Analysis Of The Frontcrawl Recovery Stroke On The Cartesian Plan

It is possible to adjust the distance between the elbow and the central point of the head by taking the elbow’s height into consideration (pic. 1 to 4).

This will have an impact on the recovery of the over water arm. In fact, the recovery of the over water arm is dependent to the distance between the elbow and its own hight as well as to the distance between the elbow and the central point of the head. Let’s use the cartesian plan to visualise better the distance between x and y from the central point (0). The forearm position changes too. It is visible that if the elbow gets lower, the wrist gets further from the shoulder. Nevertheless, if the elbow is high, the wrist will get closer to the shoulder. This is always true, but during the straight/half-straight arm over water.

Now that we are aware of this process, how can we improve the movement? Having the elbow and the shoulder in a lower position induce a lower rotation of the shoulders which results in a higher resistance to the body while it is moving forward. Elbow and shoulder having a higher position facilitate a bigger rotation which will sustain the body to float on the water. Although this seems positive, it results in a worse legs’ movement which will lead them to move on aside, following the movement of the shoulders. This is to say that legs’ movement needs also to be taken into consideration since it depends on the inclination of the shoulders.

Another peculiarity of the high shoulder involves the other shoulder which is in frontal stretching and it could go too deep and take the rest of the body under water. This will compromise the principle of floating, as known from the Archimedes’ fluid mechanics principle. Lateral respiration changes too: high elbow means high shoulder. This helps head lateral rotation to breathe but could also mean having an over lateral rotation, which will take down both body and arm in the water during the pushing . This will have an impact on the body axe and on the stroke, itself. Having a lower elbow means that the lateral rotation of the head is harder. In fact the length between the head and the shoulder is reduced since the shoulder is totally under the water. The engagement of shoulder and arm’s muscles When the arm is over water, there is a recovery phase where strengths are back and the muscle later utilise in the peak of the push is now relaxed. The straight arm overwater has an optimal rotation at shoulder griddle level but it might over stress the deltoid and the tendons of the triceps. An over bended arm tends to over stress the deltoids and trapezius, especially in case it tries to get close to the head: elbow goes up and that involves hard work for the rotator cuff and bicep. The bicep will tend to shorten since the forearm gets closer to the arm. Agonist and antagonist muscles need to be properly trained in a balanced way. Arms need to get back strength in the best way and a tailored training for each swimmer is needed.

My suggestion as international coach is to start training the straight arm in both situation: over water and under water. This will help the rotation of the shoulders and give stability to the swimming style. Finally, training a young swimmer to push water until the end of the underwater stroke. Pushing the water with the hand near the knee is the best way. There is also a need to work on the recovery over water with the half bend arm.

Muscles involved in this action: biceps brachialis triceps brachialis deltoid

Specifically muscles:

Anterior deltoid, middle deltoid, posterior deltoid, rotator cuff (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, subscapularis), triceps brachii, latissimus dorsi, teres major.

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9 Comments on "Analysis Of The Frontcrawl Recovery Stroke On The Cartesian Plan"

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Pectoral muscles are also engaged.

livio cocozza

Hello Mark,
Thank you for your comment.
We use Pectoral muscles when they begin stroke under water with four steps: outsweep,insweep,downsweep and upsweep.( pull and push).
Outside the water their action is irrelevant because don’t have stamina that is opposed.

Jim Richardson

Livio, are you advocating Bernoulli’s Principle during the pull/push phase of the underwater stroke?

Livio Cocozza

Hello Jim,
Of course. As we know the hand follows Bernoulli’s principle. From my point of view two more things also adjust in this law of physics: Frequency and Trajectory. The frequency’s hand change during action underwater from outsweep until upsweep and trajectory follows s-Shaped. These points Should be analysed as i will do in the future in the next articles. You can check something on facebook at: Water polo/swim methodology.

Livio Cocozza

Hello Jim,
Of course. As we know the hand follows Bernoulli’s principle. From my point of view two more things also adjust in this law of physics: Frequency and Trajectory. The frequency’s hand change during action underwater from outsweep until upsweep and trajectory follows s-Shaped. These points Should be analysed as i will do in the future in the next articles. You can check something on facebook at: Water polo/swim methodology.

Jim Richardson

Livio, take a look at this extensive article by Dr. Ernie Maglischo – https://www.swimmingcoach.org/journal/archive.php under JSR Past Issues: Volume 21, Summer 2013 – “Is the Breaststroke arm stroke a “Pull” or a “Scull”?” I would be interested in your thoughts.

Livio Cocozza

Hello Jim,
Thank you so much for your advice while if you want read Scientific technical books i can advice:
1 Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming XI , Kjendlie-Stallman-Cabri
2 Anatomy Trains (second edition) Thomas W. Myers
3 Swimming anatomy , Ian Mcleod
4 Science and practice of strength training (second edition), Vladimir Zatsiorsky-William Kraemer
5 The swim coaching bible vol2 , Hannula-Thornton..

Jim Richardson

Livio,
I will take a look at those sources. I have read Zatsiosky’s work (one of his students worked with me) and I have read many of the Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming publications. My first exposure to biomechanical research in swimming were the proceedings of the International Symposium of Biomechanics in Swimming, edited by Juris Terauds and Wendy Bedingfield. My master’s work was in biomechanics. I did additional work at the University of Iowa with Dr. Jim Hay, the top sports biomechanist in the world at that time, so I have a pretty solid background in statics, dynamics, hydrodynamics, and aquatic biomechanics.

Let me know what you think of Dr. Maglischo’s work.
jim

livio cocozza

Hi Jim,

Thank you for your time and advice.Could you write me on facebook or linkedln please? i would like to take the discussion soon.

wpDiscuz

About Livio Cocozza

Livio Cocozza

Livio has more than 14 years of experience in the sport sector, Over the years, he has gained a vast experience in training and coaching oriented to swimming and water polo competitions, and has also worked extensively in personal training, covering different aspects of physical education. Livio earned his degree in Sport …

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