Posterior Oblique Sling Enhancing Swimming Performance

by SwimSwam 9

January 26th, 2018 Lifestyle, Training

Courtesy of Jukka Shemeikka

Glute activation alone can be difficult for an athlete to manage. We see this even at the Olympic level, in a form of performances where the athlete is very front line dominated. Connecting Glute activation to latissimus dorsi activation can be even more difficult. The Gluteus maximus is connected to latissimus dorsi with thoracolumbar fascia and those three form a posterior oblique sling (POS).

So, how does this relate to swimming? If the athlete achieves good control of POS in the water, then it is also possible, that he/she can e.g. swim 4 point connection freestyle, where the upkick of the opposite side leg of the catch arm will start the stroke sequence resulting in a optimal load distribution and faster swim speeds. Today there aren’t still many athletes that can handle the 4 point connection freestyle in a race performance.

Training the POS helps the athlete to gain better control of his stroke techniques. I recommend using two different strategies to train the POS. One way is performing the POS exercise during the pool training with rubber band resistance (both arm and leg attached). Athletes have reported that doing POS exercise in between swim sets enhances their scapula control. In this way, it helps them to maintain a stronger catch and have more relaxed & controlled recovery. POS activation has also enhanced their kick, making it more compact and active in both directions. Usually, the change is even visual to the surface.

Another way to train the POS is with cable pulley in a gym. Added weight reveals the weaker side of swimmer quite clearly. This also helps to detect the same side problems in the water and train the qualities in the gym. This might make you wonder, how to detect the lack of qualities of the athlete. We use the ‘Performance Screening’ (PS) that we are creating with our partners, as one of the projects in Modern Dryland Training – development program. We’ve been creating this screening process to detect these qualities in an athlete. We have found that Gait Analysis is very good tool e.g. to detect the lack of crossover training in an individual athlete. Sorry to say that all of these (PS and POS video) are still in the works, and not ready for release into our education series, but we’ll get there.

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2 years ago

Front line dominated?
Upkick of the opposite side leg of the catch arm will start the stroke sequence?
Optimal load distribution?

Is it me or is the author presenting new swimming terms without defining them?

Where is the front line?
So until the upkick occurs, I’m just gliding?
What guarantees that the upkick results in optimal load distribution?

Why do I get the feeling that the purpose of this article is to promote the author’s dryland training education program?

The next time I get in the pool, I will not be concerned with my POS nor do I think I will be worse off for it.

Reply to  AfterShock
2 years ago

Why do you get that feeling? Probably because it makes you feel better about not understanding.

Rather than coming here to convince yourself and everyone else that you’re as smart as you think you are, why don’t you come with a genuine interest in learning and understanding? Seems that you’ve written it off before you really understand what’s going on, just because you want everyone to know how skeptical and smart you are. Save that for the arguments about which meet wins matter and don’t matter.

Reply to  SwimObserver
2 years ago

I’ll respond without making any personal attacks and stick to the article. You should do the same. I spent a significant amount of time reading about anatomical slings, particularly POS. Without finding definitions online or within the article of the terms I cited, I couldn’t relate POS to swimming. I was hoping, therefore, that the author would respond to my questions. This site (and others) frequently cloaks product or program placement in educational articles. This blurs the line between editorial content and advertising. This article doesn’t seem any different. I’m not faulting Gold Medal Mel. He’s the man and supporting swim news sites or selling swim products or swim instruction isn’t easy. I just prefer that there be no conflict… Read more »

Reply to  AfterShock
2 years ago

Hello AfterShock – we have received no compensation for posting this article, and we have no financial relationship with Jukka. You will note, as required by FCC guidelines, when articles are “advertisements” or “advertorials,” it is always noted. It is also noted, even in cases where there is no financial relationship, that direct press releases for products are also labeled as such.

You will also notice that nowhere in this article is any book or product pitched. In fact, the article explicitly says “there’s no video released on the topic.” In other words, even if Jukka wanted to pitch a product, it doesn’t exist.

Reply to  Braden Keith
2 years ago

Hi Braden, thanks so much for taking the time to explain FCC guidelines and Jukka’s position. I’m sorry that you were forced to do so. In my defense, however, the quote from Jukka does envision the release of a product: “Sorry to say that all of these (PS and POS video) are still in the works, and not ready for release into our education series, but we’ll get there.” So there is a product and although it’s not ready (“still in the works”), when it is, it will be released (“we’ll get there”). Not that I mind any product pitch. I’m just worn down from so much hype by the swimming industry, especially for dryland training. Jukka certainly made me… Read more »

Jukka Shemeikka
Reply to  AfterShock
2 years ago

Hello Aftershock (and other readers) Sorry for the delay in my response, as I totally missed, that my article was already published. Two of the hardest things when writing an article, is leaving enough mystique in the text, so that I get the readers attention. The other thing is to get the reader to interact. Therefore I thank you for the criticism. I like to be challenged, and you raised some good points there. As Braden already explained, this is no pitch, and there is no financial relationship involved here. These articles are a way to let people learn about our findings that originates from our swimming research and development programs. These programs are part of my work at Olympic… Read more »

Juan Beltran
Reply to  Jukka Shemeikka
2 years ago

Found the article really intresting, but I was left with a lot of questions. I’d like to read or understand more about the 4 connection freestyle. Couldn’t find anything on it online.

I’d also love to see how to train the POS in the water.

Doug Laramore
Reply to  AfterShock
2 years ago

I think the author is on to something. The longer the muscle the more work it can do. By coordinating this group “sling muscles” to work as one it must be very powerful. Also the sling muscle group should be able to twist as well and this increases the strength and power too.

James Ewart
Reply to  AfterShock
7 months ago

Growth mindset or “I’ve got this, I have nothing left to learn”?