Using A Video Camera To Fix Your Swim Stroke – What’s Your Diagnosis?


Hi folks,

As Rick Fee has improved my swim performance by focusing on conditioning, rather than technique, we noticed that my pull boy times are much better than when I swim without. The difference can be as much as 11 seconds over 100 yards, taking me from a 1:28 to 1:41. I hate that, and I wondered why it was happening. I feel the same, either way. But as we say in Feldenkrais, “Just because it feels right, doesn’t mean it is right.” I don’t like being addicted to the pull boy, even though wetsuit swims are much like using a pull boy workout. During our last workout, which included 24×100 off the wall at 8×1:50, 8×1:45 and 8×1:40, I alternated pull boy no pull boy, and I noticed that without the pull boy I was clearly ‘dragging some kind of anchor.’ Rick took a look, and couldn’t see anything obvious, and my hips weren’t dropping, so he brought a camera, and generated some initial videos to help us diagnose my problem.

FitOldDog With Pull Boy:

FitOldDog Without Pull Boy:

Our initial conclusions from these video clips are that the problem(s) lies in my legs, including a ‘wayward kick’ with my left, and a general dropping of both of my legs, even though my hips stay high. I also think that my stroke is a little wide, and my elbows could be a little higher for a better catch.

What is your diagnosis? All help would be much appreciated, as I would love to complete a sub-one hour Ironman swim time, and I know it can be done.

k @FitOldDog

PS Thank you Rick, for being such a great coach, and FitOldDog’s advice is to find such a coach and incorporate video into your technique development.


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.