Connected Swimming – Front Crawl Extra Power
In my first 3 posts on swimming front crawl I covered:
The indirect power sources, I described were the lats and shoulder muscles for the arms and the Psoas, abdominal muscles and buttocks for the legs.
One of the really big advantages of learning how to swim (or do anything) with indirect power and inherent structure (connected arms/ leg) is the ability to connect multiple power-sources to the structure. Some people may well be ware of these, and if they are they usually use these power sources without realising it.
Here are 3 additional power sources that you can play with, and combine with the ones you already know.
The first one is your Shoulder Bow. In front crawl this is ‘charged’ at maximum reach when one arm is at it’s maximum extension forwards and the other at maximum extension backwards. This Bow is effectively shoulder to shoulder – and you can feel it on dry land by extending one arm as far forward as you can and the other is far back as you can (as you would do when swimming crawl). Try to expand your Threnergy Centre Point (mid-sternum) and the two Peripheral Points along this Bow – i.e. your hands. When you release and relax these Points – you should feel a definite bounce-back (if you want to enhance this you will need to read the full description of how Bows work in the Power of Threnergy). This elastic energy can be used mid stroke to pull your extended arm back. There is a lovely nuance to using this bow that is an attribute of every bow in your body. If you slightly over extend them they self-trigger. i.e. they bounce back without you having to consciously pull them back.
The second power source and a bow in its own right is the lateral bow of your spine. As you extend one arm your spine will flex in a bow away from that side. Again, you can try this on dry land. The Bow does not need to have much curvature in it to produce a powerful elastic force. Think of how a lizard walks and you’ll get a mental picture of the type of movement this is.
The third extra power source I will cover here is your hip bow – which is parallel and reflects the shoulder bow. It is more difficult to feel, but it is there and once your have trained it a very power additional, elastic energy source to help drive your legs.
The Sting in the Tail
And the sting in the tail is that all of these can be built up and then combined and synchronised. There are non swimming specific exercises in my book on how to do this.