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50yd CSS Video -- Any input on further improvement would be appreciated.

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  • 50yd CSS Video -- Any input on further improvement would be appreciated.

    I'm 5'9" at 165lbs and have learned to do the CSS strictly from youtube videos. The video shows me swimming lead-left, which is my stronger side, but I'm able to swim the CSS on both sides. Oh, and I absolutely don't know anything outside of the CSS, so let me know if that's something to be concerned with.

    VIDEO: http://youtu.be/SnkLV0rsous

    I was averaging 8:40-9:10 500yd swim times with about 12 strokes per length not too long ago, but I would be insanely gassed afterwards so I decided to scale back my training start from scratch with my CSS. For the past few months I've simply been doing 50yd repeats focusing on improving my form and getting more efficient with the stroke. I feel that I've gotten better as I now average about 4-5 strokes per length so I plan on ramping up my training volume.

    I devised this linear progression program that'll get me to 10x250yd repeats while holding this pace. It looks like this:

    5x50yd, 6x50yd, 7x50yd, 8x50yd, 9x50yd, 10x50yd
    5x75yd, 6x75yd, 7x75yd, 8x75yd, 9x75yd, 10x75yd
    5x100yd, 6x100yd, 7x100yd, 8x100yd, 9x100yd, 10x100yd
    5x150yd, 6x150yd, 7x150yd, 8x150yd, 9x150yd, 10x150yd
    5x200yd, 6x200yd, 7x200yd, 8x200yd, 9x200yd, 10x200yd
    5x250yd, 6x250yd, 7x250yd, 8x250yd, 9x250yd, 10x250yd

    The commas separate the days, so this is a progressive 6 day/6 week program. I'm just about to start my 100yd sets and finally got a friend to record my stroke. It would be nice to get some feedback for both my plan and my stroke. I hope to get my **** together and walk back into that recruiting station before June.

    By the way, this is my first post in over three years, but I've grown up a lot since then. In the meantime, I've explored some other options and have concluded that becoming a team guy is the only career that I truly wanted to pursue, so no more dabbling around. This is it. Expect me to become a much more active member on here.

    Thanks guys.

  • #2
    Re: 50yd CSS Video -- Any input on further improvement would be appreciated

    I get the feeling you're not doing the first hand stroke right as you make a lot of noise splashing as it comes towards your side.
    "I suppose we are all heroes in our own stories." - Brandon Webb

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: 50yd CSS Video -- Any input on further improvement would be appreciated

      I'll take a stab,

      First of all, a 50Y video isn't enough to make clear judgments on your swim. Repost at least a 100, preferably a 500Y or 250.

      Body position is uphill. This is because your head is looking forward instead of straight down, and also because you are lifting your head off axis as well as over-rotating it. Commit yourself to looking in only two directions, straight down, or at the side of the pool you are breathing toward.

      Streamline is not lazy, but it is pretty far from correct. You have a flexibility issue in the shoulders. Your hands are not pointed forward, but downward forming an obtuse angle with the body. It was also hard to determine if you were exhaling underwater or at the surface. I'm suspicious because your face was out of the water far longer than it needed to be. If underwater, good. If not, start doing it that way.

      The first arm pull is shallow (which isn't necessarily bad) but it is also rushed. You are not catching water with that hand and forearm but slipping your hand through it. That first pull is such a productive part of the stroke you should make it last as long as possible. The longer you can keep your forearm vertical, the better.

      Swim both sides equally. You want to fix this now rather than later.

      See the youtube open turn series posted several times here.

      I see where you are going with the workout plan, but I don't believe doing (ONLY) a six day a week sprint workout with increasing intervals is the right solution here. You are going to need some mindful practice to get in front of the stroke issues, so some longer CHI and LSD swims should be mixed in. I would also begin with 5x100's and see how that feels, then adjust the workout based on those results. If you are doing the intervals for technique work vs. only for time, that would change my opinion. For instance the 10x100's could be done with the first 5 for time, and the second 5 done with the sole goal of minimizing stroke count. Too much sprint work at once leads to exhaustion, which leads to sloppy form, which leads to reinforcement of bad technique.

