This week I had a discussion with a client about the  importance of strength and the ability to “pull” hard in swimming.  Of course strength does play a part but I think it’s much less important than most swimmers realise. It’s much more common for swimmers to pull too hard which usually results in arms slipping and spinning in the water. It’s more important to know how and when to apply pressure for an efficient catch.

As a result of the discussion I went away to do a session to raise awareness of my own catch and the impact of my own strength on my stroke.

Even though I teach this stuff every day, and I’ve done the session several times before I still learned from it. For the large majority of this session I had the same stroke counts at medium pressure as I did at hard pressure – highlighting that I still often “pull” too hard and can still do some work on my timing. It’s also interesting to note that I could swim just as fast with less effort!

I also learned that I need to keep the pressure on my kick, and that when I swim with light pressure I lose the connection through my core and my whole body.

Here’s my set.

Tune Up

4 x 50 scan through your stroke from head to feet noticing how it feels and what needs tuning up.

2  x 100 pick 1 part of your stroke and 2 focal points to work on.

4 x 50 with tempo trainer. Count and benchmark SPL.

With Tempo Trainer count SPL for each length.

I used tempos as follows: 1.15, 1.10, 1.05, 1.00, 0.95, 0.9, 0.85, 0.9, 0.95, 1.0, 1.05, 1.10, 1.15

13 x 75  as 25 at feather light pressure, 25 medium pressure, 25 hard pressure. Count SPL.

CD: 100 as 25 breast kick drills and 25 breaststroke. Repeat.

Have a go and let me know how you get on.