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Main Set: Short Course Freestyle Sprint Set

Main Set of the Week: Short Course Freestyle Sprint Set
Now that we are back in short course season, our focus on starts and turns needs to get better. At The Race Club, we pride ourselves in having our members perform great starts and turns.

Sprint Freestyle Pulling Motion: Deep or Deeper?

Sprint Freestyle Pulling Motion: Deep or Deeper?
I have often noticed, particularly among young female sprinters, that the pulling motion used in a sprint is the same technique they utilize in their distance freestyle swims: high elbow, low drag.

Main Set: Two Great Backstroke Sets

Two Great Backstroke Sets

In training swimmers at The Race Club, we feel some sets should focus on technique, while others should focus on conditioning using good technique. Here are two sets that include both.

Prioritizing Backstroke Stroke Rate

In Backstroke, Stroke Rate is the Highest Priority

The fundamentals of good backstroke technique are not really much different than with good freestyle technique. Neither are the biomechanics of a good technique much different with the two strokes.

Distance per Stroke vs Stroke Rate: the controversy continues

Distance per Stroke vs Stroke Rate: the controversy continues.

A while ago, I got into a discussion with elite coach Jonty Skinner regarding a 50 meter freestyle race, swum by Freddie Bousquet back in 2010.

Main Set: Freestyle Sprint Workout

Main Set of the week
Freestyle Sprint workout

Since we are continuing with our analysis of Olympic sprint freestyler, Brad Tandy, I’d thought I’d continue with another great sprint freestyle workout. 

Elevating the Core in Sprint Freestyle

Elevating the Core in Sprint Freestyle
Sprint freestyle is the fastest way of swimming. Therefore, it is also the one event where the swimmer’s technique is most important.

The Race Club Expands Online Coaching with Open Water World Champion

The Race Club Expands Online Coaching with Open Water World Champion

Boasting a significant online following, The Race Club is known internationally for providing elite-level swimming videos and coaching. With more interest than ever in Open Water swimming and triathlons, it was time to bring an expert in the field on board. The Race Club is honored and excited to announce Open Water World Champion and Olympian, Alex Meyer, has joined its coaching staff and is now providing online coaching to Open Water swimmers around the world.

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Sprint Freestyle – Deep vs Deeper Pull

In this velocity meter study coach Gary Hall Sr. analyzes Olympian Brad Tandy’s sprint freestyle technique.  Brad typically uses a deep pull and we wanted to find out what happened to his velocity when he used a slightly less deep pull.  While using a deeper pull creates more frontal drag, the sprint freestyle allows the athlete to make this compromise for a limited duration of time.  Since no one (world class) is swimming sprint freestyle with a high elbow pull the question is, how deep should the pull be?  

The Importance of Backstroke Stroke Rate

The swimming stroke rates for backstroke and freestyle are very similar. So are their fundamentals. For the 200 backstroke, the longest official distance of that stroke, we recommend using the 86 stroke rate.

Freestyle – Release Phase

Almost all the great swimmers use a similar pulling technique and stroke rate in swimming.  In order to achieve a higher stroke rate swimmers often recover the arm quicker by releasing the hand early.  Some coaches emphasize the ‘back end’ of the stroke or finishing the pull all the way through with the hand. The consequence can often lead to a more efficient stroke, but with a  stroke rate that is not fast enough. We tested Olympian Brad Tandy with an early release phase pull and an extended release phase pull to learn what the difference in stroke rate, velocity and acceleration that made some interesting results….

Freestyle – Core Lift

We advocate a ‘core lift’ while swimming freestyle.  Using our drag pressure meter, Coach Gary measured the difference between a relaxed core and a lifted core.  This core lift is often taught in Yoga where the lower lumbar is flattened to the floor while laying on your back.  Naturally the lower lumbar is lifted in this position and takes work in order to get comfortable with a flat back.  In this video we demonstrate core lift exercises that will allow you to understand and improve this critical movement.  Gary then analyzes Olympic Sprint Freestyler Brad Tandy using a velocity meter analysis.  Find out what the difference between a ‘relaxed core’ and a ‘lifted core’ is!

Fast Swimming Technique Back to Breast Turn

The fastest swimming technique in the Individual Medley swimming race is to use the backstroke to breaststroke crossover transition. At The Race Club, we have developed an excellent way for swimmers of all ages to learn this fast but tricky at first technique. Learn the five steps we take our Swim Campers through that makes this seemingly difficult turn, easy!

50 Freestyle Technique – Arm Recovery

If you’re familiar with The Race Club, you know how much we preach the importance of high octane freestyle and a fast stroke rate for a 50 freestyle. It may not be the most efficient way to swim freestyle, but we believe it’s the fastest. However, sometimes just hearing something isn’t enough. That’s why we like to put these things to the test. With the help of elite sprinter Payton Sorenson, we were able to show that a high stroke rate combined with a high octane recovery is the best 50 freestyle technique.

Sprint Freestyle Technique – Head Position

Sprint Freestyle has less variation in technique than any other race because it’s the shortest distance. We do see different head positions in this event. From Pernile Blume with her head down to Caeleb Dressel with his head slightly tilted forward each swimmer has to find their sweet spot. There is no better way to measure this using Velocity Meter technology. In this session we work with Brad and Payton on getting them comfortable with the range of head positions. Stay tuned as we will test what the difference in velocity exactly was in their sprint freestyle head positions.

Freestyle Technique – Vertical Recovery

The Tokyo 2021 Olympics proved that there are a variety of freestyle techniques used in different races.  The 100 freestyle showcased a wide variety of different freestyle techniques.  The 50 freestyle however remains dominated by a high octane freestyle technique.   We also call this a ‘vertical recovery’ in freestyle.  Recently Payton Sorensen who competed at the US Olympic Trials came to train with us for a few days.  We noticed that he had a medium/high octane with one arm and a medium octane with the other in his sprint freestyle technique.  While this technique contains many advantages for longer distances (100 and up) we wanted to see if this was the fastest technique for Payton in the 50.  In this video we teach Payton a high octane freestyle technique.  Next we will put Payton to the test with our Velocity Meter.  Stay tuned as we investigate the difference in these two freestyle techniques….