Thursday, June 18, 2009

Swim Clip = Faster Split

(Photo taken from
Although I have sent the link of this clip to many of my athletes, I decided it was worthy of putting on the blog. I believe it was produced in the US and translated for a Japanese group-hence the interesting figures on the title screen.

I want to point out that this swimmer, in this clip, is using a modified front crawl kick known as trudgen kicking. Typically the flutter kick is used with front crawl. The trudgen kick however, can be a very useful kick to use especially when used in triathlons where there are slight to large waves. The trudgen kick takes the appearance of a scissors kick and is typically implemented somewhat asymetrically, coinciding with one arm of the pull. The use of this kick in wavy open water swim conditions can allow the swimmer to actually pseudo-body surf the waves as the swimmer crests each passing wave. In essence the swimmer will ride the wave and give a short quick kick at the crest to ride the wave similar to the way a body surfer or boogie boarder would.

I personally used the trudgen kick, inappropriately, when I was learning how to breathe during the front crawl. The danger of using the trudgen kick in order to thrust your upper body out of water in effort to take a breath (which is why I was utilizing it), is that you will ultimately swim very asymetrically and risk overuse injuries in the shoulders and elbows. As I later learned, proper body rotation (sculling) illeviates the need to get the head out of the water when breathing.

Check out this clip and note the body rotation, pull and kick. This swimmer swims very smooth and makes it look effortless...that's because he's utilizing great technique. Watch the clip and visualize it when you are swimming in your next session.

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-Coach K

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