Choose which type of front crawl swimmer you are!
1. Rocky – If you have a build like the famous film character ‘Rocky’ then you might have a bit too much muscle for swimming really well. Being a swimmer needs long, toned muscle rather than big and bulky as well as good flexibility which may be quite difficult for you. If this is you then you are obviously fit, strong and into exercise and in swimming your key focus area needs to be your body position. It’s harder for you to stay afloat so ensure your hips are kept towards the surface of the water and you get good rotation in your shoulders (the flexibility issue).
2. The Drifter – If you’re a Drifter you’re a swimmer who holds their glide a fraction too long
and so there’s a static spot in the stroke. This is really to adjust by increasing your stroke rate and so quickening the pace of each stroke. After this you’ll soon be a ‘Smooth Criminal.
3. Petite Pois – This is pretty much the opposite of being a Rocky. You have a petite build and your main front crawl technique issues are breathing pattern and getting propulsion through the water. You could probably do with developing your swimming strength in your upper (shoulders, back, arms) and core (back, stomach, sides). Work on your catch in the water, so take a look at how your hand grabs the water when you pull and maybe to some land based exercises to help build up a bit of trength.
4. The Irish Dancer – You are the swimmer that is all legs and no arms – an Irish dancer! Having a hard leg kick is great in a sprint race but not continuously over a long distance or over a long training set as it’s very exhausting because it’s one of the biggest muscles in the body. So for you, try to relax and tone down the kick a little bit so you have a more balanced body.
5. Rock Not Roller – If you swing your arms over without rolling/rotating your hips when you swim front crawl then this is you. In the long run, swimming like this can cause some shoulder injuries so aim to get some hip rotation in your stroke when you swim. By rolling your body from side to side when your pulling, less of your body is going through the water and so it becomes much easier and faster.
6. Smooth Criminal – If you think that your stroke is smooth and appears effortless then that’s great, you’re officially a Smoot Criminal! Don’t forget though there is something that can be worked on – maybe core strength, better kicking? There isn’t such a thing as having a perfect swimming technique so don’t think you can stop there.
Which one are you?
With thanks to Jim Bahn,