Postby The Dodo » Mon Oct 17, 2016 6:20 pm

s.sciame wrote:... the reason why I tend to keep wide tracks and pull outside of the body is that I often like to visualize Karlyn Pipes' stroke (see how wide she pulls in the front view:...


If you use an EVF catch, you have to have that upper arm pointing (i.e. shoulder to elbow) in line with, or maybe outside hip/shoulder line, depending on elbow joint flexibility, in order to be able to drop the forearm/hand vertically. But is an absolutely vertical forearm/hand essential for a good EVF catch? - IMO it is not, there is a considerable "lee-way" which allows one to get the same benefit in the later pull, if the forearm is inclined inwards, possibly as much as 15 degrees or so, because that brings the hand closer to the central axis (as long as it does not actually cross-over the centre line).

Aha! that raises the point mentioned earlier, about does an arm well out to the side of the body pulling backwards actually cause a deflection from a straight course (the mechanical force "couples" idea)? If one swims slowly, then this might be noticeable, however I think some great coaches advocate that one gets the best results by getting the hand beneath the body, underneath the central axis during the pull (getting both hands beneath the body during the start of the fly up-sweep for instance). So although In FS, the entry and on into the catch, can be wide of the body - the pull phase, from the catch to the point where the hand is about to start the up-sweep or push phase, could beneficially see the hand being brought close to that central axis - before moving up/out a bit, in order to clear the hip.

If an SS style catch is made, then the arm action can be much closer to the body initially than for the EVF catch, since there is no big elbow joint bend involved! On the other hand, because the EVF catch and subsequent arm action involves a shallow arm insertion (just forearm/hand for the pull) it should require less energy outlay to drive the arms through the water, than for an arm action which has a deeper insertion for the pull (SS style!?) which involves the whole arm! Such is life - decisions,decisions! ;)

smootharnie
Posts: 1770
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:56 am

Re: please comment my stroke

Postby smootharnie » Mon Oct 17, 2016 7:31 pm

Going to the centerline sounds like too much. Keeping it wide is easier and conncets better with the back.
we are nitpicking on details here.
According to SS open waterswimmers often stroke like Shelley, and Shelly is underwater perfection.
thats only a little bit different than Salvos position.
Image
GO to the new swimforum, called ....... THE SWIM FORUM......swim.palstani.com

smootharnie
Posts: 1770
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:56 am

Re: please comment my stroke

Postby smootharnie » Mon Oct 17, 2016 10:16 pm

Salvo is still hoping we will find a flaw that he can fix and gain 5 sec per 100.
I am afraid he is swimming too well to make that happen :(
GO to the new swimforum, called ....... THE SWIM FORUM......swim.palstani.com

s.sciame
Posts: 255
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:48 pm
Location: Rome, Italy

Re: please comment my stroke

Postby s.sciame » Tue Oct 18, 2016 6:42 am

smootharnie wrote:Salvo is still hoping we will find a flaw that he can fix and gain 5 sec per 100.
I am afraid he is swimming too well to make that happen :(


Well, actually I don't believe in the holy grail, otherwhise I wouldn't have bothered with css and red mist sets for years. I know that gaining 5s per 100m over 1500 will take me a season at least, perhaps more. Fixing flaws is part of the process, it won't make me faster directly but either it won't prevent me from getting faster, and you have already found many flaws I wasn't aware of, many things to work on.

Salvo
Other SS forum members and I are also on swim.palstani.com

User avatar
Mike A
Posts: 1025
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:28 am
Location: Sussex, UK

Re: please comment my stroke

Postby Mike A » Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:29 pm

I was in a pretty rough sea swim this summer. At one point I turned to breathe when the water subsided under me, and I very nearly rolled right onto my back! After that, I made sure my pull was a good bit wider than usual. I didn't have a problem after that. Ideal strokes are fine for the pool, but in open water you have to be adaptable - sometimes you can be a kayak, but other times you need to be a catamaran! :D
Why not join your SwimSmooth Forum friends at swim.palstani.com

s.sciame
Posts: 255
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:48 pm
Location: Rome, Italy

Re: please comment my stroke

Postby s.sciame » Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:08 am

smootharnie wrote:Dont pull-rotate your palms so many times to the centerline, but keep them facing back and keep pressure on them to the end.


Hey SA, I don't wanna speak too early but the Red Mist never lies and I had a great session today thanks to keeping pressure to the end.

