Swim Stroke Analysis – Revisited

The last time I had a real in-depth analysis of my swim stroke was back in December of 2011. I wrote a post back then describing some of the glaring flaws in my swim technique. I figured that it was time to have an expert take a look at my swimming and tell me how I can become faster and more efficient in the water. So last week I met with my former Train Smart Swim Group coach and friend, Manny Nieto. He’s an eleven-time All-American and current Assistant Swimming Coach at St. X High School here in Louisville…so he knows what he’s talking about!
So Manny gave me a few things to work on, but before I get into that, I wanted to compare some still shots from now and December 2011.


December 2011 – while taking a breath, my opposite arm would cross over my mid-line.
June 2013 – after taking a breath on my left side, my right arm stays under my shoulder…much better form.

December 2011 – As I took a breath, my legs would separate, creating drag
June 2013 – Legs still separating…maybe even worse!
My times are faster in both the pool and in races, so I know that my form has improved…but there’s still plenty to work on. The leg separation is something that will take time to correct. More than anything, this is a balance issue. As I rotate to take a breath, I feel my legs sinking, so I instinctively pull my legs apart to keep them closer to the surface. The goal is to keep my feet inside of the “tunnel” I create with my shoulders. A shorter, faster kick is the goal. 
Here’s what it should look like – legs together at the knees and separated below that only to kick.

Other things that I need to work on:

  • Make sure my hands enter the water with my fingers pointing down (particularly an issue with my right hand).
  • Start my pulling phase with more force – using my chest to initiate the pull
  • Finish my pull by incorporating my triceps more
  • Keeping a straight line from the top of my head down through my torso/legs
Here are the raw videos of me from last week. Please comment if you see some other flaws that I need to correct!

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3 Responses to “Swim Stroke Analysis – Revisited”

  1. Brian Beech June 14, 2013 at 5:03 PM #

    Do you focus on a TI swimming technique or a traditional crawl style? Thanks!

  2. Luke Powell June 14, 2013 at 7:25 PM #

    When I first learned to swim (about 5 years ago), I was taught some of the TI techniques. But I haven’t really studied it since then. Do I seem like I’m a TI swimmer?

  3. Brian Beech June 17, 2013 at 3:29 PM #

    I’m just beginning triathlons and was just curious. I noticed your stroke didn’t seem rushed at all and it reminded me of some of the videos of TI where they took half as many strokes, but with the same output.
    Enjoying the blog. Thanks.

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