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Hip Rotation Focus

Endurance swimmers use a hip driven stroke. Focusing on hip rotation can help you to get the most from your whole body, on every stroke. Not focusing on snapping your hips can get you flat in the water for too long during the stroke cycle, slowing your hull to a crawl...

Technique Focus Points

  • Get your hips out of the way! At the end of your stroke, if your stroking hand hits your hip or gets stuck under it, you have not rotated far enough onto your side.
  • Use your hips to drive your recovering arm forward. Remember that the weight of your recovering arm should be traveling directly forward as it hits the water. Use your hips to toss your arm forward. Some like to imagine that they are using their hips to throw a heavy weight forward.
  • Snap your hips at the moment you make your catch. This minimizes the amount of time you are flat in the water. At endurance speeds, and especially with a wetsuit, it is very easy to get too casual with hip rotation, slowing it down, not rotating enough, and spending too much time flat in the water (where you create the most drag).

What to Watch For

  • Have somebody watch you. When you have a hip driven stroke, your hips should be visible very close to the surface, with one side breaking the surface every stroke.
  • Hitting your hip with your stroking hand. This indicates you are not rotating enough. If you breathe on only one side, this often happens on your non-breathing side.
  • Keeping your upper torso flat while rotating your hips - you will end up with a sore lower back. Keep your lower ribs and hips connected by sucking your belly in.
  • Do not rotate your shoulders as much as you rotate your hips (one over the other). Instead, think about shifting your shoulders forward or back along your spine as you stroke, to minimize your forward facing profile in the water.

Hip Rotation Focus Workouts

More Information

  • Video Clips - see the Hip Focus video clips.

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