Struggling To Improve Your Rotation? Try Using A Tech Toc Like This Instead

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The Finis Tech Toc is a neat swimming gadget to give you feedback on the amount of rotation in your stroke along the long axis of your spine. We use them extensively in our video analysis and stroke correction sessions in Perth with swimmers who are too flat in the water when they swim:

(You can purchase one from our Swim Shop here:

If you know you have insufficient rotation in your stroke or struggle to recover your arms over the surface of the water (like Cyndy below) then a Tech Toc could be the perfect gadget to improve the efficiency of your swimming.

Insufficient rotation in your stroke causes your arms to swim
around the side low to the surface, sometimes catching the water.

A Different Place To Wear A Tech Toc

The Tech Toc is a tube with a large metal ball bearing in it which is normally worn around your lower back. With good rotation (around 45-60 degrees on every stroke, see here) the ball bearing will roll from one end of the tube to the other giving a loud 'toc' sound which you can hear and also feel as you swim:

You should hear the 'toc' on every single stroke - if not you know you're not rotating enough on that stroke. It could be you rotate well to one side but not the other and you'll instantly get that feedback as you swim. You should also find your rotation is naturally much better when you go to breathe.

But here's a different way to use it, rather than wearing the Tech Toc around your waist, try sitting it much higher up around your chest with it sitting between your shoulder blades:

It can be slightly uncomfortable wearing it that high but it gives you a much greater sense of your shoulder and upper thoracic rotation as you swim.

Many Arnie Swim Types and some Swingers who are flat in the water finally get to grips with the idea of rotating in the stroke using a Tech Toc in this way, allowing them to feel more more relaxed and efficient - give it a go yourself!


If you are on the opposite end of the spectrum and over-rotate when you swim, you can also make good use of the feedback from a Tech Toc. Try and deliberately reduce your rotation until the Tech Toc stops tocking - quite likely this will be less rotation than you think!

If you normally over-rotate you should feel much more stable and rhythmical in the water once you have corrected this area of your stroke. You might have read in old swimming books about rotating to 90 degrees (completely on your side) on every stroke. Ignore that advice, it will be a disaster for your swimming!

Also be aware that you should hold your head still as you swim, only your body should roll. More on that here.

Swim Smooth!


Anonymous said...

I purchased a tech touch having read about them on your website and impressed by how much you recommend them. However I ended up returning it as even if I purposely didn't rotate it still 'toched' . in other words I couldn't tell any difference between when I was rotating and when I wasn't. So I got 2 friends to try. Same thing.have you ever come across this?
Thanks paula

Shorty said...

Hi Paul and Co,
I have had a tic toc for about a year now. Use it about once a week , and found that I have evened out my "over rotation " problem. Its amazing , for I thought I didnt roll much , but the Tic Toc certainly "showed me up".
Great tip about wearing it higher up on your back . Will be keen as to give that a shot.
Cheers ,
Kiwi Boyo from across the Ditch, in the Naki.

Adam Young said...

Hi Paula, hmm that sounds odd! Did you buy it from us? I'm wondering if there was something up with it! They are super-effective with our coaching.

Shorty - hey mate how are you? Yes definitely try it a little higher - it feels quite different! :)

Cheers, Adam

Anonymous said...

This seems like a great tool however I can't help but question how much rotation is correct. I have been studying Mr. Smooth and but the looks of his rotation I can't imagine he would ever get that little ball even half way to the end of the tech toc let alone make it hit the ends. Maybe Mr. Smooth doesn't rotate enough?


Unknown said...

Hi Kevin,

We recommend between 45-60 degrees rotation and this is how much Mr Smooth rotates. The ball bearing will 'tock' when 45 degrees rotation is achieved, so if Mr Smooth was wearing it, he'd be 'tick tock' -ing along the pool!

Anonymous said...

hi All,

i have purchased it a couple of years ago from Finis directly and it is hard to turn it back half way or to off. am i doing something wrong? would really appreciate if someone can point out the probem.

thank you,

Paul said...

Hi Hung

Yes it can be a bit fiddly but a) you don't really need to turn it "off" and b) if you really want to, trying warming it under some warm flowing water and that should allow you to turn it. Hope this helps! Paul

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