How much rotation?

I often get asked how much we should be rotating while swimming. The answer lies in the rhythm.

Earlier in the days of Total Immersion instruction we learned to rotate our bodies to a fully stacked position during the drills. However, with the passage of time and with much more research going into the optimal body positions this has changed considerably.

The goal is to lengthen your body fully at the completion of each stroke and then do the same thing during the next stroke. If you rotate too far you will encounter difficulties feeling smooth and rhythmical. You may notice is that your body doesn’t feel very stable. Your legs will splay and your arms will try to help restore balance as well.

You may also notice that it is virtually impossible to move forward quickly. It simply takes too long to go that far from side to side and it takes effort.

On the other hand swimming completely flat creates so much drag that you can’t move forward efficiently either. Think about a barge and how slow it moves.

Try this the next time you go for a swim. Start completely stacked (shoulders and hips) and gradually rotate less and less. Keep the core stable with the shoulders and hips in alignment. As you rotate less keep track of the sensations. Are you feeling that it’s getting easier? Are you feeling that the stroke is getting more rhythmical? If you go all the way to where you are flat do you feel the slowness?

Repeat this process a few times and then settle in on the rotation that feels the most rhythmical. If you were able to sense it correctly and translate it to every stroke you will find that the amount of rotation is very slight. The shoulder and hip will barely leave the water. In fact, it’s just off your stomach.

If you found these tips helpful, please leave a comment below.


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