Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Fast guys look up when they swim freestyle - the head pushes less water when they do so!
[Update and Rebuttal]
"... Almost all of these guys are between 45-to-80-degrees down -- you have to take it from the body-line in the water - NOT the water surface. The second and third US swimmer is going back and forth with the head - you can see how is looking for the wall 6 or seven strokes out. The 3rd French guy - Frederick Bousquet - has maybe the highest head position - maybe at 45-degrees from the body line.
Look at Sullivan - first Aussie on the second lap - that is DOWN, although according to Clay, this would be considered "up" ...? "
Link to NBC Video: [Link]
Original Post below:
That is Ryan Lochte looking up during the 400-LCM IM.
SCAQ Olympian, Clay Evans, has been telling me for several years that looking while doing freestyle is the de facto standard for fast people. Above is a Reuters photo of Ryan Lochte storming the 400 IM at Nationals today.
Note his head position.
I spotted this photo at Universal Sports in a USA Swimming Nationals Day One gallery - a must see: [Link]
If you look at movies of Ian Thorpe, Stefan Nystrand, Alain Bernard, Natalie Couglin, Laure Manaudou, et al. they are not looking down but rather looking up.
Here is where it gets fun, Clay, gets so frustrated trying to get this point across that he hires a carpenter to make him this wooden "gizmo" to prove that a "heads-up" position while swimming freestyle is superior.
I think he spent a couple-hundred-bucks doing it too.
He calls me up and for three weeks straight and he tells me, you have to come out and film this "plank" I had made and put it on the blog. So I finally come out but I forget the camera.
The plank is about 5-feet tall, 18-inches wide, and 6-inches thick. The top portion of the plank has a "head portion", which is simply 12-inches or so of more plank that is on a hinge so the "head portion" can be fixed in a "looking up" position or a looking down."
(You are probably lost so I will film it this weekend.)
So we pull this 80-pound plank with hinges and and such and we push the plank across the water the with the "head portion" of the "gizmo" looking down and the plank buries itself a bit trying to compress the water in front of it which it can't do and consequently goes slower.
Then when we put the "head" position up a specified number of degrees and I was astonished! The back end of the plank came up, the "chest portion" moved down and the plank moved three times farther when pushed.
Clay referenced that surfboards are curved upwards, boats, etc and so should people who swim freestyle.
I then swam a 25 with my head down and then with my head up and I swam faster. Consequently I set a personal best at the Mission Viejo Natadores Masters Meet looking almost up at the "+" at the other end of the pool.
I will film it and show you.