New Shelley Taylor Smith Analysis & Jenson Button Trust Tri

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Lancaster SS Squad
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Analysis Consultations

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Video Analysis

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Acton Video Analysis
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New Oxford/Henley SS Coach
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Swim/Tri Camps Alicante
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Ringwood SS Squad
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As we previously announced, the Swim Smooth team will be at the Jenson Button Trust Triathlon on July 11th and 12th! It's going to be a fantastic race on fully closed roads with the exciting double-race format retained from previous years:

We've just finalised details of the special free Swim Smooth open water skills session which will take place on Saturday 11th July at 3pm. Our coaches will take you through some simple exercises to get you comfortable and relaxed in the water whilst tuning up your open water skills such as drafting, sighting and swimming straight.

You'll also get a good look round the swim course from on the water giving you an advantage come race day!

This session is for race entrants only, so put your name down for it if you've already entered the race:

Or if you haven't already entered the race yet then sign-up here first :

See you there!

New Shelley Taylor-Smith Analysis

We've also just released a new analysis to Youtube of 7-time World Marathon Swimming Champion Shelley Taylor-Smith (arguably the greatest marathon swimmer of all time). This was recorded in April during our certified coach training course in Perth.

As they study her stroke, Paul and Shelley hold a fascinating discussion on the differences in stroke styles that great swimmers use between the pool and open-water :

The clip finishes with an interesting discussion on arm recoveries in different conditions. Shelley says (paraphrased) : It’ll be really interesting to see the strokes at the Rio Olympics next year. The 10K swim at London 2012 was in a lake with perfect flat water but Rio can get rough. We won't see many high elbows!

Is she right? We'll find out in 2016!

Find out more about Shelley and her inspirational public speaking on her website:

Swim Smooth!


Inflexible ankles Chris said...

Something I've been wondering about for a while and the comments about the power in Shelley's bent arm pull made me think about this...
It may seem like a slightly academic overglider type comment but according to Gary Hall Snr the bent arm/high elbow pull isn't actually more powerful than the straight arm pull - but it does cause less drag. And less drag trumps more power. He claims you actually engage/recruit more muscles with a straight pull. I was wondering what you thought about this theory? It probably has no practical difference in terms of how people should swim - either way the bent arm/ high elbow is the right way to go.

Jonas said...

I wonder whether it's not too difficult for a high elbow style swimmer in the pool to change to a swinger style in the sea and viceversa, so that triathletes would naturally tend to swim with a swinger style both in the pool and in the sea.

Adam Young said...

Hi Chris, I haven't read the article by Gary Hall Snr you are referring to but I assume that he is talking about sprinters predominantly? All elite distance swimmers use bend arm pull-throughs. Check out:

Hi Jonas, compared to other stroke changes it's quite an easy change to make in the stroke - it's normally more psychological than anything else in fact!

Some elite swimmers (such as Keri Anne-Payne) do tend to change their stroke between open water and the pool but most don't. Pure swingers swim like that in the pool too because it's just their natural style.



Inflexible ankles Chris said...

Hi Adam
He's not suggesting that you use a straight arm pull (except maybe for 50m sprints as you say) just thought it was interesting that a bent arm pull is about reducing drag not increasing power.

Adam Young said...

Hi Chris,

The merits of a bent arm pull through is primarily about engaging the larger lats and chest muscles. A straighter arm pull over-uses the shoulders which might be OK for a very well built sprinter over short distances but for non-elite distance swimmers the forces simply cannot be sustained by this relatively weak muscle group and the stress on the shoulders could cause injury.

There's also the length of the pull pathway to consider - the straighter arm creates a longer path and that is a little like pushing a bigger gear on a bike (or a long blade rowing). For distance swimming where the speeds are lower than sprinting this gives us the right 'gearing'. If you're swimming sub 50 seconds per 100m then you need a big-gear but for the rest of us...

A third point to consider is that because of the biomechanics of the straighter arm movement, swimming with a straighter arm style inevitably means pressing down a little (or a lot) on the water at the front of the stroke. This lifts the swimmer up at the front. If you are an elite sprinter that might not be a bad thing because you will have a very powerful kick also lifting you up at the rear and so bringing your whole body high in the water. However, for distance swimmers (particularly non-elite ones) who don't have a powerful kick this lift at the front causes the legs to sink downwards.

Hope that gives some more background on why we recommend a bent arm pull for 99% of swimmers we coach.


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