Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Body Roll in Swimming

After hearing the success of Alex, I've been spending a lot of time in the small pool practising the total immersion drills, still not quite there yet but I am now paddling at a much more leisure pace yet still being able to keep up with the faster guys in my lane during the club's pool sessions. The total immersion theory really emphasis on body roll but this week I heard from the "Tri-Talk" podcast that body roll may not necessarily mean faster speed. In this week's episode, David Warden, the host, talk about research done on 6 competitve swimmer by analysing their swimming stroke and speed. One of the interesting finding is that when the velocity of the swimmers increases, the degree of body rolls actually decrease. Quite in contrary to what was taugh in total immersion. The swimmers maintain a total body roll of 118 degree at a fast pace while 133 degree at a slower pace when doing a 1500m swim; at 50m sprint pace, the body roll was only 114 degree. Since picking up the TI swimming, I have been really trying hard to exaggerate the body roll maybe I should just be doing what it feels right.

If the weather holds this weekend, I have signed up for a open water swim, the distance is 2.2km from Shek O beach to Big Wave Beach. Let's see how much I have improved.


22 comments:

Alex said...

Funny, I was just talking about the rotation stuff with my friend the other day. We both agreed that TI style’s big idea is to move through water using the least among of energy, or I should say as efficient as possible.

I believe rotation is important because it helps breathing on both sides and it keeps you from swimming flat. It might not add speed directly, but it sure does put the body in a better position for it to move faster. But in terms of how much to roll, I think it’s all depends on the person's comfort level or preference.

I think tri swimming are very different to competitive swimming. We just cannot simply go all out and swim a mile, because we still need to save the juice for the bike and run.

Gabs Lau said...

how has your swimming been coming along. The club's coach has noticed that I have became faster after switching to the TI drills. Having said that I might be less tired on the arms and shoulders but after 4-5 length of pools I will still be grasping for air, the body rotation is requires a bit of explosive energy on the core muscles.

alex said...

I really haven't been timing myself, I mainly focus on my form and keeping myself in a relax state of mind at all time, and get into a good sense of rhythm. Overall I have gotten much better and more efficent with my strokes, it takes me on an average 17 strokes to swim across a 25 yard pool, on a good day 14-15 strokes.

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