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April 2020

Swimtips from the Stairwell – WETSUIT INSIGHTS

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So for this weeks #swimtipsfromthestairwell I wanted to focus on something a little more positive after weeks of lockdown. I wanted to talk about something positive, something we can do in preparation of going outdoors and swimming at some point. I am sure many of you will not have checked your wetsuits since last year unless you got a sneaky training camp or race done back in January. Let us check our wetsuits ahead of that first swim. In the stairwell lecture I talk about simple repairs, avoiding the dreaded neck scraping and why you might upgrade and spend a little more money on your next suit if you are going to be swimming further.

The Lecture

Over the years we have worked hard at understanding wetsuits fully and making them more comfortable. Here we go beyond the usual fitting guide and look more indepth and how to make them more comfortable and fit better.

A more indepth look at swimming faster in them, making them work harder for you to improve your swim

I have written extensively on the subject of wetsuits and here bring all those thoughts together. You should not miss the section on ‘taking advantage of the properties of your wetsuit and should your FC technique change in a wetsuit.’

A humorous look at what happens if you forget your wetsuit lubricant!

The Spring and it’s glorious weather could not have more cruel as we sit indoors missing our lakes and rivers but fingers crossed it will not be long. Get your wetsuit out, check it, repair it or contemplate an upgrade if you are swimming further this year.

 

 

Swim Tips from the Stairwell – Legkick

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HI All,

I hope you are all managing the lockdown as well as can be. I have been adding STftSW (swim tips from the stairwell) to Facebook and Youtube but neglected the blog. Doh….You can catch up with all our stretch cord sessions here

Technical endurance MONDAY

Strength and Prehab WEDNESDAY

FRIDAY- the hard one – Fitness

pls email dan@swimfortri.com for the zoom invite to next weeks, sessions take place at 6pm

LEGKICK

After all the stretch cordz focus and arm work how about a little time on your legs? Some theory and dryland to get on top of a few of the issues before you get back in the water. The nice thing about a FC legkick is how small and quite straight forwards the movement is.  To get the hang of  this while out of the water is an opportunity and it really can be mastered on dryland.

Kick Pointers

Most over do the size of movement at the hip, it should be tiny. The bigger the movement here the more energy travels down the legs and splays the kick.

•Legs straighter as you lift them back up the surface, it is a glute movement, minimal hamstring. Don’t bend the knees.

•Feel the big toes lightly brushing against each other to generate more surface area as the feet work together while kicking.

•Mobilise the ankles so you can improve your streamline and point them. Preferably while relaxed to avoid cramping.

Work on a stronger core region so you can limit and reduce a big out of control kick. Usually the emphasis for Long Distance FC is not bigger stronger movements but restrained smaller movements.

Key Issues –

There are two key issues we see during lessons – sinking and splaying. These previous videos should illustrate.  Why they sink and drag down is an early issue in a swimmers development as they try to take run or cycle movements of the legs into the water. As for the dreaded splay this usually is a counter balance or a reaction to something happening elsewhere in the stroke. No harm in addressing the legs now and improve them while the other issues can be looked at when back in the water.

Dryland Movements

These can help activate previously unused muscles groups and so deactivate those that were previously creating incorrect movements (the hamstrings.) If we build up some repetitions of a few basic movements we should pick up the correct movements and take them into the water when we next swim. Unfortunately the kick is often forced out of position due to the lack of helpful body movement or incorrect arm movements. The classic is what the straight arm push down can do to the legs when assisting your breathing. If you can isolate the FC legs with the following at least it gives us a chance to learn what the correct movements are.

Key Drills

Use the following to help – can you see the similarity between the Pilates Swimmer and the Glute Kick drill? Not difficult. We literally stole this drill from the world of Pilates.

PILATES SWIMMER

Alternate the legs in a small up and down movement. The floor will stop the kick sweeping too big on the downsweep, the range of the Glutes will limit the upsweep.

 

 

SWIMPLANK

We were looking for a compact all round exercise that covered many of the swimming muscles. The narrow press up is quite tough, maybe build up towards this from a knee down position. Once in the straight arm plank position you could sweep a single arm up wards to rotate the hips and bring some FC rotation into the mix

Enjoy your dryland, but fingers crossed we are back in the pool soon

All good wishes

Dan and the team