You may have seen us do this before along with elite swimmers Guy Barnea, Geoff Cheah, and Daniel Torres at Club Wolverine. We wanted to dive a little deeper into why we decided to play like this at swim practice one day.

All great athletes interact with their respective fields of play, equipment, and bodies in nuanced ways in which, unless practiced, could never be understood. The hockey player is at their best, for example, when the stick, the puck, and the rink all collide with the players physical athleticism and knowledge of the sport. 

Swimming is more intimate. The swimmers have their bodies as their main equipment and are surrounded by an ancient substance that has the power to wear away mountains. It will seep into any space and it is intangible by the human hand unless frozen. Even then, it starts to react and drip away from us. 

The water is like any of us. We require patience sometimes. We require power sometimes. Sometimes, we need a gentle hand and and sometimes more of a push. 

Moving through the water takes a combination of knowing when to time your efforts along with coordinated athletic motions that engage the entire body. Some of these motions are more streamlined and some are not. 

With quadopus we are engaging our bodies in a different way in order to move through the water. We are innervating large groups of muscles, through our core, to create a gigantic pushing surface. Also, as with many things in swimming, a large burst of power must have a moment of patience and finesse immediately follow.  Here, folding the body into a pike makes the body more streamline and able to move backwards after the initial press. 

The most important component is the unfolding phase. The water will sense the swimmers urgency and lack of oxygen. If the swimmer unfolds too quickly or urgently  they will end up negating any forward process and accordion back and forth in the water. A gentle and deliberate unfolding phase will allow the swimmer to re-set without losing ground and perform another very powerful motion forward.

We begin using the wall so that our natural terrestrial sense of leverage can applied more directly. As you learn to move your body in one coordinated athletic motion  you will begin to wean yourself of the need to become overly reliant on just your hands and feet. 

The perspectives are endless as well. In swimming upside-down can be right side up. Try this upside down or horizontal. The rules of the game change as you put your body in different positions. The rules are determined by the water. By its reaction to your body. The game is won by using knowledge of your body to play by the rules of the water.  The water will always win. You can just play by the rules. 

Flow Swimming offers premiere swimming clinics and coaching.

Mission Statement: Flow Swimming workshops are designed to create athletic, long lasting strokes and mind sets that will set the foundation for faster swimming and more intense training.

Our Core Philosophy: Flow Swimming understands that there is a lot of information out there in the vast world of swimming. We think of swimmers and coaches as athletes with the ability to try new and different things. We want to challenge bodies to move, interact, experience, and think about the water in unique ways. We teach a variety of styles of each stroke because we believe that an athlete will never “mess themselves up”. We think of skills like tools in a toolbox. 

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Other blog posts from Coach Mark Hill:
Backstroke Technique: Top Arm Breakout
Hip Driven Freestyle: Drill Progression