Swimming Science 2014 Year in Review

As 2014 comes to a close, I want to thank all the readers who used this blog to better their performances in and out of the water. Sure, everyone wants to coach or be the next Michael Phelps, or make a living off Swimming as a coach or athlete. But realistically, it is extremely rare to be an professional swimmer and make a living off swimming. Financially, only a handful of you will make a real living in Athletics. Thus the real value of swimming are the life lessons and transference of these life lessons into other parts of your life.

The Guest Writers

The other group of people I want to thank are the guest writers and other contributors to the website. Without these guest contributions, you’d only have one interpretation and opinion on swimming, when we all know different perspectives, interpretations, and implementations exist and are successful. Plus, I know you can’t always listen to me!

If you aren’t familiar with their contributions, click the links to their name, and you’ll get a listing of all their articles.  In chronological order of published articles:

  • Allan Phillips  – Allan is the owner of Pike Athletics and currently a Doctoral of Physical Therapy student at Army-Baylor University. Allan is also the dryland contributor to Swimmer Magazine and a world renowned Speed Golfer.
  • Tiago Barbosa  – Tiago is one of the best swimming researchers in the world. He breaks down races, analyzing biomechanics and energetics better than anyone I’ve seen. He is currently on faculty at Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) and at the Portuguese Swimming Federation as scientific advisor and analyst.
  • Kevin Iwasa-Madge  – Kevin is a new contributor to the website, writing about nutritional requirements for swimmers. He is the owner owner of iMadgen Nutrition, and as a former top-5 finisher in the world as a freestyle wrestler, Kevin embodies the lifestyle of an elite athlete.
  • John Matulevich – John is another new contributor, handling practical applications of dryland and weight training. He is powerlifting world record holder in multiple lifts and weight classes, as well as a Head D-2 Strength Coach, and previously a nationally ranked college athlete. His concentrations are in sports performance, powerlifting, and weight training for swimming.
  • Josh Pintar – Although Josh has only contributed one article, he reviews countless articles and reviews my work on the Swimming Science Research Review. He is a graduate of the Physical Therapy Program at The Ohio State University with a specialization in research.
  • Cameron (Cam) Yick – Cam is a behind the scenes contributor to the website, helping with design and swimming calculators (stay tuned). He is is a student athlete from Connecticut, with particular interest in the psychology side of human performance and is the moderator of the USRPT Training Panel.
  • Interviews– I can’t list everyone I was fortunate to interview on this website, but want to thank everyone! I understand everyone is busy and these people have given their time for the website, thank you very much!

 

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Notes from Gregg Troy ASCA Lecture (“Garbage Yards and Other Things that Work”): Part II

Take Home Points

  1. Lifetime mileage base matters for planning late career training.
  2. Must isolate one aspect of swimming if you are to improve that area. Can’t train same proportions all year round
  3. Believes that learning moments come from pushing to edge of ability in practice. Not always bad thing to fail.

This is a continuation of the notes from Gregg Troy ASCA Lecture, see part I HERE.

Anthony Ervin – tremendously articulate, not very fast at practice, but when not swimming fast he was still focused on what he was doing; swam slow correctly; didn’t do 70k but was in age group program entire time (averaging 40-45k); can get away with 30-35k per week at age 30+ because he put in the time as a youngster; trying to get away with low yardage at young age is like building house without foundation.

Weekly average is more important than the big day or big week.

Margo Geer – didn’t train at all like Ervin even though same AG coach; difference between Ervin and Geer is that Ervin had the base at younger age.

Most seasons in USA have shrunk from 12 weeks to less; prefers longer seasons.

Things that work….if you keep doing them they get stale and then they don’t work.

…But don’t have to create new workout for every session…

One strategy…same Monday AM workout; designed to fail first time, then see improvement with repetition of the workout for 4-8 wks.

Make Monday AM longest session for sprinters so they get it out of the way.

Drilling slow correctly comes before drilling fast correctly.

