Hello, my name is Leilani Torres, you might know me as @SynchroSwimCoach and Synkrolovers has invited me to share with you some cool tips.
One of my favorite tips is this one. FIXING the knee over knee extension in a vertical. Judges are obviously impressed with height, there is no doubt about that, but when that height has bent knees or relaxed toes buuuuuhhh, you will definitely distract the judge and won’t get the score you might be working so hard for. There are many exercises for extension, so pay attention to those, but this tip might help ENGAGE that extension.
In my experience, when I ask the swimmer to put their feet together, their instinct is to place heel to heel. When the legs are a bit wider, this affects the extension, since they have to bend the knees to keep the heels/feet together. What I teach this swimmers is to first be conscious and learn where their ankle bone and their “bunion” are.
When upside down, as a coach and retired swimmer, I understand that is hard to grasp concepts and know where parts of the body are, so it is key to teach this to my athletes.
A few ways to bring awareness are:
- Sit them on land placing the leg side by side with the right alignment and ask them to keep the legs activated while laying on their back. Ask them to notice what muscles they are activating to start engaging mind and body.
- When upside down on the wall, place a finger in between the ankles and they have to pinch you.
- Place the hand in between feet and they have to hang from it. Also try from the ankles. As seen on image.
- With jugs or in a vertical scull, place something, anything, between the ankles to continue working mind and body together.
Now, for the juice of the article… a tip that has become super important in all of my trainings, which works not only for extension, but also for the aesthetic of the leg is asking my swimmer to “turn the heels out”. You need to keep the extension of the leg stretching through the leg all the way to the toes, but from the hip in one block to the heel you should feel like you are turning the out and search to super glue the ankles and the bunion bones. Again, this indication does not work for all swimmers, but it has helped tons in positions like cranes, when the knees are not totally extended and in verticals have made wonders for my swimmers.
In this video I show ways in which I work to obtain pretty leg line.
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