Uneven Stroking

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    Apr 02, 2012 1:41 PM GMT
    Ok get you minds out of the gutter. icon_lol.gif

    I'm talking about swimming.

    Would welcome advice from competitive swimmers or swimming coaches.

    I swim regularly as part of aerobic cross training. Never competed but was a lifeguard for years. (I am debating entering my first triathlon.) The other day a guy approached me in the locker room and said he was watching me swim. He complimented me on my stroke (freestyle) and speed then asked if I realized that my right arm was contributing significantly more to my speed and progress than my left. I kind of suspected this for a while now - seems more like my left arm is along for the ride (going thru the motions) rather than pulling me along.

    How do I correct this? Is there some specific swimming drill you could recommend?

    Thank you.
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Apr 02, 2012 2:49 PM GMT
    I'm heading back for the gutter.
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    Apr 02, 2012 2:55 PM GMT
    Nooooooooo! icon_eek.gif
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    Apr 02, 2012 2:56 PM GMT
    Are you breathing on odd number of strokes, Ie on both sides?
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    Apr 02, 2012 2:57 PM GMT
    I used to swim competitively....One of the best things you can do to fix this is practicing in and out of the water on making sure your hands are going into the water fingers tight, and that you are getting as much pull as possible on both hands by making sure they are entering the water fingers first. think of both hands as paddles? you want to go for the pull with most resistance against your hand resulting in more push...hope that makes sense
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    Apr 02, 2012 2:59 PM GMT
    Used to be that I could breath on either side - but I will admit I pretty much breath on my right side only now and on every other stroke (when rt arm comes out of water)
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    Apr 02, 2012 2:59 PM GMT
    I would reccomend swimming with a bouy in between your legs and just pulling yourself through the water. this way you strengthen your pull
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    Apr 02, 2012 3:02 PM GMT
    CutieJasp saidI used to swim competitively....One of the best things you can do to fix this is practicing in and out of the water on making sure your hands are going into the water fingers tight, and that you are getting as much pull as possible on both hands by making sure they are entering the water fingers first. think of both hands as paddles? you want to go for the pull with most resistance against your hand resulting in more push...hope that makes sense


    Thanks bud. Yes, that makes sense. But the observer said my stroke motion was nearly perfect (fingers entering, the stretch, elbow out first). He just noticed that the power was considerably different with the left stroke.
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    Apr 02, 2012 3:05 PM GMT
    then if I were you I would do the bouy exercise and start breathing every 3 strokes.
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    Apr 02, 2012 3:07 PM GMT
    CutieJasp saidthen if I were you I would do the bouy exercise and start breathing every 3 strokes.


    Not sure how that would improve effectiveness or power of left arm stroke?
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    Apr 02, 2012 3:09 PM GMT
    gr8tswim saidUsed to be that I could breath on either side - but I will admit I pretty much breath on my right side only now and on every other stroke (when rt arm comes out of water)


    It's probably the lack of bilateral breathing that's causing you to favor one arm.
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    Apr 02, 2012 3:16 PM GMT
    you can always just pull with the left arm for example with a bouy between your legs to improve the left arm
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    Apr 02, 2012 3:19 PM GMT
    breathe alternate sides.

    Without showing you in person that´s the best advice you´ll get on here
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    Apr 02, 2012 3:23 PM GMT
    Kind of suspected that.
  • Fable

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    Apr 02, 2012 5:14 PM GMT
    favouring one side for breathing alters your stroke (however miniscule) it doesn't hurt to change up your breathing pattern and breathe every third stroke - allowing your body to even up the alterations done by breathing
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    Apr 02, 2012 5:35 PM GMT
    gr8tswim saidOk get you minds out of the gutter. icon_lol.gif
    Why would I take my mind out of the only home it's ever known?
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    Apr 02, 2012 5:35 PM GMT
    One drill that you can do is what I like to call One Arm Drill. You take three consecutive strokes with your left arm and then three consecutive strokes with your right. Keep the arm that you aren't using down by your side. It's really important to have good body rotation while doing this. You may feel pretty stupid doing this drill (I do), but if you concentrate on using your arms equally it should help your problem.
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    Apr 02, 2012 11:18 PM GMT
    SwimaBoy saidOne drill that you can do is what I like to call One Arm Drill. You take three consecutive strokes with your left arm and then three consecutive strokes with your right. Keep the arm that you aren't using down by your side. It's really important to have good body rotation while doing this. You may feel pretty stupid doing this drill (I do), but if you concentrate on using your arms equally it should help your problem.


    Thank you SwimaBoy. I like this recommendation a lot. This is exactly what I was looking for.
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    Apr 02, 2012 11:20 PM GMT
    paulflexes said
    gr8tswim saidOk get you minds out of the gutter. icon_lol.gif
    Why would I take my mind out of the only home it's ever known?


    LOL You may get lost out there.
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    Apr 03, 2012 1:10 PM GMT
    gr8tswim said
    paulflexes said
    gr8tswim saidOk get you minds out of the gutter. icon_lol.gif
    Why would I take my mind out of the only home it's ever known?


    LOL You may get lost out there.
    Now I'm scared.

    *crawls back into gutter*
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    Apr 04, 2012 1:18 AM GMT
    fable saidfavouring one side for breathing alters your stroke (however miniscule) it doesn't hurt to change up your breathing pattern and breathe every third stroke - allowing your body to even up the alterations done by breathing


    Thanks. I tried that today and worked hard on breathing on the opposite side. Drank a lot of water (yuk) at the start but the technique eventually came back to me. I like the every third stroke approach. I can definitely see how breathing from the other side changes that stroke. I will have to work on it a lot more.
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    Apr 09, 2012 3:28 PM GMT
    I use to have very uneven stroking.
    My friend from lifeguarding in college was trying
    to teach me some basic dives, spingboard with a vault
    & back dives & he said my back was overdeveloped
    on the right side...so he watched me swim & suggested
    that I try alternate breathing. Ever 3rd stroke is OK if you have alot of energy but I found out later from another competitive swim friend that if you got 3 stokes breath & then 2 strokes on the same side it's more rhythmical & easier to get the hang of without getting tired too fast. After the 3 stokes follow by 2 strokes you then go 3 stokes & come up on the other side, folloed by 2 strokes. I woks for me & helps give you body symetry.
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    Apr 18, 2012 7:57 PM GMT
    Thanks Speedodude.

    Will have to try that.

    I have been working at breathing on the other side. May have to video myself to figure out why I am having trouble getting in a good breath w/o taking in water. Been tweaking how my head turns, how my body turns, etc... Very frustrating. I can't seem to get in a rhythm. I finally have to give up and revert to breathing from my preferred side to get in a decent workout. Grrrrrrr.

    icon_mad.gif
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    Apr 18, 2012 8:01 PM GMT
    A good gym will have a swim instructor with a video cam analysis. That's your best bet.