Thursday, May 29, 2008

Define your optimal Stroke Rate!

How fast can you swim?

Determing how fast you swim can be achieved by looking at two simple variables - stroke length and stroke rate. Increasing either whilst keeping the other constant will mean you will swim faster. Simple.

But, what Stroke Length / Rate "Combo" is Right for You?

Your Stroke-Length is how far you travel with every arm stroke. Because it's hard to use a tape measure while you're swimming, we count the number of strokes you take to cover a length of the pool. The lower this number, the longer your stroke.

Your Stroke-Rate is simply how many strokes you take in a minute, counting both arms. For example, 40 Strokes Per Minute (SPM) would be a slow stroke rate. A high stroke rate would be 70 SPM.

Think about this like the gears on a bicycle:

Swim Smooth has some unique ways to help swimmers find their best Stroke Rate - it's one of the exciting things that makes our Swim Program unique.

Here is our Stroke Rate Chart to help you. It is a diagram of how fast you are swimming on the bottom axis versus your Stroke Rate per minute on the vertical axis. To find your Stroke Rate, all you need to do is count how many strokes you take when swimming for a minute - if you find this tricky to do whilst swimming, ask a friend or coach to do this for you.

Where do you lie on the chart? You can look at it for any effort level - easy, steady or hard swimming - it works for all speeds.

Hopefully this is a real thought starter and gives you some very strong clues as to what you need to do to become a better swimmer. By the way, we have nick-named this the "BMI Chart" because it reminds us of the Body Mass Index charts you find in a doctors surgery.

To read the full article on how to improve your Stroke Rate to lead to a more rhytmical freestyle stroke, follow this link:



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