The BMI Chart Part 2 - A Warning If You Are In The Blue Zone

Last week on the blog we looked at this chart, which is like a BMI chart for your swimming:

It assesses your swimming at any effort level, whether you are swimming easy, sprinting, or anywhere in-between.

If you are in the red zone then you will be aware that you are "over-revving" and need to slow things down slightly and lengthen out your stroke. You can use a Tempo Trainer Pro to do that in mode 3. First set it to your current stroke rate, and then progressively lower it (2 to 3 SPM at a time) until things are feeling more controlled.

BUT if you are in the blue zone you need to be a little careful. Ultimately with yourself we are looking to raise your stroke rate slightly, getting a better sense of rhythm and timing into your stroke. However, you can't just speed your arms up - if you've tried that you know it gets very hard very quickly!

The reason for this relates to why your stroke rate is too low. If you are in the blue zone then it's very likely you are "overgliding" at the front of the stroke, dropping your wrist and elbow and showing the palm of the hand slightly forwards.

Here's how that looks:

If you've been focusing on developing a long stroke (or actively trying to glide) then showing the palm forwards naturally starts to develop in your stroke. That's because pushing forwards like this allows you to pause momentarily in this position; in fact it's very hard to pause at the front of your stroke without pushing forwards and leaning on the water!

We often refer to this effect as "putting on the brakes" and it quickly becomes a habit such that you are unaware you are doing it. If you try and lift your stroke rate from here you simply push forwards on the water harder and it resists you more, hugely increasing drag and effort.

Instead, we need to first develop your catch setup so that you extend forwards into this position with the elbow higher than the wrist and the wrist higher than the fingertips:

Now you are naturally engaging with the water and ready to press it backwards, removing that pause at the front. Do this and you will find your stroke rate will naturally lift, possibly without you even realising it.

Of course, if you want to lift it a little further still you are now ready to do so with a Finis Tempo Trainer. Lift your stroke rate and you will feel a sense of real acceleration, moving through the water with rhythm and power!

Correct Your Stroke With Swim Smooth

If you are in the red zone, with a Guru Pro subscription follow either the Arnie or Swinger processes and tune up these elements of your stroke. You'll move into the white zone and immediately notice the difference in your swimming:



To fix an overglide at the front of your stroke (Blue Zone) then follow the Bambino or Overglider Pro Guru processes and you'll soon be swimming much more effectively:



Swim Smooth!


David Kaufman said...

The BMI chart is for meters. Am I correct in assuming that if I am using my times from a yards pool that I need to first convert my time to meters?

Adam Young said...

Hi David,

Yes you should! There is a yards version of the chart here:

Cheers, Adam

David Kaufman said...


Anonymous said...

You give the pace times in time per 100m. I swim in a 25m pool and don't do tumble turns. This will slow my pace per 100m as I will do 3 'touch turns' per 100m. Will this make your chart less usable for me? What adjustment should I make to allow for the time lost on mt slow turns? Thanks

Adam Young said...

Hi anonymous, you could reduce your speed by 2-3 seconds per 100m but try that and you will see it won't make too much difference. What is your speed and stroke rate out of interest?

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