Snowed in at home, across the street from our closed pool, I finally made the time to watch my colleague Marty Gaal‘s swim-technique DVD, Powerstroke: Speed through Force and Form. On the disk, Marty, head coach of One Step Beyond Multisport, gives a clear, accessible discussion of good form, along with illustrations; this was useful review for me as an athlete. The second section contains shots of swimmers both from the deck and from underwater. This was my favorite feature as a coach, since I got to hear Marty’s analysis of swimmers’ strokes. Then Marty explains the Powerstroke approach (which emphasizes a very strong pull) and outlines how to practice it correctly, including various drills. The disk finishes with some stretches and strength exercises to practice. Marty has some seriously flexible shoulders—my linemen yoga students, who break into a sweat trying to bring their elbows together in garudasana arms, would be aghast!
Now I’m eager to get in the water and try this approach out for myself—and to bring along my waterproof camera and see just what’s going on in my stroke, frame by frame.
Now is the point in your season to improve your stroke. Technique is essential in the swim; you can’t fake it in the water, as you sometimes can on the run. Putting effort into improving your technique is the single best investment of your swim training time, and Powerstroke is a great resource both for reviewing good technique and for learning how to safely apply more force in the water. Check it out! Marty and his wife, Bri, lead clinics in which they teach this approach hands-on. (One got snowed out this weekend, in fact.) Find the DVD here and clinic information here.