Tips with Elena
World champion Paralympic swimmer Elena Krawzow offers a few valuable tips
The silver medal winner from the 2012 Paralympics has a clear favourite when it comes to swimming styles: breaststroke. Though Elena can also do the crawl just well of course. As a professional swimmer training for 30 to 35 hours per week, she is well aware of the technical refinements necessary for the different disciplines.
So what could be more natural than to ask her how to optimise your crawl or breaststroke?
Elena’s swimming tips: Breaststroke
Generally, all you need to do is to change a few small elements of your technique to make more efficient use of your power and to advance more quickly. “When swimming breaststroke it is important to open your arms wide enough in front of your body,” says Elena. “Around shoulder width. You should then engage your elbows, bring your arms together beneath your chest and then extend them out.” The leg kick comes after the arm pull, and not at the same time, as many people think.
“To ensure that as much power as possible goes into the forward motion, your knees should be as close together as possible when you kick your legs and your feet should be turned outwards,” explains Elena. “This allows you to push off through the water optimally.” Our EasyStar brand ambassador also revealed another good tip to us: “When your arms move forward, immerse your head completely so you are breathing out in the water.”
Elena’s swimming tips: Crawl
The fastest swimming style is the crawl. The high speed here means you use up most calories. “When doing the crawl, you should place your elbows at a 90° angle, as this is the only way to efficiently push and initiate further movement,” says Elena. She describes the sequence of movements once again in detail: “Push out the shoulders behind, pull the elbow as high as possible and then let your arm fall forward in a relaxed manner.”
Your leg work is also extremely important. “It is crucial to help keeping your body stable in the water and to move forwards well,” explains Elena. “Even leg kicks are best. You should breathe every three strokes: breathe in to the right and left alternately and breathe out in the centre in the water.” Elena mentions a common error that many people make: “When you are breathing in and out, only your head should move really – your body should remain stable.” This enables all of your energy to be employed for forward motion.
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