Warm down strategies:

  • Snorkel and cap (2-3x week); restrict breathing; elevate heart rate without muscular demand
  • 900-1500 weak stroke continuous (backstroke w/ fins and paddles, one arm then swim; backstroke – double underwater pulls at far wall, 10 kicks at near wall; used to treat fly same as other strokes; fly w/ fins R-L-fly-free; freestyle stroke is butterfly stroke but w/ better leverage)
  • 15-20 mins low end aerobic – gets them ready for tomorrow’s practice
  • Technique w/ fatigue – relates to end of the race as much as swimming all out 25s

Main sets

  • 20  X 400LCM – even sprinters!  Why are sprinters are never supposed to do 10 x 400, but distance free go 25s?!?!?
  • Don’t want to fall apart but occasionally have to get to that point.  Helps create learning moments.
  • Better off to let them finish, fatigue, and fail that day.  If you don’t press onward, they might not realize what they are capable of.  But if consecutive days of feeling tired, need to reevaluate.
  • Build character by creating tough situations

Fartlek swimming – easy/fast swimming continuously; good for tapering before meets and for getting fast at the beginning of the year.

Aerobic training – if you want to do true aerobic work, you have to go at least 140 HR for 20 minutes continuous with no more than 20 min.

Too much candy coating at practice – harder to sell things in today’s society.

30 x 100 – want the athletes to see the number 30 and not get scared.

Difference in Bolles vs UF – able to build nucleus with more continuity in club.

Japanese swimmers – work really hard; not afraid to swim long; do more slow swimming than anyone else in the world; technically flawless, spend a lot of time with video; allow the younger swimmers to challenge the older athletes; older swimmers don’t get free ride.  Japanese have potential to be best team at Olympics.  If we depend on Japanese not getting it done in the big meets, it may be too late.  Culture has imposed too much pressure on them to perform at big meets.

Staff must communicate. Co-coaching: good for athletes to hear the same thing different ways.

Pick block of time where focused on doing something very well.  (Example: Beisel focus on 400IM this summer, not focus on too many events.  Return to high volume with distance crew.  She had been successful with age group high volume program).  Also train with breaststrokers for 3wks.  When you take a block of time where you focus on something, you give up something elsewhere.

Warm down at meets.  10 min nonstop, then set of 20 x 50 (:45 SCY, HR at 140bpm for first 15; then 3 reps of 6 sec all out; then finish with easy on the minute).

Having an assistant at the warm up pool is invaluable.  Has one assistant who spends entire meet at warm up pool.

Freestyle: Hypoxic and snorkel are completely different things.  Can’t get away with doing one or the other.  Do both.

Back: Pulling with band; monofin.  But can’t do too much monofin because swimmers can get too comfortable going slow underwater.  Need both fast and slow underwaters.

Breast: lot of pulling breast with tubes around feet.

Fly: long fins vs short fins?  Originally thought long fins were easier, but later decided that wasn’t true.  Long fins force you to use entire torso; short fins allow too much knee bend.  Long fins for training, short fins for technical work.  Long fins allow for distance fly yardage.

Surgical tubing: creates resistance at the end and then forces you to transition from stroke to stroke in IM.

Great slump busting set: Broken 200s- 75 on :40, (50e on 1:00), 50 on :30, (50e on 1:00), 50 on :25, (50e on 1:00),  25 on :10, easy as needed.

Goal kick sets: help keep the team together and good recovery day for distance crew.  (example: 10 x 75 at 100 swim time).

30 x 50s on 1:00 at race pace.  Have to go slow next rep if you don’t make ¼ of your 200 time.  Same kids that don’t want to do work are the same ones that cheat to not miss a rep!

Backstroke stationary kick – great drill in crowded pool.

Get in sets – beat goal time or go home! (opposite of get out set).

Freestyle IM – helps breast leg; sometimes breast gets sloppy when tired from fly.

Written by Allan Phillips is a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) and owner of Pike Athletics. He is also an ASCA Level II coach and USA Triathlon coach. Allan is a co-author of the Troubleshooting System and was selected by Dr. Mullen as an assistant editor of the Swimming Science Research Review. He is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Physical Therapy at US Army-Baylor University.

The post Notes from Gregg Troy ASCA Lecture (“Garbage Yards and Other Things that Work”): Part II appeared first on Swimming Science.

