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 firstname.lastname@example.org for the zoom invite to next weeks, sessions take place at 6pm
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.
•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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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