      For the sprint workout sections, have a goal pace in mind. I do usually :45 to :60 better than your best PST pace.

      Hope that helps,

      --Fargo007

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: 50yd CSS Video -- Any input on further improvement would be appreciated

        I don't think your form is bad based on the video, but you shouldn't be stopping right before your scissor kick forward. I am just throwing out suggestions, but it's possible you are not letting all of your air out before coming back up, therefore you have your head above water too long which is causing that temporary stop as you transition to the kick. It should all be a constant flow through the water. I still have plenty to work on as well and will keep working on it like yourself!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: 50yd CSS Video -- Any input on further improvement would be appreciated

          Also, if you don't want to be gassed, just slowly evolve into further distances with quicker speeds as shown in the sealswcc.com PTG. Hope that helps.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: 50yd CSS Video -- Any input on further improvement would be appreciated

            Youre stroke and kick look strong but the big thing is your breathing. Your head is coming way too far out of the water and for way too long. You should be able to breathe to your side while keep half your head underwater. I even keep part of my mouth underwater and still manage not to choke. It just takes practice and confidence in the water.

            See this image for what i'm talking about. http://media.onsugar.com/files/ons1/...6_swimming.jpg

            As fargo mention your streamline could be better. With a proper streamline and underwater pullout (your's looks good) you should be able to quickly get to at least the halfway mark on the pool. Right now your streamline looks like this...
            http://www.mimages.co.za/files/image...H-CD_thumb.jpg
            but with your head up as well.

            See how his biceps are far from his head and his hand arent squeezed on top of eachother, These are two things you must fix along with pushing your head down and almost through your arms.

            Look here http://innovatobase.files.wordpress....01/pushoff.jpg

            This guy has a much tighter streamline with his arms squeezed around his head and his head down. If you do this youll find yourself glide much further and quicker. You may have to really stretch your shoulders and it may take some time to get your streamline tight but its something you should be working on consistently.

            Ive found streamlining to be one of the most important aspects of swimming because once people understand how to glide properly and efficiently through the water their stroke will follow in similar ways.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: 50yd CSS Video -- Any input on further improvement would be appreciated

              Great response Kieran, the photos if taken advantage of can be a great help for him to have something to look at to put with the words.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: 50yd CSS Video -- Any input on further improvement would be appreciated

                Thanks for this question and the answers and photos. I'm working on the form tips about streamlined tuck-head, and putting alot more focus on that first arm pull.
                The streamlined form suggestions are really helpful for swimming, since when moving through water any body part in a tighter position can make a huge difference. Air is more forgiving when we're running.

                Thanks!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: 50yd CSS Video -- Any input on further improvement would be appreciated

                  I just now checked the boards for the first time in a while and was surprised to see so much feedback. I really appreciate it guys, I'll definitely incorporate all advice into my swim training. I will come back with a new video in a few weeks, something a lot longer than 50yds.

                  As for the breathing, what exactly is the correct technique? Currently, after taking in some air, I exhale a bit as I turn my head into the water, hold my breath for a second while I glide, then begin the exhale once my right arm pulls and turns me around to grab another breath. I find that when my head is sideways underwater, unless I'm exhaling, my nasal cavity will fill with water. Is this common? I'd like to get my breathing down before I really dive into the mechanics of the stroke.

                  Thanks again for the tips, I can't wait to get back out in the pool.

                  EDIT: Just read fargo007's post (9th down) on this thread:https://www.sealswcc.com/forums/show...S-Conditioning which answered my breathing question. Thanks fargo.
                  Last edited by stevendelro; 02-14-2014, 01:18 AM. Reason: found the information

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: 50yd CSS Video -- Any input on further improvement would be appreciated

                    Originally posted by bpecquet View Post
                    Also, if you don't want to be gassed, just slowly evolve into further distances with quicker speeds as shown in the sealswcc.com PTG. Hope that helps.
                    Could you elaborate on this? What did you mean by further distances with quicker speeds?

