#swimisodes World Champion Junya Koga demonstrates the one arm backstroke drill. This swim drill enables the swimmer to isolate the movement and position of the arm during the entry and underwater pull. Race Club coach, Gary Hall Sr. explains the importance of taking the time to feel the bent arm position of the underwater pull. Along with proper head position and body alignment, bending the arm the right amount reduces frontal drag and allows for greater propulsion. A straight arm pull in backstroke is equivalent to a deep straight arm pull in freestyle, where the swimmer maximizes drag forces. It also weakens the pulling force. In order to swim more efficiently and therefore faster, the right bend in the elbow in backstroke seems to range from about a 120 to 140 degree angle during the propulsive phase. Bending the elbow to that degree, a swimmer must rotate to the side in order to keep the hand from breaking the surface, causing a loss of power. Swimming one arm at a time can ensure the swimmer is bending the arm at the appropriate angle and pulling cleanly through the water.
Junya’s consistent 6 beat kick and strong core allows for full body rotation. With a clean hand entry at shoulder width, he sets himself up for an early catch and reduced drag pull with a bent arm. Another value of the one arm backstroke is that the swimmer can feel the power of the propulsive phase as the hand and arm pulls by the body underwater. While maintaining a proper head position, the one arm backstroke drill can help the swimmer achieve the most efficient pull. The swimmer can concentrate on every aspect of the underwater pull in backstroke with one arm drill.
#swimisodes Learn how to improve butterfly technique with Olympic Gold Medalist and World Record Holder Roland Schoeman and Coach Gary Hall. Butterfly is a challenging swimming stroke because it requires tremendous upper body strength and a strong kick. In order to perform great butterfly technique a swimmer not only needs great conditioning but also perfect timing. Good swimming technique for fly also requires minimizing the frontal drag forces that are so overpowering to all swimmers.
Frontal drag in the butterfly increases significantly when the front breath is taken, caused by a shift from a horizontal to a more vertical body position in the water. The more vertical the body, the greater the frontal drag force. To make matters worse, the breath occurs during the fastest point in the stroke cycle, when the body can be travelling at nearly 7 miles per hour in elite butterflyers, faster than any other stroke including Freestyle.
To lessen the frontal drag in butterfly, Roland demonstrates in this Swimisode one our favorite swim drills at The Race Club, the butterfly skate drill. With this important swim drill, swimmers can learn to keep their shoulders lower and elevate more with their necks to get the breath, resulting in a faster and easier butterfly technique.
The best streamline swimming position has become a center for controversy in swimming. At The Race Club, we believe the best way to streamline is by squeezing the elbows together behind the head and by pressing the shoulders up away from the sockets, with legs together, toes pointed and chin tucked down almost to the chest. The stomach then excavates, the skin tightens and the whole body is in alignment. We call this position the hyper-streamline. It is not a comfortable position nor a natural human position to be in. Therefore, swimmers tend to not use a hyper-streamline often and when they do, it is rarely executed with 100% precision.
In this Swimisode, learn techniques we teach at the Race Club swim camps that will help you improve your swimming streamline. Coach Gary Hall explains how to feel the benefits of the hyper-streamline position by creating a contest among the elite swimmers. In this Swimisode, swimmers push off the wall in different positions that allow them to feel the drag forces at work and to appreciate the extra effort required to streamline tightly. You will discover why water is such an unforgiving medium to be in because it is 800 times denser than air.
Watch Backstroke World Champion Swimmer, Junya Koga, Open Water Swimming Champ Lexie Kelly and Olympic Gold Medalist and 4 time Olympian Roland Schoeman demonstrate a perfect swimming streamline. Learn how to perform the best and tightest streamline and have fun while doing it! As an additional drill and exercise, we advocate kicking with Finis alignment board and DMC mono snorkel in the hyper-streamline position for proper body alignment.
In this first of many #swimisodes on swimming starts, Coach Gary Hall teaches the proper distance one should maintain between feet both side to side and back to front on the modern swimming starting block.
Getting off to a good start can make or break a race but many of us don’t have advice on how to setup and execute great swimming starts. In this swim technique video series on various swimming start techniques we will guide you through the essentials that we believe will lead to not only faster but also safer swimming starts and much faster results in the pool. With the limited amount of swimming starting blocks that have the back foot plate and side grips, many of us use these for the first time at a competition. We hope this video will get you thinking about the change in swimming start technique that you might expect when transitioning to these new blocks and how you can use these features as an advantage.
In this Vinyasa Yoga for Swimmers we focus on the legs. Swimmers tend to have tight psoas, quadriceps, glutes (gluteal), hip flexors and lower back due to kicking with straight leg and pointed toe for long periods of time. Hyper extension of the knees is common amongst Swimmers leading to severe tightness and limited mobility in those areas. In this intense 20 minute Vinyasa flow yoga practice, we focus on stretching these regions of the legs that tend to be tight in swimmers. We will do poses that release tension in the hips, quads and glutes creating more mobility in these muscles that will result in a more powerful kick. Keep in mind that with all these poses, there are modifications that can be used and we recommend using a yoga block for support. Each swimmer has their own needs in the pool, in dryland training, mental training, nutrition and recovery.
Richard Hall and The Race Club created this Yoga for Swimmers Legs sequence for you to follow along at home or practice with your team. So roll out your mat and get ready to sweat with elite athletes and Olympians; Rebecca Soni, Roland Schoeman, Junya Koga, Lexie Kelly and Zach Hayden led by Amy Hall from The Race Club. No matter your level or ability, we believe yoga for swimmers can benefit your swimming and general well being. Just like in the pool, we advocate correct technique over forced, and sloppy form. Remember to breathe with each movement, use an ujjayi breath, allowing oxygen to lengthen and strengthen your muscles. When you are stretching the hamstrings bend your knees and then work them towards straight. If at any time any exercise is too strenuous, rest in child’s pose.
At the Race Club, Coach Gary Hall teaches Breaststroke by incorporating two different swimming techniques for Dolphin Kick Breaststroke drill. Also known as Cobra Breaststroke this swim drill helps all our Swimmers become faster by allowing them to focus on the timing of the strike phase. By adding fins we increase the speed as well as the amount of drag that creates a greater ‘feeling’ in the water.
Learning how to swim fast Breaststroke is difficult especially timing the strike phase. One thing all fast swimming techniques in Breaststroke have in common is being streamline during the strike phase. Olympic Gold medalist and World Record Holder Rebecca Soni says, “Dolphin Kick Breaststroke drill is one of my favorites! For me, the biggest benefit of this drill is being able to work on the timing of the stroke. The timing is the most important variable in this stroke! And there is no better way to work on it than through different drills. When doing dolphin kick breaststroke, I always like to harness the feeling of falling forward in the stroke. It is this feeling that I chase, both in practice and in competition.”
Read Rebecca’s Aqua Note on #dolphinkickbreast here: http://bit.ly/1ujecAG
The Race Club has been practicing yoga for swimmers during dryland training for years. Yoga can significantly increase core strength and flexibility while lengthening muscles, creating a more streamlined physique in swimming. In this intense 20 minute Vinyasa flow yoga practice, you will find yourself mimicking body rotation in freestyle and backstroke by stacking the shoulders, strengthening core muscles that will improve your ability to make faster turns and improve your breathing capabilities that will surely make you a stronger swimmer. We will do poses that open up the chest and shoulders creating a counter balance to the repetitive swimming motions in shoulder and back muscles that cause a hunched forward posture. Keep in mind that with all these poses, there are modifications that can be used and we recommend using a yoga block for support. Each swimmer has their own needs in the pool, in dryland training, mental training, nutrition and recovery.
Richard Hall and The Race Club created this Yoga for Swimmers Shoulder sequence for you to follow along at home or practice with your team. So roll out your mat and get ready to sweat with elite athletes and Olympians; Rebecca Soni, Roland Schoeman, Junya Koga, Lexie Kelly and Zach Hayden led by Amy Hall from The Race Club. No matter your level or ability, we believe yoga for shoulders can benefit your swimming and general well being. Just like in the pool, we advocate correct technique over forced, and sloppy form. Remember to breathe with each movement, allowing oxygen to lengthen and strengthen your muscles. If at any time any exercise is too strenuous, rest in child’s pose.
One of the most common problems in swimming is holding the head position being too high. In Backstroke, this swimming technique is common because it increases the pulling power and the awareness of where a swimmer’s body position is in the lane, particularly outdoors in the bright sun however elevating the head in swimming increases frontal drag, slowing the swimmer down. Learn how to swim Backstroke the way we teach at the Race Club swim camps with proper swimming techniques demonstrated by World Champion Japanese Swimmer Junya Koga. These swim drills will certainly enhance your swim training program.
Watch Japanese Olympian and World Champion Junya Koga perform swim drills that will improve your swimming technique. Coach Gary Hall teaches two different drills that will allow the Swimmer to find the optimal head position. Tell us about your own swim drills or your experience in practicing these.
Many freestylers swim with their heads too high. In a crowded swimming pool, swimmers often look forward, hoping to avoid a collision with one of their teammates. These defensive swimming techniques create a bad habit that slows them down. In this Swimisodes, world record holder and Olympic champ Roland Schoeman and Lexie Kelly show how head elevation slows their swimming techniques while Japanese champion, Junya Koga, swims freestyle the way we teach at The Race Club almost effortlessly with his head in the correct swimming technique.
Olympic Gold Medalist Roland Schoeman has developed one of the fastest dolphin kicks in the world. The dolphin kick has become so important in the sport of swimming, now being used in all four strokes, that it is commonly referred to as the ‘fifth stroke’. In this video series on #thefifthstroke, Gary Hall Sr has Roland demonstrate several ways to improve the dolphin kick. In part I of this Race Club Swimisode series, find out what Coach Gary Hall has up his sleeve to get Roland to work both the up and down kick in Butterfly.