High Intensity Training for Swimmers

1. Please introduce yourself to the readers (how you started in the profession, education, credentials, experience, etc.).

My name is Christoph Zinner and I studied sport science at the German Sport University Cologne (2009). Here I did my PhD in exercise science in 2013. In 2014 I worked at the Swedish Winter Sport Research Center as a post-doc. In 2015 I will start a position at the department “Integrative and Experimental Sports Science” at the University of Würzburg (Germany). My interest in exercise sciences started in early years. I´m a former swimmer and triathlete and during my studies I worked as a swimming coach at a small regional club. At both sides of the pool I realized how interesting kinesiology really is.

2. You recently published an article on hormonal and performance adaptations to high-intensity training (HIT). What is HIT and how is it different from HIIT and other high-intensity training?

In the literature a lot of different nomenclatures for high-intensity (interval) training are used. In the study we published we used different HIT/HIIT protocols during the training intervention in order to keep the motivation of the athletes high. One protocol was 4×4 min at 90-95% heart rate max. with 3 min rest and the other protocol was 2×10×40 s at an intensity corresponding to 90-95 % of heart rate max., with 20 s recovery between the intervals and a 3 min active recovery after the first 10 intervals.
In 2013 Laursen and Buchheit published two reviews about physiological differences between different high-intensity training protocols.

3. What did your study look at?

We investigated how the impact of a HIT session changes after a certain period of only high-intensity training sessions (shock microcycle). The question was if such a HIT shock microcycle causes familiarization effects to this type of training. For this reason, we compared the acute hormonal responses of cortisol, testosterone, hGH, T3 and fT3 at the beginning and after 2 weeks of HIT to investigate whether a habituation effect occurs in these hormones.

4. What were the results of your study?

The most novel finding of this study was that we found a significant increase in the baseline concentrations of testosterone after 2 weeks of HIT. In the other measured hormones (cortisol, hGH, T3 or fT3) we did not observe any significant changes in the response between the first and last HIT session. Additionally, the peak power output in an incremental bike protocol and time trial performance improved, whereas no significant changes in peak oxygen uptake occurred.

5. What were the practical implications for triathletes?

The study shows that a 14 day HIT microcycle can be used to improve peak power output and time trial performance in junior triathletes in a short period of time and that at the end of the microcycle, the training stimulus produced by HIT was still great enough to “stress” the athletes.

6. Do you think the results would be different if you had older, elite or untrained swimmers? + 7. What do you think of high intensity training for swimmers?

I would expect comparable results for swimmers. The difference here might be in the differences of total training amount between old, elite and untrained swimmers. For elite swimmers it is crucial to include HIT to improve performance, but with their extremely high total amount of training the coach has to be very careful not to provoke overreaching and/or overtraining.
There are some scientific studies about the results of HIT for swimmers. Sperlich et al. (2010) investigated HIT in young swimmers and Faude et al. (2008) investigated HIT in older, competitive swimmers. Both studies showed positive results in regards to performance for the swimmers.

8. What do you think of traditional training compared to HIT in swimmers?

I think it is extremely important to implement HIT into a swimmers training in order to improve performance. In Germany many swim coaches and swimmers are very eager to cover as much distance as possible during their training. But in the last years a lot of studies have shown, that both training concepts (HIT and high volume training) are important parts of successful swim training.

9. Who is doing the most interesting research currently in your field? What are they doing?


The group of Martin Gibala is doing a lot research in the field of high intensity training. They are looking at muscular adaptations of HIT, which is a very interesting field of research.

10. What research or projects are you currently working on or should we look from you in the future?

We are working on the implementation of high intensity training for different populations. On the one hand for obese people who are not able to run or even to cycle and on the other hand for elite athletes. Furthermore, the knowledge about “long-term” effects of different training concepts is very rare. We are trying to get a study started which investigates the effects of different training strategies for at least one season.

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SSP 005: College Swimming, Starts, Turns, Nutrition, and Much More with Brett Hawke

In this episode, I’m joined by one of the leading coaches in the United States, Brett Hawke. Brett has coached over 11 Olympians and is the head coach at Auburn University.

In this episode, Brett shares information about goal setting, transitioning from high school to college, nutrition, supplements, and much more!

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT:

  • How Auburn performs goal setting meetings.
  • The difficulties of transitioning from high school to college.
  • Starts and turns training.
  • Nutrition and supplementation for swimmers.

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

THANKS FOR LISTENING!

Thanks for joining me for this episode. I know the conversation broke up a few times and I apologize, I’m still very new with this! If you have any tips, suggestions, or comments about this episode, please be sure to leave them in the comment section below.

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of the post.

SAY THANKS TO Brett Hawke!

If you enjoyed this podcast, tell Brett thanks on Twitter!

It was such a pleasure to have Brett Hawke on the Swimming Science Podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes! See you next time! Also, if you have any suggestions, please make them and we are sorry for some of the poor sound, we are working on improving our recording technique!

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Notes from Gregg Troy ASCA Lecture (“Garbage Yards and Other Things that Work”): Part I

Take Home Points

  1. Time investment is a measure of commitment to anything, both in and out of the pool
  2. Training must be balanced. Time and place for all types of training
  3. Exploit teaching moments as coaches, even if it is uncomfortable for both parties

Recently, high intensity, race-pace training has been one of the hot “new” trends in the swimming world. While many coaches have ridden this wave into the current era, it is important to maintain a balanced perspective, particularly in studying best-practice throughout swimming’s evolution [see recent posts on SwimSwam Josh Davis and 20 reasons to be thankful for USRPT] .

At this year’s ASCA Conference, Greg Troy covered a wide range of topics within his controversially titled presentation “Garbage Yards and Other Things that Work.” Below are some notes from the first half of his talk, which can be purchased through the ASCA.

Though anecdote and expert opinion are low forms of evidence on the evidence hierarchy, they do merit respect when linked with real-world results. Ultimately, the goal of the sport is to get your hand on the wall before everyone else, not merely produce beautiful scientific theories!

Common theme among best swimmers over five decades: they all did a lot of swimming.

Story from 1985. Got frustrated with his athletes. 2.5 hr practices, but wasn’t getting effort in practice. They paced their efforts to survive 2.5 hours! Would be worse now with shorter attention spans.

Solution: one hour practice! Included everything in one hour (Warmup, etc). Did a lot of fast swimming and had one of best short course seasons later that spring….

But worst long course season! Athletes who were formerly great in training couldn’t get back to work when practice length increased. Took nine months to get everyone back on track

Tremendous benefit to swimming fast, but must be right time and place.

See Capacity vs Utilization lecture (Bowman)

Factors in getting better

  • Swim more – volume and repetition
  • Swim better – technique
  • Swim faster – race specific
  • Get stronger – dryland, but some age groupers get stronger just by getting older

Also….Mental approach (toughness, communication), natural skill set (genetics), heart (hard to gauge), the “X” factor (impossible to measure…Phelps, Lochte, Ledecky: they can go somewhere that others can’t go; look forward to the pain; cherish going there)

All successful athletes have good communication skills (lot of exchange between coach/athlete)

Novice athletes: kick, technique, fun (we have it backwards in USA in promoting coaches to higher level groups…need our best coaches at this level!)

Age group: if they learn the skill correctly, they will carry through life. Toughest part as college coach is changing skills learned early.

Junior: strength less priority since they will get stronger automatically. Less priority on speed at this age. Girls 12-14, give them all they can handle! This will carry them through career. Age 14-17 for males.

Senior: greater priority on swimming faster or you lose them from the sport.

Professionals: we really don’t have many professionals. Definition of professionals: put in the extra time, work. Just getting money to swim doesn’t make you a true professional. If they cut volume they take key ingredient that got them there. Strength is greater priority here since that could be the difference

It is not about volume! It is about time commitment. Very few things in life that if you put less time in it you will be more successful. (true for relationships, work, hobbies). If you put in less time, your chances of being successful are diminished.

Coaching is a puzzle. Putting pieces together is what makes you successful as a coach (communication, personality, skill set).

Keep it simple. The fewer pieces, the better off you are.

There’s not much that is new. Puzzle has simply changed with more pieces (scientific knowledge, etc). And if you take pieces out, you get different picture. Everyone wants to make a piece the entire puzzle. Different for everyone!

Puzzle is constantly in motion …and some days the pieces aren’t even there (what does athlete do when they aren’t with you?!). If kid shows up to practice after staying up till 4am, a piece of the puzzle is missing!

Tells all athletes: three people more interested in your career -> self, parents, coach (in that order)

Which of the three people knows the most about your body: you
Who knows most about swimming: coach
Who knows least? Parents. (Parents are necessary evil because they are interested but coach should teach the child to not listen to parents about swimming)

We work in a delayed gratification sport in an instant gratification society
There is no cookbook for putting the recipe together. If there was a cookbook formula, we wouldn’t be at the clinic. If it was easy, everyone would do it

Learning moments: unique opportunities for learning

Few coaches at meets take the time to explain the reason that a swimmer did something bad at meet was because they have been doing it in practice

Learning moment is right there when they are most disappointed. It can be volatile but that is when they care the most and most likely to listen

Tiger Woods keys to success: good early instruction, work habits, and repetition…in a non-aerobic sport
We work in an aerobic sport so repetition is even more key!

Most important thing you do in swimming is to swim slow correctly

Been doing 25s all out for a long time…but it is only one component of the puzzle

Do more slow swimming over the course of the career (warm down, warm up, technical work)
Always working technique (don’t work on 25s but then forget technique in 200s)

Rule of thumb: 70k per week. Its big in todays world but not big compared to 80s.

Clary, Phelps, Lochte, Piersol, Adrian, Hoff, Schmitt, Caulkins, Vanderkaay, etc….All had 12-24 mo time period where they did aerobic based work.

Greg Burgess – “I don’t have to like it but I know I need to do it”

Adrian – 80k/week in high school (one of the fastest 500yd swimmers in HS)…but would he have been faster if been sprinting whole time?

Stay tuned for part II next week!

Written by Allan Phillips is a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) and owner of Pike Athletics. He is also an ASCA Level II coach and USA Triathlon coach. Allan is a co-author of the Troubleshooting System and was selected by Dr. Mullen as an assistant editor of the Swimming Science Research Review. He is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Physical Therapy at US Army-Baylor University.

The post Notes from Gregg Troy ASCA Lecture (“Garbage Yards and Other Things that Work”): Part I appeared first on Swimming Science.

Weekly Swimming Round-up

Each week we aggregate recent swimming journals and blog posts relating to swimming biomechanics, physiology, nutrition, psychology, etc. If you wish to add, please add an article to the weekly swimming round-up in the comments section.

Journal Round-up

  1. Assessment of fatigue thresholds in 50-m all-out swimming.
  2. Comparison of starts and turns of national and regional level swimmers by individualized-distance measurements.
  3. 2×2 dominant achievement goal profiles in high-level swimmers.

Blog Round-up

  1. Effect of Full Body Suits on Swimming

     

  2. SSP 004: Swimmer’s Shoulder Rehabilitation, Injury Prevention and Much More with Dr. Tracy Spigelman

     

  3. Optimizing Dryland Training: Installment 1

     

  4. Abbey Weitzeil 100 Free American Record Race Analysis and Video

     

  5. Hell Week and Swimming: Part III

     

  6. INTERVIEW: John Mullen on swimming

  7. 0.3g/kg Bicarbonate Will Make Trained Cyclists Last 4.5 Min Longer (+9%) During Std. High Intensity Cycling Tests

  8. INTERVIEW: Adam Meakins on shoulder injuries

  9. #Psychology | Mental Fatigue & Sport Performance: Train (occasionally) High, Compete Low!

  10. Sport Science’s Preeminent Iconoclast: Tim Noakes

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Effect of Full Body Suits on Swimming

1. Please introduce yourself to the readers (how you started in the profession, education, credentials, experience, etc.).

My name is Matteo Cortesi and I started my approach to water as swimmer, and I was lucky enough to measure myself as breaststroker in major international events with the Italian National Team around the 2000s.

I have a degree in Physical Education and thanks to Prof. Giorgio Gatta I had the opportunity to start the studies of biomechanics and energetics of swimming and water environment to the University of Bologna. I complete the PhD research on Sport Science in 2012 in Bologna.

