After writing my last blog and watching the videos of the twist and rotations being performed so poorly, I thought I should give you some insight on helping swimmers twist from a new perspective, a yoga perspective.
Just a little background about my yoga and synchro fascination. In 2009, I began practicing yoga privately with Lucille Lavender. I coached her daughter and thought that I would give yoga one more try, since up until that point I had not had many great yoga experiences. After working one-on-one with Lucille I began to appreciate yoga and I was able to see how perfectly yoga fit in with my synchro coaching. They way she explained movement made perfect sense and once I started to use some of her descriptions with the swimmers during figures I noticed great improvements.
It is also quite helpful to have the swimmers practice yoga. If you do hire a yoga instructor, be sure to hire someone who understands movement and who can describe movements clearly.
The video below is Lucille describing and directing her daughter how to do a basic twist. Watch the video and afterwards I will list a few key points I hope you noticed.
1. Both sitts bones are even to start. For synchro, that means the hips are even in a ballet leg, crane, or whatever the starting position is.
2. Lift ribs up and away from hip bone. In synchro, often the swimmers collapse the ribs to the hips. They crunch instead of twist.
3. Spine long and tail bone tucked. Typically in synchro, the swimmers tuck the tail bone, but they miss maintaining the long spine position.
4. Chin out of the chest. It is very common for the swimmers to start their rotations/twists with the chin dropping down.
5. As one side draws back the other side draws forward. Notice that the movement happens at the same time. For the swimmers this is really important to understand. It is not one side moves then the other, it is simultaneous.
Try approaching your synchro practice from a yoga perspective. As you all know sometimes it takes a similar message, but from someone else to fix your swimmers problems.
I hope that you have found this post helpful and I look forward to sharing more of Lucille’s wisdom with you.