Swimming Rhythm

Rhythm is an interesting topic, there are many opinions on stroke counts, stroke rates and kick frequency all of which have merits. Freestyle naturally has a pause or glide phase between the pull of two arms. The more of a catch up style stroke you have the greater the pause will be. Determining how much of a 'catch up' is the key question. Some common misconceptions are: 

  • I don't need to kick because I am triathlete.
  • The faster I turn my arms the faster I will swim. 
  • Low stroke count is the absolute best way to swim. 

Rhythm is something you need to be aware of and play with to determine what is best for you. Some people perform better with a higher turn over and less of an emphasis on long streamlined positions. Others especially with a strong kick will perform better with a lower stroke count. The key is find what works for you by trying many different rates. One thing we have noticed is triathletes often have a very low turn over, however when the stroke rate increases the mechanics start to fall apart. Thus, training just outside your comfort level with a tempo trainer maybe of use!   

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Coordination

The pull, kick and trunk rotation are out of sync each working opposed to each other. 

The pull and rotation are in time with each other with the rotation stabilizing the arms. 

The kick, pull and rotation are timed together, allowing the swimmer to use the entire body.

Stroke Rate 

The stroke rate is limiting the overall speed of the swimmer. Generally too slow.  The stroke rate is causing mechanical problems, such as slipping or balance issues.  The stroke rate allows the swimmer to optimal speed effiency

Kick Timing

The kick is sporadic and often crosses over.  There is a defined sequence of kicks (2,4, or 6 beat) but is not in sequence with the pull.  The kick is timed with the pull to generate optimal balance and power in the stroke. 

Pull Timing 

The pull is performed at a single speed. with little acceleration.  The catch phase of the stroke is ignored. 
The timing of the pull allows for 3/4 recovery and consistent power generation.