Watch Me Swim!

One of the things I’ve been itching to do since I have a waterproof (and idiot-proof) camera is get some underwater video of my swim stroke.  I managed to do this a couple of weeks ago, but it’s taken until now to get this thing uploaded and edited.

Compared to the other two disciplines, my swim is strong, but that doesn’t make me a coach or expert of any kind, but I figured I could eyeball my form and evaluate it on a few key measures that I know (or at least, I believe) to be important.  My information is partly from ‘Swim Bike Run’  by Hobson, Campbell and Vickers and the rest from informal chats both on-line and in real life with other triathletes. Key concepts are:

  • Hand Entry – ‘Always enter your hand into the water in a line directly in front of your shoulder… A common mistake among triathletes is “cross-over,” which occurs when the hand is place inside the shoulder line usually in line with the head.’ There’s an interesting parallel with running there, because your hands shouldn’t cross the mid-line of your body then either; it’s all wasted energy.
  • Catch – Once the hand is in the water, you actually complete the extension and reach the rest of the way forward underwater.
  • Body Roll – ‘… once the arm pull is ready to begin, your body has rolled to that side or your hips are facing away from your hand.’   Body roll is key to getting core muscle power involved in your stroke, but I confess I’ve gotten mixed messages on how much is enough. Swim Bike Run seems to indicate the whole body, while others seem to be saying that it should be mostly torso, with everything below the waist being more neutral in the water, which would result in a bit of a ‘twist’ motion.  That’s the ideal I thought I was working toward, but the video might reveal otherwise….




Whether or not my roll below the hips is excessive or not, the asymmetry is a problem.  Watching the video gives me some things to think about the next time I’m in the pool, and it’s cheaper than a coach.

6 Replies to “Watch Me Swim!”

  1. This is awesome. Being able to see and analyze yourself on video is such a great tool. I want to watch my swim stroke now! I know that my hips move/roll unevenly. If you find out the answer to your rotation question, I'd love to know too!

  2. This is awesome. Being able to see and analyze yourself on video is such a great tool. I want to watch my swim stroke now! I know that my hips move/roll unevenly. If you find out the answer to your rotation question, I'd love to know too!

  3. This is super cool! I always think I'm a decent triathlete until I video myself. I agree that it's a great way to analyze your form! You're fellow age groupers better watch out because you're gonna beat them all out of the water this season!

  4. This is super cool! I always think I'm a decent triathlete until I video myself. I agree that it's a great way to analyze your form! You're fellow age groupers better watch out because you're gonna beat them all out of the water this season!

  5. This was AWESOME! Great post with lots of good pointers. I find I roll more on my dominant side- not sure if that is normal or not…I really need to get my swim form evaluated. I've gotten to the point where I don't know if I can get much faster unless I start to tweak my form.

  6. This was AWESOME! Great post with lots of good pointers. I find I roll more on my dominant side- not sure if that is normal or not…I really need to get my swim form evaluated. I've gotten to the point where I don't know if I can get much faster unless I start to tweak my form.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *