Flop-Over Dive

A lot of swimmers flop-over backwards on their entry. This is due to their core being too soft or not strong enough to hold position.

On the entry into the water, a swimmer hits a resistance that is 800x thicker than air. While the top of the body is slowing down abruptly the back-end keeps going. This often causes a backwards bend and slows a swimmer down dramatically.

Core exercises will help improve this problem in addition to the awareness that it is happening.

Besides Pilates, one of my favourite exercises is using a hula hoop. You will have seen Alison showing this exercise in her videos to M&B swimmers. You may enjoy this exercise and so it is much easier to make sure core work is done.

At a coaches clinic about 20 years ago (ish) I listened intently to Michael Phelps’ coach after the Olympics in Sydney. I noticed that one of the interesting things he did not do was use a hula hoop. So I waited my turn to chat with him after his talk. He was very appreciative of the idea and said he would incorporate it right away. I hereby take all credit for Phelps’ success to go on to win (how many Olympic medals…28!).

About Coach Gary

I competed in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul representing Canada and coached in the 2000 and 2004 Olympics for Great Britain. I have a degree in History and a minor degree in Psychology from University of Calgary. I have travelled extensively and have been very lucky to see so much of the world while representing Canada and Great Britain at swimming competitions. I am very proud of the fact that I coached a swimmer to become number one in the world in the fastest swimming race in 2002. I pride myself in my ability to find new and interesting ways to teach swimming. I am an accomplished artist specialising in sculpture, I have another blog called 'swimmingart' where I publish some of my swimming drawings. I have three young children; all boys. I have recently taken up painting and yoga....but not at the same time. You can see my new paintings at: https://www.artgallery.co.uk/artist/gary_Vandermeulen
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