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Courtesy of Gary Hall Sr., 10-time World Record Holder, 3-time Olympian, 1976 Olympic Games United States Flagbearer and The Race Club co- creator.

In 2007, Mike Bottom, then Head Coach of The Race Club and guys’’ s run coach at Cal Berkeley, provided a talk at the American Swim Coaches Association yearly conference on the Three Styles of Freestyle . Because talk, Mike explained 3 various freestyle strategies, hip-driven, shoulder-driven and what he called body-driven strategy. We had actually never ever heard anybody separate freestyle methods prior to like that and it was a fantastic talk. There was a concern from the audience then about the loping or galloping freestyle strategy that was being utilized by Jason Lezak, Michael Phelps and others, however Mike didn’’ t truly think about that a various strategy.

After years of observing and examining freestyles strategies, utilizing all of our innovations at The Race Club, we would still concur with Mike that there are essentially 3 various freestyle methods. We categorize them a little in a different way than Mike did. We call them hip-driven, hybrid and shoulder-driven strategies. The hybrid strategy is another name for galloping or loping freestyle strategy. Within each of those 3 freestyle methods, there are likewise other crucial distinctions, such as the recuperating movement and pulling movement of the arms. Those various methods will be gone over later on.

There are numerous criteria that separate hip-driven from hybrid and shoulder-driven freestyle strategies, however the most crucial one is stroke rate. Hip-driven freestyle has the slowest stroke rate. Shoulder-driven method has the fastest stroke rate. Hybrid freestyle, which obtains a few of the strategy from both shoulder-driven and hip-driven freestyle, has a stroke rate in between those 2.

Hip Driven Freestyle

The stroke rates for hip-driven freestyle variety from less than 50 per minute (25 best arm and 25 left arm strokes) to around 75 strokes per minutes (utilizing a Finis Tempo Trainer ). The arm cycle time (hand entry to hand entry) for a hip-driven freestyler with a stroke rate of 60 is 2 seconds.

Hip-driven freestyle is the most energy-efficient freestyle strategy. It provides the very best fuel performance. It is not the fastest freestyle method. Hip-driven freestyle is a method that is mainly utilized in warm-up and warm-down swimming and range racing (400 meters or longer). It needs to never ever be utilized for running nor even the 100-meter occasion. It is merely not a strategy that will serve swimmers well in those much shorter occasions.

Besides the slower stroke rate, the other crucial separating strategies of hip-driven freestyle happen at the front end and back end of the undersea pull. At the front end of hip-driven freestyle the hand presses forward not downward, postponing the down lift stage of the pull. With hip-driven freestyle, the pulling hand ought to remain in the early propulsive stage of the pull (in the front quadrant) by the time the recuperating hand strikes the water. Simply put, one can not postpone the pulling movement too long utilizing this strategy. The hip-driven freestyle is not a catch-up freestyle method, where one hand stays out in front till the other hand strikes the water. Aside from maybe in doing drills, there is no location for a catch-up freestyle method in freestyle races.

At the back end of the hip-driven pull, the swimmer presses more difficult and longer, then turns the hip strongly as the hand launches forward to the healing. Therefore, it is called hip-driven freestyle. The lead hand presses forward. The pulling hand presses rearward, and the swimmer turns and trips out on top of the hip. Given that the swimmer is taking less strokes, the goal is to get as much range per stroke as possible out of every one.

Age Group Swimmer, Rachel, shows hip-driven freestyle. Picture: The Race Club.

Other typical methods that we see being utilized in hip-driven freestyle racing are a bent arm (lower energy) healing and a strong kick . Due to the fact that it is simpler and saves energy for the numerous strokes to be taken in the longer races, the bent arm healing is utilized. We describe the bent arm healing as a low-octane healing . The strong begin hip-driven freestyle is beneficial since with the sluggish stroke rate, there is a great deal of down time on the pull where neither hand is producing propulsion. Having a strong kick will assist sustain the swimmer’’ s speed throughout the taking down time.

The other swimmers that might gain from utilizing hip-driven freestyle strategy are triathletes that are attempting to save energy for the bike and go to follow, or swimmers that wear’’ t have adequate aerobic conditioning or capability to hold a much faster stroke rate.

Curiously, really couple of elite females swimmers utilize hip driven freestyle method. Significant exceptions are Allison Schmidt (gold medalist in the Olympic 200 m freestyle in 2012) and Camille Muffat (gold medalist in the Olympic 400 m freestyle in 2012). Both ladies had extremely strong kicking propulsion. We see numerous elite guys utilizing hip-driven freestyle in the 800 meters, 1500 meters or longer Open Water occasions.

On our site, you will discover a whole video series on the 3 designs of freestyle. The numerous videos launched in Lanes 2, 3 and 4 describe the distinctions in each strategy and the crucial drills we utilize to enhance every one. Next week, we will go over shoulder-driven freestyle strategy.

Yours in swimming,

Gary Sr.

Gary Hall, Sr., Technical Director and Head Coach of The Race Club (thanks to TRC)

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THE RACE CLUB

Because Life deserves Swimming, our objective is to promote swimming through sport, long-lasting satisfaction, and health advantages. Our goal is for each member of and each individual in The Race Club to enhance his/her swimming efficiencies, health, and self-confidence through our curricula, services and imagination. We make every effort to assist each member of The Race Club get rid of obstacles and reach his/her specific life objectives.

The Race Club offers centers, training, training, technical direction, physical fitness, video and health programs for swimmers of all capabilities and ages. Race Club swim camps are created and customized to please each swimmer’’ s requirements, whether one is attempting to reach the Olympic Games or merely enhance one’’ s physical fitness. Our programs appropriate for novice swimmers, enjoyment swimmers, physical fitness swimmers, USA swimming or YMCA swimmers, or triathletes; anybody who wishes to enhance swimming abilities. All of our Race Club members share a pleasure of remaining in the water and usage swimming to promote a more active body and mind.

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