esynchro Tuesday Tip! June 9, 2015
How can you achieve a great split in figures and routines?
Keep stretching every day with static and active range of motion exercises on land and in the pool every day. But there are also some key focus points that will help you achieve your most extended split. Today’s Tuesday Tip drill can help you focus on achieving great splits.
Start in a vertical position at ankle height. Pull your ankles out into a split position, leading with your toes. Feel like your toes are reaching to opposite ends of the pool. Try to scull as little as possible. Pull your legs back into a vertical at about ankle height. Repeat this 4 to 6 times slowly. Then set faster counts to split and close to vertical. Start with 4 counts, then reduce to 3 counts, then 2 and finally 1 counts. Continue to pull your feet out to the ends of the pool as you split and pull your feet together as you close. Make sure to repeat in both left and right splits. Achieving equal flexibility in both splits can help reduce the chance of injury in your hips and legs.
esynchro Tuesday Tip! May 26, 2015
Layout in Torpedo for Barracuda
The layout for a barracuda figure, ariana or oceanita begins with the arms overhead in a torpedo position. The head position is very important as discussed in our Tuesday Tip from April 28th. The sculling action with the arms and hands is also important. If the swimmer does a torpedo action, like when trying to scull foot first, it will be difficult to maintain a stationary layout at the surface. The center of gravity shifts toward the feet, making the feet sink, and pulling the swimmer more foot first.
The swimmer should bend the wrists and do a very gentle reverse torpedo action, sculling as if trying to move headfirst. The palms will face towards the feet. Press the arms deeper in the water and keep the arms wider if necessary to achieve a long extended appearance that is balanced in the water. As you lay back into the water to assume the layout position, gently slide the arms overhead as you slowly let the legs rise to the surface.
Check out our Friday FUN Tip this week for a fun way to work on these sculls and layouts!
esynchro Tuesday Tip! May 19, 2015
Sculling in a SPLIT
Support scull in a split needs to support the center of the body. With the legs symmetrically split forward and backward, the weight of the legs is evenly distributed. Support scull should be as close to the center of the torso as possible, with upper arms aligned with the torso and the range of the scull fairly small. Some swimmers with good shoulder flexibility scull with a range that is equal forward and backward of the midline of the torso. For swimmers with less flexibility, a small range forward and back to the midline of the torso is effective.
Reasons Swimmers scull too far forward in a split:
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esynchro Tuesday Tip! May 12, 2015
A synchro routine is a combination of many skills above and below the surface of the water highlighted by the choreography. Underwater transitions are an important piece of the whole choreography. Although not often taken into consideration, good underwater transitions complete the whole package of a routine. A good somersault is quicker than a messy “sprawl” up to the surface and is more efficient. Pattern changes can be made more easily in and from a compact tuck position. Judges and spectators can see beneath the surface, and a good clean tuck somersault is visible to all.
esynchro thought the good clean underwater somersaults were a thing of the past but we saw some underwater somersaults from the Russians at the recent 2015 European Champions Cup. Yeah!!
esynchro Tuesday Tip! May 5, 2015
Barracuda Thrust Techniques
The synchro world has been treated to some great video of the top synchro swimmers in the world performing thrust variations from their routines on Facebook. Thanks to Russians Natalia Ischenko and Svetlana Romashina and Spaniard Ona Carbonell for their great videos.
The techniques to achieve great height in a barracuda thrust can be very different. esynchro has illustrated 3 common techniques. Remember, even these will vary some among swimmers.
3 Techniques for Thrusts:
All three techniques rely on:
esynchro Tuesday Tip! April 28, 2015
Head & Neck Alignment in Back Layout
Proper alignment from head to toe in a back layout helps make the layout more balanced, allowing the swimmer to be more efficient and effortless in sculling. Any deviation from good alignment will shift the centers of gravity and buoyancy, making it more difficult to lay effortlessly at the surface.
One of the most common mistakes occurs in the neck and head. The swimmer is told to keep her head back or press her chest up. The swimmer presses the head back, bending at the neck and causing a change in alignment of the chest or upper spine. Rather than being horizontally aligned, the head, neck and chest are now at opposing angles. This will cause weight to shift into the hips and/or feet. A stronger or more experienced swimmer will scull harder and tighten the quadriceps in an effort to keep the hips and feet near the surface. A less experienced or weaker swimmer will have difficulty keeping the feet at the surface. And when the swimmer tries to assume a bent knee or ballet leg position, it becomes very difficult to hold. Often the swimmer will press back on the head more and more in an attempt to fix the problem, but this only makes it worse.