I currently work as research fellow at the Department for Life Quality Studies of the School of Pharmacy, Biotechnology and Sport Science at the University of Bologna. My scientific production has approximately fifty publications, about twelve of them in international scientific journals.

The swimming club of Circolo Nuoto Uisp Bologna, which includes some athletes of the Italian National Swimming Team, asked me to control the team as head coach since 2012.

2. You recently published an article on full body suits and swimming. Since the body suits are banned for FINA competitions, why did you want to research this topic?

 In this study we define the effect of the different full-body suits on the body alignment and hydrodynamic resistance, that in scientific literature is not completely clear to date. We compared the different material composition of the full-body suits (textile and synthetic rubber) to the traditional brief swim suit. This allowed us to evaluate both products that are currently banned from the swimming pool (but who have strongly influenced the performance in recent years), and products that are currently used for FINA competitions (with limitation of surface covered). Furthermore these swimsuits are commonly used in training sessions to create facilitated conditions to reach supra-maximal swimming speeds. So that’s a study of current interest.

3. What did your study look at?

The aim to evaluate how the technology can improve performance in swimming in terms of assessment or conditioning was the core of our projects. This work, together with another of last year that showed the hydrodynamic effects of different swim caps (Gatta, 2013), outlines an area of research and experimentation aimed at improving the swimming technology.

4. Were there any other swimming tests you for measuring drag?

Various techniques have been used to measure active drag, from experimental methods to computational analysis. However the results from these studies seams to be different. We measured pasive drag (“non-swimming subjects”) to analyze the effects of full-body swimsuits by means the towing method because measuring active drag is still controversial in scientific literature. Moreover, the active drag is influenced by the swimming technique and this could be a confounding factor when the effects of different kinds of swimsuits have to be singled out.

5. What were the results of your study?

The study confirms that using full-body swimsuits reduces passive drag compared to using a brief swimsuit and that the amount of this reduction depends on the intrinsic properties of the swimsuits. In addition to the passive drag reduction induced by the material composition of the swimsuit covering the swimmers’ body, a fraction of the drag reduction during towing trials with full-body swimsuits is due to changes in the position of the swimmer’s body. The use of textile full-body swimsuits create a lifted lower limbs position. A similar effect was also observed when using the full-body rubber swimsuit, and this suggests that last generation swimsuits have a “lifting effect” on the lower limbs similar to that elicited by a pull-buoy.

6. What were the practical implications for coaches and swimmers from your study?

Knowing how changes in the body position and alignment when using the different body swimsuits could stimulate the coaches and swimmers to dedicate more importance at the race preparation wearing the full-body swimsuit. Furthermore, this information can be useful for coaches when using these swimsuits for swimming trials at supra-maximal speed, a typical training method also used by means of assisted training.

7. Do you think the results would be different if you had older or differently trained swimmers?

I believe that a variation of these effects can be depend by the speed of the swimmer, and that’s certainly a variable conditioning in the categories of athletes named on the question. In this study, we considered the tipical speeds of well-trained swimmers of competitive standard. This could be a stimulus for future investigation.

8. How accurate are the current measures of passive drag? What about active drag?

Havriluk in 2007 conducted a meta-analysis to identify the variability in measurement of swimming passive and active drag forces. All the different methodological analysis for passive drag were included: tow line in pool, tow line in flume and carriage in tow tank. He concluded that the different passive drag methodologies measure the same effect. Thereafter, for our work we used the tow line in pool in accord with the validity of this methodology. Differently, Harviluk shows that the comparison of active drag methods have a systematic error.

9. Who is currently doing the most interesting swimming research? What are they doing?

It’s a complex question .. there are many laboratories of research and international collaborations with outstanding expertise in the study of swimming science. I think that the path of study of the movement’s analysis in swimming through new technologies (such as inertial sensors) could have a crucial impact to produce new skills about the forces involved in swimming, consequently on swimming performance.

10. What makes your research different from others?

Knowing how changes in the body position eventually affect the hydrodynamic resistance can have a wider application for swimmers and swimming coaches. The position of lower limbs during passive towing and the body position wearing full-body suit, to our knowledge, has not yet been analyzed in the literature.

11. Which teachers have most influenced your research?

Many teachers constantly contributing and have contributed to my continuing education on swimming science and performance, including elite athletes who daily permitt to give the application to theoretical considerations. But the opportunity to collaborate daily with Dr. Giorgio Gatta from about a ten years at the University of Bologna is the reason that feeds my passion for research on water environment.

12. What research or projects are you currently working on or should we look from you in the future?

We are always looking of practical applications for coaches. Currently, we have some work in progress on swimming biomechanics as the effects of the new helmet swim cap or the assessment of the head position in swimming. The analysis of frontal impact area during the four swimming strokes is a theme further development of our current research. For this research a gratefully acknowledge goes to Arena Italia for their technical support and helpful suggestion.

Furthermore, an important collaboration with the Italian Swimming Federation has allowed us to create a path for evaluating the profile of sprinter through a protocol for measuring the determining factors of speed performance in swimming (power output, propelling efficiency and drag).

The post Effect of Full Body Suits on Swimming appeared first on Swimming Science.

SSP 004: Swimmer’s Shoulder Rehabilitation, Injury Prevention and Much More with Dr. Tracy Spigelman

In this episode, I’m joined by one of the leading researchers in swimmer’s shoulder, Dr. Tracy Spigelman. Dr. Spigelman is a professor of exercise & Sport Science at Eastern Kentucky University, focusing on upper extremity injuries and swimming overuse injuries.

In this episode, Dr. Spigelman shares about return to swimming protocols, factors for shoulder injury, and injury prevention for swimmers.

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT:

  • Swimmer’s shoulder rehabilitation and return to swimming protocol.
  • Swimming biomechanics for swimmer’s shoulder.
  • Swimming volume for swimmer’s shoulder.
  • More tips of injury prevention and rehabilitation.

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

THANKS FOR LISTENING!

Thanks for joining me for this episode. I know the conversation broke up a few times and I apologize, I’m still very new with this! If you have any tips, suggestions, or comments about this episode, please be sure to leave them in the comment section below.

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of the post.

SAY THANKS TO Dr. Spigelman!

If you enjoyed this podcast, tell Dr. Spigelman thanks in the comments!

It was such a pleasure to have Dr. Spigelman on the Swimming Science Podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes! See you next time! Also, if you have any suggestions, please make them and we are sorry for some of the poor sound, we are working on improving our recording technique!

The post SSP 004: Swimmer’s Shoulder Rehabilitation, Injury Prevention and Much More with Dr. Tracy Spigelman appeared first on Swimming Science.

Optimizing Dryland Training: Installment 1

Many swim coaches realize the benefits associated with strength training, yet many do not have the resources or know-how to implement a complete strength & conditioning program.  I’ve created this series to enable swim coaches to learn some basic dryland exercises, tips, and tricks to help maximize an athlete’s land-based training.

  1. Leave ‘Skill-Specific’ Training in the Water

Largely due to some very inaccurate fitness blogs, the majority of swimming coaches believe the benefits of dryland training are derived from ‘sport-specific’ or ‘functional’ movements, which are supposed to replicate the demands of the sport, in this particular case, the strokes of swimming.  While the idea that training should replicate the sport seems inherently good, it is far cry from the goals of a well-developed strength & conditioning program.

True replication of the demands of the sport is what the in-water training is made for; ‘Sport-Specific’ training can only be achieved via water-based training.  The true benefits of dryland training are much more general, and while this may seem inefficient at first, it is anything but.  A well-designed dryland training program will improve general proprioception (awareness of the body in space), reduce chance of injuries, increase strength, and improve neuro-muscular connection. These qualities make for an all-around better, more injury-free athlete.

Improve the aforementioned qualities with a dryland regimen based around large movement patterns such as: loaded carries (i.e. Farmer’s Carries, Waiter’s Carries), Hip Hinges (i.e. Kettlebell Swings, Deadlifts), Presses (i.e. Push Ups, Overhead Presses), Squats (i.e. Goblet Squat, Back Squat), and Pulls (i.e. Bent-Over Dumbbell Row, Pull Ups).  These exercises will have a much more profound effect on the body than anything that can be achieved via ‘functional’ techniques like balance-board, or stroke-replication training.