                    Also, I was wondering what is the average stroke count per length when performing LSD swims? I get really winded as I find myself pushing to keep my stroke count as low as possible. I'm guessing with LSD sessions, stroke count shouldn't be more of an issue than the time/distance spent swimming, but doesn't a higher stroke count mean that I'm working more than I should be?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: 50yd CSS Video -- Any input on further improvement would be appreciated

                      I don't think you can look at it in a formulaic way like that.

                      Stroke count does not necessarily relate directly to work effort/distance. It's a factor, but definitely not the only one. How far you are getting off the wall (and how fast you get there) has the biggest effect on stroke count, and also O2 debt.

                      Certainly you can use an LSD swim as a vehicle to check and minimize stroke count (I do too).

                      On an LSD swim I would adjust the stroke count so that it is "comfortable." If that means a couple more per length at this point, so be it. It's more important to complete the swim and reap the benefits of swimming that distance than worrying about the small parts inside it. You can always do 50's or 100's as a cooldown looking for minimal stroke count, but an LSD swim first and foremost is about the distance.

                      HTH,

                      --Fargo007

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: 50yd CSS Video -- Any input on further improvement would be appreciated

                        Originally posted by stevendelro View Post
                        I'm 5'9" at 165lbs and have learned to do the CSS strictly from youtube videos. The video shows me swimming lead-left, which is my stronger side, but I'm able to swim the CSS on both sides. Oh, and I absolutely don't know anything outside of the CSS, so let me know if that's something to be concerned with.

                        VIDEO: http://youtu.be/SnkLV0rsous

                        I was averaging 8:40-9:10 500yd swim times with about 12 strokes per length not too long ago, but I would be insanely gassed afterwards so I decided to scale back my training start from scratch with my CSS. For the past few months I've simply been doing 50yd repeats focusing on improving my form and getting more efficient with the stroke. I feel that I've gotten better as I now average about 4-5 strokes per length so I plan on ramping up my training volume.

                        I devised this linear progression program that'll get me to 10x250yd repeats while holding this pace. It looks like this:

                        5x50yd, 6x50yd, 7x50yd, 8x50yd, 9x50yd, 10x50yd
                        5x75yd, 6x75yd, 7x75yd, 8x75yd, 9x75yd, 10x75yd
                        5x100yd, 6x100yd, 7x100yd, 8x100yd, 9x100yd, 10x100yd
                        5x150yd, 6x150yd, 7x150yd, 8x150yd, 9x150yd, 10x150yd
                        5x200yd, 6x200yd, 7x200yd, 8x200yd, 9x200yd, 10x200yd
                        5x250yd, 6x250yd, 7x250yd, 8x250yd, 9x250yd, 10x250yd

                        The commas separate the days, so this is a progressive 6 day/6 week program. I'm just about to start my 100yd sets and finally got a friend to record my stroke. It would be nice to get some feedback for both my plan and my stroke. I hope to get my **** together and walk back into that recruiting station before June.

                        By the way, this is my first post in over three years, but I've grown up a lot since then. In the meantime, I've explored some other options and have concluded that becoming a team guy is the only career that I truly wanted to pursue, so no more dabbling around. This is it. Expect me to become a much more active member on here.

                        Thanks guys.
                        Looks nice and consistent and you have a good glide after your scissor kick. Good double arm pull as well. Three things I would work on are keeping your head down so you're looking at the bottom of the pool, keeping your legs together when you aren't scissor kicking and overall, relaxing.

                        You look very deliberate and quick on your stroke, both by no means bad things, but too much deliberateness actually creates inefficiency. In other words, you're putting too much effort into proper form and not enough into feeling the water. Your first arm pull is quick and powerful, but it doesn't look like you're gripping the water and pulling yourself along. If you can loosen your form up, feel a bit more comfortable and relax, you will swim farther, faster and be less tired. Good technique will take you further than anything else. Your obvious strength and power, if put into the correct technique will make you much faster. Focus less on how fast you are going and focus more on glide, getting long and relaxation.

                        If you keep your head down on your glide, pulls and on your breath rotation, you will go faster and your glide will be better. You won't have to work as hard. If you notice on your second arm pull, your torso comes up out of the water, which is slowing you down.

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