The head, neck and upper spine or chest must be aligned in a horizontal line. Pressing down on the head or tipping the neck to keep the face up will prevent good alignment. When done correctly, a swimmer can nearly float at the surface with very minimal sculling and little effort in the back layout.
Tip #1: Float at the surface on your back. Use the arms as little as possible. Start with good alignment. If alignment is not good to begin with, the swimmer will have difficulty floating. Then, tip the head back. The feet and hips will begin to sink. Adjust into good alignment again and feel the feet and hips rise to the surface.
Tip #2: Repeat Tip #1 with hands in back scull position. Try to keep your hips and feet at the surface as you change the alignment in your head and neck. Feel the increased effort that is necessary in sculling and increased tension in the quadriceps.
Tip #3: Start in a back layout with good alignment. Adjust the angle of the forearms up and down and notice the difference in effort and alignment that happens in the layout.
Good alignment of the head and neck with the upper spine and chest not only will help the swimmer more effortless in sculling but also more extended along the surface.
esynchro Tuesday Tip! April 14, 2015
Strong torpedo scull helps with spins, walkouts in figures, thrusts, and movement in routines in addition to strengthening the shoulders and arms for all types of sculls. Basic torpedo laps done with the body horizontal and flat along the surface are the most common form of strengthening.
Torpedo Training Laps:
esynchro Tuesday Tip! April 7, 2015
Torpedo scull is a basic scull in synchronized swimming, necessary for figures and routines in a number of positions and variations. As with all sculls, the movement of the hands and arms is primarily perpendicular to the direction of movement, i.e. the in and out motion of the hands and arms produces foot first movement. In torpedo, the arms rotate so the hands press water out and then in to produce the movement. There is also some variation in the path creating a figure 8 path that is sculling. When the swimmer presses the water overhead, it is not torpedo. The continual foot first presses can move the swimmer foot first, but it will create a choppy uneven movement and is not efficient or effective as a means of movement.
esynchro Tuesday Tip! March 10, 2015
Where do I put my arms to prep for a barracuda?
In the best synchro swimmers in the world we see a variety of techniques for the barracuda thrust- all of which get great results- HEIGHT!!!
Does the starting position- the compact pike- matter? Does it matter where my arms start the thrust?
The pike position should be as compact as possible. Based on body size, flexibility of the back, buttocks and legs, and the rotation of the hips, the ability to achieve a very compact position will vary between athletes. The flexibility in the pike position will also determine the possible positions of the arms.
2 Main Options for Sculling Position in the Pike with Good & Bad Reasons:
Choose the starting position that gives your best overall barracuda thrust- height and vertical alignment!
If height is the more important factor, then a swimmer must learn to use leverage and optimal speed for achieving maximum height. When the arms start behind the legs, the first movement of the arms is often a pull with straight arms which immediately tips the legs over their face- really tips the whole body forward. The arms then bend in to complete the thrusting action. The legs and torso seem to resemble a very high Porpoise Lift.
1. Initiate the hip rotation underwater slightly before starting the arm action.
2. To correct this, the swimmer can bend the elbows immediately on starting the thrusting action and align the hands with the midline of the legs.
But as most of us recognize, great height usually outweighs vertical alignment in judges scores.
Whichever method you choose, aim for maximum height.
esynchro Tuesday Tip! March 3, 2015
We PERFORM how We THINK
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Our performance in the pool is directly linked to our thoughts and focus. If you think about something while you are doing a skill, the skill is affected by those thoughts. As a swimmer, you are trying to “fix” the technique, move or skill for your coach, but any thoughts will affect that process.
You may be thinking:
The mind and body can never be separated. Always include mental preparation in your training.
esynchro Tuesday Tip February 10, 2015
Visualization is commonly known as the practice of forming or recalling mental images of a person, place, event or action. Effective visualization for improving performance is a well documented technique that produces positive results- an athlete gets better when they visualize effectively. Good visualization requires far more than just creating or recalling an image, and it takes practice.
Tips for good visualization:
esynchro Tuesday Tip January 27, 2015
HOW to PADDLE Your Swordfish Straight Leg
One more Tuesday Tip on Paddles!
The Swordfish Straight Leg is the perfect figure to master good paddles with straight arms. Paddles are the most effective sculling technique to initiate the first leg.
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esynchro Tuesday Tip January 20, 2015
PADDLE Your Front Pike SOMERSAULT
How to paddle for your front pike somersault: