New Combat Side Stroke Guide

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Swim Critique

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  • Swim Critique

    I've made improvements since my original thirteen minute swim, now it's time to buckle down on the finer technical aspects of the CSS to get in the low 9's/8's. Of course, ultimate goal would be to hit a swim in the 7's but I realize I gotta take steps in technique and conditioning to get to that level.

    I've been reading all the related posts here and elsewhere on the internet, watching videos and such to improve technique. From what I can personally tell, watching myself I believe I'm 1) over-rotating, 2) not kicking or pulling effectively enough and 3) not making my turns quickly enough. I'm sure there's more, hence the link so you guys with better knowledge and experience can tell me what I should start doing to improve my swim times.


  • #2
    Re: Swim Critique

    I noticed some guys swimming on the same side the entire duration of the 500, whereas I personally alternate sides each time I hit the wall. Seemed more energy efficient and it allows me to hit the wall with my extended arm each time, instead of having to reach across my body with my "lead" arm. Any idea if that helps overall speed?


    • #3
      Re: Swim Critique

      I watched it.

      I agree that it's better to switch every length for a lot of reasons. You pointed out one of them.

      On the stroke:

      You are rushing the first pull. Not grabbing any water and just slipping the hand through the movement.

      Your glide position looks very good, but that long of a glide is out of balance with your kick effectiveness at this time. Shorten it for now until your kick improves. You will learn to feel your velocity with more time and practice and be able to tune these two elements.

      You are over-rotating on your left side. On the right side looks fine to me.

      Timing - you are short in the water for WAY too long. Pausing after the second pull. The slowest you can go in the water is when you have nothing out front, so we want to spend as little time as possible in that posture. Your recovery out to streamline should be initiating simultaneously with that second pull coming down to your chest or so. Carrying it all the way to the hips is a waste, at least for the PST swim. Use the sprinter's sidestroke pull from the official video here on this site.

      Balance - you have balance problems, and you are using "busyfeet" to compensate. Watch what happens after you kick... Nice glide, feet still, and within the shadow of the body. But once you go short, all this legwork starts to show up. YET another reason to minimize your short time in the water!

      A couple measured and well executed flutter kicks are fine but to do good rather than harm, they have to be about efficient propulsion, not used as a compensation mechanism. Go back to the drills on the official video for head lead, and hand lead drills to tighten up that balance.

      Turns - Look on youtube for the 5 part open turn series. It's a breast stroke turn, but without the requirement that both hands must touch the wall. The primary problem with them is that you are turning to face the opposite wall and rotating your body rather than turning in a single plane. NEVER look at the far wall. It is opposite the one your feet are touching.

      There are some other things I see but this should give you plenty to work on for now. I hope it helps you out!



      • #4
        Re: Swim Critique

        Hooyah fargo, I've been implementing all your tips into my swim training. Will post an updated swim video soon.