Hi starting to venture into focusing on increasing the distance completed in swims. Can say have swum occasionally, but really began to do it as a workout a year ago. I took a break in the fall, but an injury made me return to swimming. Have to say enjoy it! In regards to strokes decided to try and focus on one stroke. The stroke been working on is the American Crawl. Though posting this in regards to the freestyle stroke. I have been trying to incorporate a few laps with that stroke in daily swims. In trying to describe this when you pull your arm out of the water; do you turn your body on the side before putting your arm back into the water? Appreciate the advice. Looking to be involved with possibly a master swim team at the Y to help with swimming, and be a bit more involved in the sport.
Australian crawl/American crawl/front crawl/freestyle... it's all the same thing. Native americans and pacific islanders swam this way for a long period of time before europeans moved in... in Europe breaststroke was the preferred stroke.
My view on how the body rotation matches arm position is as follows:
As your arm enters the water, your body is in the process of rotating the shoulder for that arm down. You should stretch the arm entering the water forward... which furthers the rotation.
As you begin the pull with that arm, your body should be fully rotated so that shoulder is toward the pool buttom. During the pull your body is rotating the opposite direction. Toward the middle of the stroke your body should be at the midpoint of the rotation (relatively flat), and at the end of the underwater portion of the stroke it should be rotating the shoulder out of the water.
As the arm recover begins, your body should be nearly fully rotated to the side. As the arm comes forward, the body begins rotating the shoulder that is up back toward the water. By the time the arm is entering the water again, you should be just past "flat" and back at the beginning again.
Hope it helps.
There are a number of different techniques that have been taught. In the end, it really matters what works best. However, if something doesn't feel right, it's either because it's not a natural motion (not good for the joints/muscles) or because you haven't done it before so it feels weird (just needs some time to get used to it).
In my experience, to maximize the power you get from the rotation, the body should stay on the opposite side of the recovery arm as long as possible. Thus, once the arm hits the water in the front, a quick snap of the hips and shoulders (rather than a rotation) is desired. The reason for this staying on the side is that should the pulling arm be coupled with a rotation, a lot of the power of the pull is lost. If the pull is allowed to finish, it holds a lot more water than if the rotation is happening while the pull is occurring. Also, this quick snap is more beneficial in moving through the water than a mere rotation. It will require more core strength and a strong kick though. While sprinting, this snap may occur slightly before the hand hits but the more you do it during drills and actual swims, the closer you get to it in actual sprints.
I hope this helps. I see now that you have 2 ways to go. I encourage you to try both, see which one helps you move through the water better. Peace be with you.
I kinda think of myself as a spring. as my Right hand comes out of the water, my left hand goes into the water. I then reach forward with my left arm and turn my body on its side to take a breath. The "reaching" or "extension" of my left arm after its already in the water (my right arm above the water surface) is my opportunity to turn my body on its side and take a breathe as my right arm is coming up.
I hope that makes sense.
Youtube triathlon swim techniques and watch for the arms. You'll see arms hit the water, extend, and pull downwards. In the meantime, the body will streamline, the swimer floats a little, breathes, etc.
Thats how I do it. Try different styles and stick with what feels good and works.
Do you turn your body on your side before putting your arm back into the water? Yes. Your body should be rotating to reduce drag of your body in the water. A simple drill to get your body "naturally" rotating is to do the finger tip drag. As you complete your pull, your hand should be at the side of your thigh. During the "recovery" portion of your stroke, run the thumb of your hand from your thigh, along the side of your body until it is in the position where it will enter the water. Keep your elbow high out of the water and your fingers should be "dragging"along the surface of the water. This will cause your body to rotate as if you were swimming on your side. Your head should stay in a relaxed neutral position. Your hips should also be relaxed and should follow the rotation of your upper body. This is a drill and should give yu the feeling of rotating your body in the water. Your normal swim should still have the "high" elbows to help with rotation, with your hands lower and closer to the surface of the water.