Of all the elements of triathlon, swimming is the most skill-based sport. At the Rock Star Triathlete Academy ( http://www.rockstartriathlete.com ) we've found that an inefficient swim stroke will hurt your progress even more than inefficent cycling or running. And no matter how good your fitness is, if you can't swim efficiently, no amount of extra muscles or lungs will help you in the water.
But unless you have someone standing on the edge of the pool watching you and giving you feedback, it can be very difficult to know exactly what your arms, leg, head and torso are doing while you swim. This is why a swimming technique video is a crucial element of improving as a triathlete.
For a swimming technique video, you don't necessarily have to have a fancy underwater swimming camera or a professional film crew. All you need is a friend, fellow athlete or family member to hold a camera, and follow the simple swimming technique video instructions in this article.
Swimming Technique Video Step 1: Have a camera. As mentioned, you don't have to have an underwater camera, but with so many inexpensive underwater video cameras available today, it's time to consider adding one to your bag of training equipment. Here's a short list of some of affordable underwater video solutions that also work very well above the water:
-Casio Exilim EX-G1 12.1 MP Slim-line Endurance Digital Camera
-Flip Video AWC2T Underwater Case for UltraHD and Ultra 2nd Generation camcorders
-Flip UltraHD Camcorder, 120 Minutes - Purchase with the case above, or purchase a waterproof bag to put the camera in
-Pentax Optio WS80 10MP Waterproof Digital Camera
-Olympus Stylus Tough-8000 12 MP Digital Camera
Swimming Technique Video Step 2: Film front overwater footage. You need to swim 25m in a straight direction away from camera while being videotaped. Preferably, have the videographer stop filming at this point, then start filming again as you turn and swim 25m in a straight direction toward the camera while being videotaped.
Swimming Technique Video Step 3: Film side overwater footage. Swim 25 meters while the person beside the camera walks beside you or, if angle is wide enough, simply pans the camera. The person holding the camera should ensure that the video includes a front diagonal angle, a direct side angle, and a rear diagonal angle. This is best accomplished by starting 5-10 meters in front of the swimmer, filming the swimmer until they are parallel to the camera, walking directly beside the swimmer for 5-10 meters, then stopping and filming the swimmer as they pass.
Swimming Technique Video Step 4 (optional): Collect underwater front analysis video. For the underwater front analysis, the swimmer should start halfway down the pool, and then swim directly at the camera, which is held stationary at one end of the pool.
Swimming Technique Video Step 5 (optional): For the side analysis, the video collector needs to be one to two lanes away from the swimmer, and in the center of the pool. Get as wide a pan angle as possible of the swimmer completing a full lap, (so you can see both right and left side views).
Once you've collected the video, the next step is to grab a bowl of popcorn, sit down in front of the TV (or just keep hanging out by the pool) and view your swimming technique video. From head to toe, watch your breathing patterns, your hand angle entry, your arm movement, your elbow bend, your torso angle, your hip movement, your knee bend, your ankle angle, and every aspect you can see. You'll find that there are definitely certain elements that can be specifically inspected in front overwater, side overwater, front underwater, and side underwater.
At the Rock Star Triathlete Academy, we now use advanced online software to allow you to upload your video to us, then have your academy coaches actually analyze the video using voice-overs and angle drawings. This is a quick way to get professional feedback, inexpensively. To learn more, simply visit: http://www.rockstartriathlete.com/swimmingtechniquevideo