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Rotation – How To Swim Front Crawl | Freestyle Swimming Technique

Rotation – How To Swim Front Crawl | Freestyle Swimming Technique


– Front crawl stroke, when done well, is a smooth and continuous
movement that looks effortless. It’s actually made up,
though, of several components and to get to this stage,
you gotta have them all working together and dialled in. – Well, we’re going to be continuing to break down the stroke
so that you can perfect and develop your front
crawl and in today’s video, we’re gonna be addressing rotation. (soft pop music) – Don’t rely purely on your arm strength to pull you through the water. You need to add in full body rotation. As much as having super flexible
shoulders might allow you to have that range of movement
that you need for swimming, you are gonna be losing
out on some potential power as well as making yourself
more vulnerable to injury. – So the rotation in front
crawl should all happen around your longitudinal axis. Now what I mean by this
is imagine a line going from the top of your
head, through your nose, and straight down between your feet. So everything from your
shoulders, your torso, your hips should all rotate around that axis. There’s no movement from side to side. And what this does is it
enables far more muscle groups to be engaged, particularly
your back muscles. And this is gonna make your
stroke far more powerful. (soft music) – The front crawl stroke can
be broken into four phases. The catch, the pull, the
exit, and the recovery. Now, rotation actually happens
throughout all four of these and it’s essential in order to have a smooth and efficient stroke. And actually you only spend a
very small moment completely flat on your front cause
when you’re pulling with your right arm, for example, your left side will be up and vice versa. – Yeah, your hips, your
torso, and your shoulders should all move and rotate
around that central axis that I’ve already mentioned. But your head does not
necessarily need to. If you’re not taking a
breath, then you should keep your head looking forwards
and down within the water. But on the topic of taking a breath, the rotation actually really helps this. So when you rotate your
hips and your shoulders, you should also move your
head in sync with that so you rotate around to take your breath, which is a heck of a lot easier
than trying to take a breath when you’re lying flat on
your stomach without rotation. To be honest, I can’t really do that. You have to crane your neck quite a lot. Once you’ve taken your breath to the side, just rotate back around in
sync with your shoulders and your hips and then just
try and keep it nice and still and that’s gonna minimise any drag and any potential snaking down the pool. – Okay, it’s time to look at some drills that are gonna help with your rotation. And for these, it’s such a
good idea to pop some fins on so you can then focus
purely on your body position without having to worry
about anything else. – We’re gonna start by stroking it back and we’re gonna take away the arms, we’re gonna go no arms
for this first drill and its a drill that I
like to call kick rotation and for this, I suggest using some fins. We’re gonna start horizontally,
flat on our stomach. We’re gonna do six kicks or
around two to three seconds and then we’re gonna rotate
onto our right hand side and we’re gonna rotate
moving everything in sync, our hips and our shoulders all together and then we’re gonna do another six kicks and this is a good opportunity
also to take a breath. And then rotate again
back, flat to our stomach, another six kicks, and
then to our left hand side. Just keep repeating that over and over to complete a whole length. (soft music) – Okay, for this one, you
need to keep your fins on and you can just start
with one arm extended, one arm by your side. So basically, superman position. Now that arm that’s extended
needs to be the lower side and your arm by your side
is gonna be on the top and you’re gonna try and
make yourself feel parallel to the side wall. Once you’ve got that
position, then try and breathe on that side once you’re relaxed
enough and practise putting your face down to face
the bottom of the pool as though you were swimming front crawl and then just rotate your head back when you need to breathe. Stay in that position for the whole length and then swap to the other
side when you’re coming back. And you’ll probably notice
that one sides harder than the other, especially if you’re used to only breathing in one direction. (soft music) – Alright, so now for single arm drill. We’re gonna start by using fins for this and then when you progress,
you can chuck those away and start improving since your main sets are in your everyday sessions. Now, one option with
this is to do the drill with one arm fully extended
out in front of you and do the single arm
drill with the other arm. Now, you need to focus
on the rotation with this so making sure your
shoulders, your torso and hips all rotating together
but with the breathing, you’re gonna struggle
to breathe to this side where the arm is out
extended in front of you. You’re gonna wanna breathe
to the moving arm side and still just really
concentrate on that rotation. The other option is to put
the arm down by your side. Now this is a slight progression and really the more preferred option because you’re actually
getting slightly more rotation. So again, same movement, doing single arm with the other arm, okay, and the rotation is exactly the same but this time with the breathing, we’re gonna breathe the other way, away from our moving arm and
then where you’ve got pressure on the water with that moving
arm to allow us to breathe. Now, the rotation and the
breathing all in this is really gonna emphasise and reinforce
that rotation for our stroke so it is a hard drill and
I’d recommend doing maybe half a length and then swimming
off the other half length during your sessions. – Alright, we’re
progressing it further now but actually using doggy paddle. But by that I mean the
full extension doggy paddle so arm out in front
and arm out to the side and your going to use this
for six kicks on either side so take one stroke, when
you’re at the full extension, rotate fully to the side,
hold that for six kicks, and then pull underneath,
with an underneath recovery, back to the other side,
hold for another six kicks. And then you can incorporate
breathing with this. Once you’ve taken your breath, put your head back to the centre line and try and keep minimal
movement of your head. Do this for a length and then
progress it to full strokes still pausing for six kicks. So instead of doing the
underwater recovery, your arm will recover over the
top, but you’re gonna rotate fully so you’ll be facing the
wall for six kicks each side. – Right now, finishing off
with something a little bit fun and light hearted, the corkscrew drill. Now this one does come
with a slight warning cause it can leave you
feeling a little bit dizzy. So do it somewhere near
a wall or a lane rope in case you need to grab hold and perhaps with not too many people around because it does leave
you a tendency to drift from one side of a lane rope to another. Now, you just wanna push off from the wall to one front crawl stroke on your front and then rotate straight
over onto your back and do one backstroke, and then
rotate back onto your front, do one front crawl stroke,
and just keep repeating that. See, you’re going around
in this corkscrew motion. But do remember to unwind,
so go back the other way, otherwise you could end up
feeling a little bit ill. That does seem a little bit
silly and yes, light hearted but actually there’s a
lot of value to this drill because it does really help
with our body awareness and really to nail that rotation. (soft pop music) – Right, it’s time to
put it all back together and it is worth noting
that in these drills, most of them will actually
over exaggerating the amount of rotation you need when
it comes to normal stroke. But, when you’re trying
to change something that you’ve practised
hundreds of hundreds of times that you would’ve done
in a freestyle stroke, even something minute is
gonna feel quite dramatic. And it is worth noting that
most of rotation needs to come from your hips so when you do
go back to doing full stroke, it’s a good idea to keep your fins on. It just makes it a little bit easier. – Now, also adding to that,
most of this has been focusing on the hip and shoulder
rotation but with any changes within your rotation, it can
also change other aspects of the stroke like your hand entry. So just make sure that you
maintain a good hand entry in line with your shoulder. You’re not crossing over the centre line too much or even going to wide. – See rotation as the foundation cause it does affect all
the phases of the stroke and once you’ve mastered it, it’s amazing how all the other components
just suddenly feel more efficient and more
smooth without extra effort. – Yeah, I couldn’t agree more
and we are right in the middle of our GTN swim week so
if you want to make sure you don’t miss anymore
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shop and if you like to see a how to breathe while swimming
video just click down here. Or here. – Or here, just click. – I don’t know where it is.
– on the video.

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