Researched, produced, and prepared by Brent S. Rushall, Ph.D., R.Psy.

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Lotte Friis won the 1,500 m freestyle race in a time of 15:49.59 at the 2011 World Swimming Championships held in Shanghai, China. Each frame in this analysis is 0.1 seconds apart. The swimmer recovers with a long, almost-straight arm action. It is interesting to see if it impacts the underwater arm-action of the opposite arm, as would be expected because of Newton's Third Law of Motion.

This stroke analysis includes a moving sequence in real time, a moving sequence where each frame is displayed for .5 of a second, and still frames.

The following image sequence is in real time. It will play through 10 times and then stop. To repeat the sequence, click the browser's "refresh" or "reload" button.

The following image sequence shows each frame for half a second. It will play through 10 times and then stop. To repeat the sequence, click the browser's "refresh" or "reload" button.

At the end of the following narrative, each frame is illustrated in detail in a sequential collage.

Notable Features

The breathing action of this swimmer needs to be changed. Instead of rising and looking forward, the head should remain down (as is shown in Frames #2 and #3) and turn from there on a horizontal axis so that inhalation will occur in the bow-wave trough created by the head. The movement should be independent of what the body or any other part of the swimmer does. It can be timed with actions, such as breathing outside of the effort phase but should not be yoked to other actions. By executing an independent head action, it is possible to inhale below the water surface level. As well, the swimmer's current long turn to the side and continued elevation creates resistance and diminishes the propulsive power that can be produced by the "other side" arm. Effective breathing really requires the turning action to be as brief as possible, with as little movement as possible, be independent of any arm action, and be timed with the exit of one of the arms when power production (the "effort phase") is smallest.

The swimmer demonstrates a classic two-beat kick. Each leg kicks to counterbalance the vertical forces created on entry by the other-side arm. If ever there was a clear demonstration that the leg-kick in crawl stroke is non-propulsive, this swimmer's stroke is it. At no time are the swimmer's legs or feet in a position that could produce any propulsive forces of any benefit.

This world champion 1,500 m swimmer is far from a proficient performer with any technical features that might be worthy of modeling. Knowing the movement features that are unproductive suggests the performance capability of Lotte Kriis is not fully achieved. At most, the swimmer shows 1) how not to breathe, and 2) why one should not use a straight-arm recovery. Lotte Kriss has much to improve upon.

Lotte Friis

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