Is Your Elbow Really Dropped Or Is It Just That Your Hand Is Too High?

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This week on the Feel For The Water Blog we have a new Swim Smooth video clip for you. If you've ever been told by a coach that you need to get your elbows higher then we'd pose to you the question, is your elbow really dropped or in fact is it just that your hand is too high? A change in perspective that could make all the difference to improving your stroke technique.

Paul Newsome takes a look during a during a recent video analysis session (featuring a little help from 18 times Olympic Gold Medallist Michael Phelps):




To correct this area of your stroke, use our Catch Masterclass program, either on DVD or in the Swim Smooth Coaching system webapp:

www.swimsmooth.com/catchmasterclass.html

app.swimsmooth.com/section/bX/fw/catch-masterclass

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Should You Learn To Tumble Turn?

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United Kingdom

Northampton Video Analysis Clinic

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Freestyle Improvers Course, Oxford

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Video Analysis Clinic, Sherborne

Video Analysis Workshop Reading Jan & Feb




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Prague Junior Swim Club

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Swim/Tri Camps Alicante




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South Carolina Clinic Jan 24th

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NYC / SC Video Analysis

Hong Kong Video Analysis

Dubai December Video Analysis Workshops
One of the questions we often get asked by improving swimmers is: Should I learn to tumble turn?

A tumble turn is often known as a flip-turn in the US and looks like this:



Whether you should put in the time and effort to learn to tumble is a really good question. You might be busy improving your freestyle stroke technique and building up your swim fitness but when is the right time to learn and is it ever essential?

The advantages of tumbling are :

- Ultimately the fastest way to turn because of the mechanics of the turn and the greater in-out spring effect off the wall.
- A fast turn means you can stay with with swimmers who would otherwise be slightly faster than yourself, useful in a squad training situation.
- Easier to execute on a high walled pool without a gutter.
- Going back to push-turns feels clumsy and awkward afterwards.
- You look like a real swimmer!

If you want to become a competitive pool swimmer (racing in the pool) then developing a good tumble turn is going to be essential. Done well, a tumble is ultimately faster (perhaps as much as 0.3-0.5 second per turn) than a good push turn. The key phrase here is 'done well' - a bad tumble can easily be slower than a well executed push-turn.

What are the disadvantages? :

- Tumbling can be challenging to learn because it is disorientating at first and without a constant exhalation, water can easily go up your nose, both of which are very off putting.
- You can't take a breath during the turn itself which makes things harder aerobically, especially when swimming hard over distance.
- It's a skill not used in open-water swimming, so if you are an open water swimmer or triathlete you won't get any advantage from it.
- Requires a supple back.

We suggest:

- As you are developing your swimming, get to the point where you can swim competently and have a good level of swim fitness before giving tumble turns a try. Trying to learn before that point will be a little premature.
- Expect things to be quite hit and miss at first - you'll fluff plenty of them but equally when you nail one it feels great! Gradually your hit ratio will improve.
- You might get comfortable doing them when fresh at the beginning of a swim but after a few laps they feel progressively harder as your breathing rate increases. Keep persevering, over time you will be able to go further and further without reverting back to push turns.

Tumble turns are a nice skill to have in your locker but if you are a recreational or fitness swimmer, or triathlete or open water swimmer, then don't sweat it if you ultimately struggle to pick them up. Put some effort into tuning up your push-turns and you'll only lose a little time to the very best tumblers.

For tips on how to develop your tumbles, check out SS Coach Fiona Ford's 2 minute guide:



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