Watching a great swimmer in the pool can teach us a lot. If you look carefully, you’ll see one of their biggest secrets – there’s no dead spots or pauses when it comes to their stroke technique. It’s always a constant movement, sometimes slow and sometimes fast. This movement is called the stroke rate. But how do you calculate and monitor stroke rate? And how can you improve your stroke rate to become a more efficient and better swimmer?
How do you Calculate and Monitor Stroke Rate?
Stroke rate generally means how many strokes a swimmer takes in one minute, counting both arms. There is no one optimal stroke rate for swimmers. Depending on your size, your strength and your swimming abilities you will have different stroke rates if you swim slow or fast. For example, 40 Strokes Per Minute (SPM) is generally a slower stroke rate, 80 SPM is generally a higher stroke rate.
Your stroke rate is very useful to know because it tells you about your rhythm and timing while swimming. If your stroke rate is too low, your arms are moving over (or recovering) too slowly and you almost certainly have some pauses in your timing. If your stroke rate is too high, it shows that your stroke technique is too short and needs lengthening.
Stroke rate is an extremely powerful thing to know because ultimately it will help you become a better swimmer. With the SWim-Wise.app you can now precisely control your stroke rate in all swimming styles and get detailed analytics and comparisons to previous swim trainings. This allows you to make changes to your stroke rate and improve your swimming skills.
All you have to do is download the SWim-WiSe.app and wear your Apple watch to monitor your swim training sessions.
How to Improve Stroke Rate to Become a Better Swimmer
Back in the days, I worked a lot on my stroke rate. As a swimmer who is very tall (199cm), I have very long arms, so naturally my stroke rate was very low. My coaches always used to push me to improve my stroke rate while maintaining the same power in each stroke.
If you are trying to get your stroke rate up, it’s very important to not lose power while you do so. If you do sprints or sets with a higher stroke rate, always try to maintain a strong catch and don’t “avoid” the catch if you get tired. If you are aiming to bring down your stroke rate, try doing lots of catchup drills and focusing on the length of your stroke. Make sure you reach in the front and finish your stroke all the way in the back.
Easily monitor all these things with your SWim-WiSe.app
You can easily monitor all these things with your SWim-WiSe.app and make adjustments based on your training session analytics.
By: Gottfried Eisenberger
A former professional swimmer for the Austrian National Team