Rotation is one of the most important elements in fast swimmer. Whether it’s rotation around the hips (short axis) or through the body (long axis), rotation is a way to add power, decrease resistance, and connect your entire body to the swimming process.
The question is not whether rotation is important, it’s HOW MUCH rotation is enough…and how much is TOO much?
Let’s take a look at Kaitlin Sandeno and Erik Vendt, two of the best swimmers in the world, who just happened to be swimming freestyle right next to each other for an upcoming video. You’ll notice that both of these accomplished distance freestylers incorporate tremendous rotation and extension in their stroke. It’s clear that Kaitlin rotates MORE than Erik does. But does that make Kaitlin’s stroke BETTER than Erik’s?
The answer is NO. What each of these extremely talented athletes his discovered -- after much time, effort, and feedback from their great coaches – is the degree of rotation that works for THEM.
These visual images can do more to educate you as a swimmer than any words I can write. Watch the video over and over, and then go swim. Experiment with varying degrees of rotation. Observe how rotation affects your stroke rate. See how rotation affects your ability to extend completely out front. Notice how rotation enables you to pull harder against the water, because your arms are tied into the movement of the body.
Get feedback from your coach, because he or she can see the flow and rhythm of your stroke from on deck. A coach can let you know if you’re rotating too much…or too little.
While rotation is extremely important, it’s up to YOU (and your coach) to determine the degree of rotation that’s best for YOU. THAT’S the most important aspect of rotation.