Sunday, July 12, 2009

Analyzing Open Water Dolphining Techniques

Gerry Rodrigues, the founder and organizer of Tower 26 open water swimming workouts, was tested using the highly sophisticated SwiMetrics last week.

The SwiMetrics tested Gerry Rodrigues on his open water dolphining technique that has been equated with Michael Phelps' wall turns in the pool. Just as it is rare that Michael Phelps is beaten off the walls in a pool, Gerry was rarely beaten going into or coming out of the ocean in open water races.

Similar to the SwiMetrics velocity, force and acceleration measurements and tests that were utilized to analyze Michael Phelps' turns in the pool, SwiMetrics was used to analyze Gerry's open water dolphining technique in a pool. Gerry's SwiMetrics velocity data was measured in a pool and can be seen here and below.

Imagine that the pool shown in the video is the ocean floor or lake bottom in an open water race with an on-shore start and finish.

You can see Gerry pushing off at a 45° angle and, very importantly, he also pushes off the bottom with his two hands. With his legs, Gerry peaks at about 2.3 meters per second in an measurement of his instantaneous velocity. But, he also generates about 1.9 meters per second speed when he pushes off with his hands. You can also see that he remains streamlined throughout the pushoff and entry back into the water in his dolphining technique.

The white line represents the instantaneous velocity measured 60 times per second using the SwiMetrics technology. The intersection of the green line and the white line indicates the velocity (speed in meters per second) reached by Gerry at that specific moment.

Please keep in mind that this dolphining technique is appropriate for flat and calm conditions and must be modified when the ocean surf is large.

Copyright © 2009 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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