Friday, October 17, 2014

Need To Improve Your Rotation? Use a Tech Toc!

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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!

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