  1. Use Myofascial Release

Even though the verdict is still out on the mechanism for the usefulness of these techniques, the literature is wholly behind the fact that these do, in fact, work.  Swimmers especially, given the energy system requirements for the sport, can only benefit from the use of these tools.  Be it foam rolling, lacrosse ball rolling, massage, or other, use these for improved performance.

Many people get caught up in questioning when the best time for foam rolling is, the more important aspect is that it just gets done.  Because foam rolling seems to help recycle lactate from the muscles, I suggest post-workout foam rolling, but others like the boost in long-term mobility seen with pre-workout foam rolling.  Whenever your athletes are doing it, just make sure they are hitting the pec minor (ideally with a lacrosse, or similarly sized instrument) to help ‘turn-off’ these hyper-toned (firing when they shouldn’t) muscles, as well as the IT Band, Glutes, Lats, and Quads.

  1. Periodize

Just as you meticulously record an athlete’s times through the season, the same should be done for weight selection on big, compound lifts.  In recording weights and reps, you can see the status of your athletes’ strength, stamina, and recovery.

I wrote an article for Swimming Science on the topic of Periodization which you can read here. If you don’t have the time to read the full article, just know that there are plenty of types of periodization, and some may work better for your particular situation than others.  The problem frequently lies in the fact that dryland training is just an afterthought thrown together, on days when the pool workout doesn’t last as long as expected; of course this is a far less than ideal way to make progress in the sport.

Want to learn more about dryland training for swimmers? Be sure to follow the Swimming Science Twitter Chat on Thursday, December 18th at 9:00 PM EST.  Use hashtag #swimtalk to ask questions and learn from Swimming Science’s training experts.

Written by John Matulevich a powerlifting world record holder in multiple lifts and weight classes, as well as a Head D-2 Strength Coach, and previously a nationally ranked college athlete. His concentrations are in sports performance, powerlifting, and weight training for swimming. To learn more about how John trains his athletes, check his Twitter page: @John_Matulevich. He can also be reached at MuscleEmporium@gmail.com with inquiries.

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Abbey Weitzeil 100 Free American Record Race Analsis and Video

Abbey Weitzeil swam at the 2014 Doha World Championships last week where she earned a World Record on the 200 mixed free relay. A week later she lead off her Junior National relay with an American Record in the 100-yard freestyle. Weitzeil swam 0.33 seconds faster than the former American Record by Simone Manuel, which was set earlier this month.

Obviously, it was a great swim, let us breakdown the entire race.

First 25

Clearly, Abbey was way ahead of the field on the first lap (as she easily beat the other Junior competitors). Nonetheless, she took four strokes to the first 15-m and 11 strokes over the entire first 25. Compared to Manuel’s race (when she went 46.89, in March of 2014), Abbey took two less overall strokes to the first 15-m, indicating a longer underwater phase off the start.

Second 25

On the second lap, she carried her speed from the start and split 0.21 seconds faster than Manuel’s swim from earlier in the month. Weitzeil took one less stroke on the first 15-m of the second lap, once again suggesting a longer underwater phase off the turn. She took 14 strokes overall on this lap.

Third 25

The third 25, Weitzeil had a shorter turn time, increasing her stroke count to 8 strokes over the first 15-m. Over the first 15-m, she had the same stroke count as Manuel.

Fourth 25

On the last lap, Weitzeil once again increased her stroke count and shortened her turn time. On the last lap she took 17 strokes, compared to 14 she took on her second lap.

Weitzeil and Manuel Comparison

Overall Race Analysis

Overall, Abbey had an amazing race, with more potential for improvement. Compared to Manuel’s previous American record, Abbey had a faster first and second 50, but her second 50 was 7.1% slower than her first, compared to Manuel’s 6.7% decrease in speed. It seems if Abbey can maintain her turn distance and maintain her stroke count on her third and fourth 25s, she has the possibility to come home in under 24 seconds, at 23.9 and go a 46.19! However, maintaining this speed is difficult over with her first 50.

Anyway, both Manuel and Weitzeil are promising young sprinters, with the potential to go faster!

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