Anatomy of a Swimmer – How does Olympic champion Abbey Weitzeil generate speed?

Anatomy of a Swimmer – How does Olympic champion Abbey Weitzeil generate speed?


We’ve taken six of the world’s top athletes to find out what it takes to make it true Olympians As we push their bodies to the max When we look at Sprint swimmers what we’re looking for is a very high anaerobic capacity an ability to cope with high intensity exercise add on top of that with swimming though swimming is incredibly technical When you’re not technically proficient you are uncanonical so it’s marrying together the anaerobic capacity The strength and the power with optimal technique At the Olympic Games Rio 2016 19 year-old abbe Weitzel won gold for the USA in the 4 by 100 meter medley relay and a silver in the 4 by 100 meter freestyle relay Swimming the fastest split in her team We’ve brought Abby to the prestigious st. Mary’s University in London a world leading sport science facility which counts Sir Mo Farah four-time Olympic gold medalist among its former students I believe I have an actual talent for swimming that I was born with and I believe that I was meant to swim Just because I have a great feel for the water Abby is one of the most powerful swimmers in the world But our team of scientists are going to take her out of her comfort zone in the pool to truly test the anatomy that lies behind the Olympic medals and record times of one of Team USA’s star performers the typical body shape of a sprint swimmer is tall and long because Speed in swimming is about stroke rate times by stroke length combine that with high strength and high power output And that will increase the speed of arm turnover we’re analyzing Abby’s body composition her relative muscularity and fat percentage as Well is taking a series of measurements across her whole form training and technique are vital ingredients for any Olympic level athlete But having the right Samantha type or physical characteristics is the key foundation to build on from medal success Looking at your height and also your limb length. We can see that you’re probably most suited to sprint distance sport I actually have a short torso and very long limbs compared to other swimmers who mostly have longer torsos and Shorter limbs that kind of backs up what we found with our results there It gives you that mechanical advantage in the fall which is reaching for that finish line Extra advantage one interesting factor that we see is when we’re measuring the leavers Particularly the arms because what we know is that the long arms? Create long stroke lengths and stroke length is a key determinant of sprint speed performance, and if we look at Abby Abby has got Exceptionally long arms and those long arms allow her to create a long stroke length allow it to create speed As we expect the upper body is crucial to swimming performance because it’s the area where the greatest amount of propulsive force is generated So this test will give us a good indication to Abbas upper body power output you have the ball against your chest and you’re gonna throw it as explosively as possible and this gives us an idea of your Upper body power so I imagine this would be quite relevant to you as a swimmer Yes, definitely upper body strength especially for the pole and freestyle and any stroke actually so we work on that a lot Okay, well in that case would expect you to Freestyle or the front crawl stroke and swimming puts nearly 50 different muscle groups to work But it’s the upper body, which is the real powerhouse? Providing two-thirds of the propulsive energy in every stroke compared to the leg muscles Can be as powerful as you can release their ball and try and get the most distance you can’t the seated medicine ball Throw has been one of the standard assessment tests for all new draft ease to the major professional sports leagues in the u.s. Like the NHL this test just like front crawl swim itself pushes the scapular stabilizers Pectorals wrist flexors and triceps the same muscle groups that Abby utilizes in every energy-sapping stroke in the pool They are be last one so keep your back against the seat pad and then just throw it as far as you can That was close to your first one. Yeah, exactly the same, so you mean called your best good work Abbie’s performance in the test rivals that of many elite female athletes from basketball and volleyball And her ability to unleash enormous explosive power is a key factor in her swimming success Abby was able to propel the six kilogram mass over four meters Which really does demonstrate the huge power output that she has in her upper body I do believe that my physical skills do come with the upper body that is But I’ve always been better at The lung function test is a really important test for all athletes But particularly for Sprint swimmers because what it’s going to tell us is the size of Abby’s lungs now critically the larger the lung the greater the surface area to up to take oxygen and Importantly for a sprint based athlete is to get rid of carbon dioxide In a 100-meter freestyle relay Lake a swimmer against forty percent of their energy needs from the aerobic system almost ten times the amount that attracts printer uses in a four by 100 relay So Farabi a powerful efficient lung function is a vital weapon in her anatomies armories How we keep going keep going keep going keep going empty the lungs as much as you can good same again Good keep going keep going keep going push push push push push push push until you’ve got Noella good Ok I’ll be these are your results from the test you just did and for example your forced vital capacity That’s the amount of air that you can expel that is a hundred and thirty percent of Predicted these are indicative of an elite level athlete and some of the highest results. I’ve recorded Thank you the lung function test results for a B really are exceptional and it’s the forced vital capacity That we’re taking a look at and that figure is five point seven four liters And that is one hundred and thirty percent of what we expect to see for someone of her size and her gender In other words thirty percent bigger than normal truly massive I Started swimming because of my sister she swam in high school, and so I started swimming I didn’t start swimming competitively Until I was about 13, I still say I’m complete rookie in the sport like gaining my experience, but I’m there’s so much to learn Rio was an amazing experience? The