Stroke Analysis

SmartPaddle simplifies swimming performance analysis by making visible the rootcause of movement: forward directing force.

SmartPaddle force profile diplays the overall force during the underwater part of the stroke split into three components forward (green), lateral (yellow) and vertical (red).

Why to measure force from the hands ?

The selected approach with SmartPaddle is to measure the movement accurately in the end of the kinetic chain. This makes visible the summary effect of the whole chain. Based on the information it is possible to identify the leakages in the kinetic chain. Instead of trying to isolate the parts of the kinetic chain with measurements, it has turned out to be more efficient for the swimmer to play active role in the analysis itself. When they use their own body to simulate the observations in data, they feel the difference and understand how to apply force more optimally.

Basic rules for efficient force production

The main challenge in swimming is the fact that water is 800 times more dense than air. In practice this means that as soon as the forward directing force level drops, the body speed drops and extra effort is needed to accelerate again.

Human body is not built to create constant force output throughout the stroke cycle: the amount of forward directing force varies and therefore also the swimming speed varies. Getting visibility to force variation enables focused actions on improving the efficiency and speed. The basic rules for analyzing the force profile are

  • gaps in the forward directing force have the biggest impact on the swimming speed
  • consistently increasing force in forward direction maximizes the swimming speed in the end of the stroke cycle
  • the effort can be optimised by minimizing the lateral and vertical components of the force

With these basic guidelines it is possible to make a list of changes to be tried out. With SmartPaddle it possible to do quick trials on different techniques, overlay the strokes before and after the change and learn based on the visible impact of the change.