I did a classic 10x400m on 7:00 target pace descending from css+6s/100m to css+3. Plenty of time and laps to focus on many aspects of the stroke. One for all, I used the "thumb trick" (ie feeling the thumb brushing the thigh on every stroke) to make sure I wasn't cutting too short at the end of the stroke.

Now the fun: in the 8th rep I was in trouble, I passed the first 100 a couple of seconds behind the target time. In such cases I know that I can catch up with some more effort, but this usually means game over in the final (and most important) rep. Anyway I suddenly tried to increase pace and, after another pretty rushed 100, I realized that my thumbs weren't brushing my thighs anymore. Without knowing, I had reverted to the old karate style cutting short at the end of the stroke in order to increase stroke rate. Once I realized this, I resisted the urge of cutting short and timed my stroke not on hand entries but on hand exits, like if I had a metronome beeping on each thumb brush. Well, not only I didn't fade and succeeded the set, but I closed the last rep 8s faster than target time.

Then I had more fun with some stroke rate development with TT and snorkel: again, by resisting the urge of cutting short at the end of the stroke and timing the beeps on hand exits (thumb brushes) rather than hand entries, I had to save time at the front of the stroke by catching a bit sooner and high rates didn't feel that high nor DPS got worse. It felt like driving a 4WD car when you've always driven a classic front wheel traction car, so funny!

I believe there's been a lot of emphasis on the front of the stroke recently (at least on the web), to the point that the back of the stroke is often underestimated or forgotten (my case). I remember Charles (Solar) and Gerry Rodrigues both stressing the importance of keeping pressure till the end of the stroke, they're so right.

Salvo
Other SS forum members and I are also on swim.palstani.com

s.sciame
Posts: 255
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:48 pm
Location: Rome, Italy

Re: please comment my stroke

Postby s.sciame » Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:58 pm

Ducky wrote:
good for you man! just remember 'the end of the stroke' is a very nebulous term.


As you may have noticed, english is not my first language :)

Let's call it the way Mambo Gerry does (see number 22 of the list):

http://tower26.com/dont-do-these-in-triathlon-swimming/

He recommends not to focus too much on DPS, but he also says "don't cut your stroke short at the finish". By the way I don't know why he is also against sculling :)

Today I actually did something TI would not recommend: I catched earlier. They recommend a patient lead hand instead.

Salvo

Edit: I forgot to mention another good reason (for me it was a discovery) for pulling till the thighs rather than exiting at hips: it allows me to rotate less without hurting the shoulders. In order to exit at hips I had to rotate more (which eventually led to overrotation) or I had to use the shoulder to lift the hand out of the water and into recovery. By exiting at thighs instead the arm easily swings forward even with little body rotation.
Other SS forum members and I are also on swim.palstani.com

The Dodo
Posts: 111
Joined: Tue May 24, 2016 8:44 am

Re: please comment my stroke

Postby The Dodo » Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:11 am

Am still ruminating over the business of whether or not it's a good thing to bring the hand beneath the body close to the central axis around the transition from pull to push phases. :? The entry could be in line with the shoulder and hip and the curve inwards after an EVF catch, and then outwards again to clear the hip, or for an SS style catch just a more or less straight pull/push from entry to exit.

There is the very slight advantage that using a stroke path a bit like an elongated "C" (viewed from above for the right arm stroke), is marginally longer than the path for a straight pull through, giving more time for the stroking arm to have an effect. (Sorry to partly raise that old now discredited "S-bend" arm's path idea! ;) )


Apart from my worries over there being a "mechanical couple action" as due to the asynchronous arm action, one arm pulls way off centre for its stroke (deflecting very slightly from a forward course), then the other arm pulls the other way a moment later - I wondered about the "lift" one might possibly gain from that hand moving under the body action!

I keep "harking back" to similarities with fly stroke - a pull/push with both arms outside the shoulder/ hip lines certainly cuts out most of any "lift" from arm action (if that actually exists!). I used to do that for a long time, until I brought the hands in close to the central axis - and noticed what I thought was that "lift" factor.

In FS I suppose one might ague that during the pull after an "SS catch", a down/back pull moving the hand under the body is likely to pull the hips down (doesn't happen with an EVF catch 'cos it's all on the same level). So in the "SS catch" case, it is only during the push phase possibly, if the hand was beneath the body and moving back/up to clear the hip, that any "lift" would be experienced. But that's the normal situation anyway, which is why it's always better to start an inhalation on a stroking arm up-sweep.


Return to “Talk Swimming!”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests