New Video: Anna-Karin Turns To The Dark Side!

Newsflash 1: Swim Smooth Coach Lucy Lloyd Roach and her all women team just set a new World Record for an English Channel triple crossing in 31 hours 20 minutes! That's well over 100km of swimming including swimming right through the night! More details to follow soon but a huge congrats to the whole team: 

Newsflash 2: Ne manquez pas cet article de Charles Couturier à propos des "Swim Types" dans le dernier numéro du magazine Québecois sur le Triathlon: 10-21-42km (page 30):
Retrouvez d'autres articles Swim Smooth en français ici:

Anna-Karin Lundin - The Smoothest Swinger In The Whole Wide World?

At Swim Smooth we are lucky enough to boast several Olympians, World Record holders and World Champion swimmers and triathletes amongst our Swim Smooth Coaches.

One notable coach is Anna-Karin Lundin based in Gothenburg, Sweden who competed at the 1988 Seoul Olympics in the 4x100 Medley Relay. Anna-Karin raced the breast-stroke leg but as you can imagine all four of her strokes are pretty phenomenal.

During her competitive career, AK employed the long smooth freestyle stroke style used by many swimming greats such as Thorpe, Phelps and Adlington. We call this style of stroke "The Smooth" and it works best combined with a powerful 6-beat kick, often over shorter race distances in the pool. Here's some archive footage of Anna-Karin in action:

BUT.... AK has recently turned to the dark side (!) and has been experimenting with the alternative "Swinger" style, also used by many elite swimmers such as Olympic Champions Gregorio Paltrinieri, Janet Evans and Alistair Brownlee. Here's Anna-Karin in action:

(click on animation to see whole video at full speed)

Compared to The Smooth style, this is a shorter stroke with a higher turn-over, normally combined with a straighter arm recovery.  This swinging up-and-over recovery is why we call this style "The Swinger".

Here's another angle:

If you've been following Swim Smooth for a while you'll have seen quite a few Swingers in action and many of them might have looked a bit hurried and choppy to you. In fact you might have been put off from trying the Swinger style yourself because you didn't want to look like that.

But if you're not very tall and strong, and you don't have a hugely powerful leg kick, then it could well be that the Swinger style will allow you to swim faster and more efficiently. Especially over longer distances and especially in open water where the extra rhythm of the stroke is of great benefit to punch through disturbed water.

The point of showing you Anna-Karin's beautiful swinger stroke is that there's no reason why the swinger style can't be performed with real artistry. So why not give it a go?

The key to increasing stroke rate isn't to rush things but to get into your catch a little more quickly at the front of the stroke. Over time you'll probably find the swinging arm recovery just suits this way of swimming and feels natural.

Don't miss the complete video clip on Anna-Karin on Youtube here:

Find Your Local Swim Smooth Coach

Anna-Karin is one of those annoyingly multi-talented people, not only is she a fantastic swimmer but she's also a brilliant coach!  Book in for a Swim Smooth stroke correction session with her in Gothenburg at:

And of course you can find a complete listing of all Swim Smooth coaches here:

Not all are Olympic swimmers themselves but they have all been hand-picked and share Anna-Karin's passion and drive for improving your swimming. Get started improving your swimming today!

Swim Smooth!


RikV said...

yes indeed ... but she still 'glides' in front. After the contra the arm pushes forward, not immediately going down to grap water ...

Adam Young said...

Hi Rik, if you look at when the stroke finishes at the rear and the next stroke starts at the front there is zero gap - so zero glide in her stroke fact. We need underwater footage to clearly see the catch engagement but she will be immediately initiating the catch as soon as fully extended out front.

I wouldn't use the word 'grab' personally as the initiation of the catch is a much gentler and more subtle action than a grab - especially in someone so skilled as AK.

Best, Adam

NotSoSmooth said...

Is the swinger stroke video1 running at real speed / her speed of swimming that stroke?
Thanks for putting this up ......and what is in your opinion her success / strength to create such a smooth swinger?
Cheerio from NZ from a not so smooth swimmer...

Adam Young said...

Hi, NotSoSmooth, make sure you watch the clip on youtube to be sure it's playing correctly:
Most of that is full speed but there's a section in slow motion in there.

How does she do it? Relaxation, flexibility, bilateral breathing - and lots of practise!


benbaz said...

since i also not tall, i'm going to try this swinger style. Hopefully i can increase my speed during my open water race.

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