Finger and Toe Spreading Efficiency

Finger and Toe Spreading Efficiency

Dr. GJohn Mullen Blog, Competition, Training 2 Comments

The position of the fingers and toes is seldom discussed on pool decks. Literature suggests a slight spread of the fingers maximizes propulsion. Moreover, the amount of spread is proportional to the speed of the moving object. However, there is a debate if a larger paddle exerts more force on the surrounding water, leading to less efficient swimming. This study …

Using Rhythm (Music) to Improve Recovery

Using Rhythm (Music) to Improve Recovery

Dr. GJohn Mullen Blog, Competition, Psychology, Training Leave a Comment

Music is utilized in many sports for motivation. In swimming, underwater music players have increased in commonality and popularity. Studies have found positive correlations between music and improvements on sub-maximal aerobic performance. However, conflicting results exist in music and supra-maximal exercise. Even if beneficial, listening to music is not allowed in competition. However, using music during recovery is allowed and …

Freestyle Deep Catch/High Elbow Catch Thrust Comparison

Freestyle Deep Catch/High Elbow Catch Thrust Comparison

Dr. GJohn Mullen Blog, Competition, Training Leave a Comment

Much debate surrounds the ‘ideal’ catch in freestyle. Many suggest a high-elbow catch theoretically maximizing propulsion (‘drag-based’), while others believe in a low-elbow or ‘S-curve’ catch to maximize mythical lift (‘lift-based). Unfortunately, the lift has only been theoretically determined in swimming, subjecting it to much scrutiny in the sport. In the current study, the researchers used computational fluid dynamic modeling …

All You Need to Know About Inspiratory Muscles Part I

All You Need to Know About Inspiratory Muscles Part I

Dr. GJohn Mullen Blog, Competition, Training Leave a Comment

No matter the distance, every swimmer is out of breath at the end of a race….excuse me if I just blew your mind!  This obvious statement has lead swim coaches to attempt various training means to prevent “being out of breath” as the main limiting factor in swimming.  The most common attempt was increasing swimming volume, while others implemented underwater …

Optimizing Breathing Patterns

Optimizing Breathing Patterns

Dr. GJohn Mullen Blog, Competition, Training Leave a Comment

Dr. John and I share a keen interest in baseball statistics, a field that has hit mainstream culture with the popularity of Moneyball as a book and now a motion picture.  Although I’m embarrassed to admit I have not seen Moneyball on the big screen (but I did see The Muppets on Thanksgiving!), most of the people who did see …

Swimming Pre-Workout Nutrition

Swimming Pre-Workout Nutrition

Dr. GJohn Mullen Blog, Nutrition/Supplements, Training 1 Comment

What,  When and Why Sports nutrition is a complex and hotly debated subject. Unlike resistance training and stretching, everyone eats, making a proper diet mandatory for success.  At every Olympics the same countries are at the top, don’t be fooled and believe it is secondary to talent. There is no coincidence the top countries have the top services to provide …

Inspiratory Muscle Fatigue

Inspiratory Muscle Fatigue

Dr. GJohn Mullen Blog, Competition, Training 1 Comment

The respiratory system is not typically associated with the limiting factor in maximal exercise, and the influence of inspiratory (breathing inward) muscle fatigue during maximal exercise is unclear. Studies suggest a long and short duration high-intensity exercise causes inspiratory muscle fatigue leading to impaired performance. Breathing during swimming is especially important since breathing frequency is limited. The constraints of swimming …

Friday Interview: On Inspiratory Muscle Fatigue

Friday Interview: On Inspiratory Muscle Fatigue

Dr. GJohn Mullen Blog, Dryland, Training 1 Comment

Below is an interview with Alex Burtch, a coach who will be on the Elite Swimming Science Dryland Call. This interview discusses a missing element of many dryland programs, inspiratory muscle fatigue. Alex Burtch is a graduate of the Masters in Exercise Physiology program at the University of Louisville. He has worked in personal training, group fitness and sports specific strength and …

‘Perfect’ Swimming Warm-down

‘Perfect’ Swimming Warm-down

Dr. GJohn Mullen Blog, Competition, Training 3 Comments

If you missed the ‘perfect’ swimming warm-up, read it already! Warm-up research is minimal, warm-down is a different story. Vast research has looked at different swimming warm-down speeds, lengths, and lactate level. As discussed in past pieces (check out Groin Kick Syndrome ), lactate is not the devil; the body’s inability to convert lactate to ATP is a problem which leads to …