United States of America I remember walking out for my first race which was the relay on night 1 my first Olympic race was an Olympic final. It was pretty crazy But I didn’t let that affect me as much because I wasn’t nervous at all which was really weird to me But it was just so surreal You have the crowd the rest our team in the stands And it’s just like the vibe that you get when you walk out, and it’s just like I’m here like this. It’s just awesome The Scot jump test the reaction time test and the counter movement loaded jump test a Critical measures of power output, which is crucial to the start in Sprint swimming? Abi’s ability to respond to the starting signal as quickly as possible is Absolutely fundamental to the outcome for Sprint swimmers just like they’re on track counterparts the fast twitch fibers of the lower body muscle groups really come into their own in the start sequence and a fast and explosive Getaway can be the difference between an Olympic medal or just missing out So we’re trying to assess how explosive you are off the block and also trying to gauge your reaction time So is that something that you know you work on yes, we work on it a lot And I’ve gotten a lot better at it, so I feel like I’m I’m pretty decent at it. Okay. Well. We’ll see how you go To assess a B start speed We are measuring her movement times the gap between the starting beat and the moment resistance is applied to the force plate In sprint swimming the starting sequence also consists of two further phases the flight time or initial entry into the water and the subsequent underwater stroke both these phases demand the generation a huge explosive power By measuring the force a B applies to the specially calibrated floor plate while bearing a loaded weight across our shoulders We can also assess the energy she can transfer from the starting blocks into that vital initial entry into the water The standouts are really the reaction time and in particular the movement time Which is actually faster than any other elite female swimmer ever measured, I mean truly incredible Demonstrating that she can produce power very very rapidly the force velocity Relationship, which is effectively how quickly a B can produce force and tell us that she is incredibly rapid and that? Really tells us why she has got a great sprint start you want to get out in front As fast as possible the hundredths of a second is literally What wins race your reaction time your explosiveness off the block which is what I’ve worked on my starts gotten so much better There’s the entry there’s the angle there’s everything and the starts super important For someone like Abby who is a sprint swimmer she is an anaerobic athlete nonetheless Aerobic capacity is still important to support that Sprint swimming and it’s also very very important in training so that she can enhance her recovery of Multiple sprint set as the Spiro test has already shown us Abbey’s lung function is way above the typical female of her age group But the vo2 max remains the ultimate test of an athlete’s respiratory system and will take Abby to a level of exhaustion she has never experienced before and We’re just gonna hold on to that rate, that’s perfect great work. I’ve been doing really well keep the stroke long Excellent work keep pushing yourself In a 50 meter freestyle swim only 4% of energy needs are met by aerobic processes But in the 100 meter event it is 10 times that figure at over 40%. Let’s go now good keep pushing So Abby’s relay performance requires her to take in as much oxygen as possible And deliver it to her muscles as quickly and efficiently as she can final 10. Let’s go Let’s get into the 140s come on push keep going keep going keep going last few strokes keep pushing keep pushing Good good good excellent work brilliant effort Abby’s four minutes of maximal effort on the rowing ergometer produced a vo2 peak of 48 milliliters per kilogram per minute Putting her on the same level as an Olympic 100-meter track sprinter, but with one important difference When tae-hee look at Eva’s vo2 max test results one thing we do have to take into account is the fact she performed it on A rowing odometer so what we’d expect to see is a higher vo2 max if we measured it in the pool for example Because it’s much more specific, but for a sprint based and the aerobic swimmer Aerobic capacity is good which will support her sprint swimming and critically support her in training I believe that endurance you build on land as well Translate into just being a better athlete which translates into moving through the water better and just being comfortable in the water Abby has shown that to be an Olympic gold medal-winning sprint swimmer It’s not enough just to have a perfect body shape you need a combination of lightning fast reactions explosive power that can be deployed instantaneously and huge upper-body strength all underpinned with a Determination to push your body to the maximum. Let’s go again Abby is one of the best sprint swimmers in the world She is a power based anaerobic athlete and the test results really bear that out if we take a look at Reaction time we take a look at movement time They truly are exceptional higher than we’ve ever measured in an elite swimmer And it’s the combination of these factors, which make a baby one of the fastest sprint swimmers and an Olympic gold medalist I love Therese and I The rush you get during a race at the end of the race and just to see what you can do I love seeing what I’m able to do

100 Comments on “Anatomy of a Swimmer – How does Olympic champion Abbey Weitzeil generate speed?”

  1. im just saying, no one is or is not "born for swimming." no matter who you are, if you put in the time and effort, you can do well in the sport.

  2. It would be amazing if you do anathomy of a rithmic gymnast. I wanna learn how they use their bones, muscles and ligaments to strike those unbelievable positions and how they control their reflects and coordination to work with their apparatuses (specially clubs)

  3. I hope there wa smore scientific infor backing up everythig they mentioned cause god this didnt seem that scientific except measuring her capabilities there wasnt much else… i wouldnt say that its the perfect swimmer anatomy…

  4. Но самое главное, что американцы не употребляют допинг. Только сырники и клюква.

  5. Just a tip, if you want to get in shape and really nice muscles then you should swim. No other sport gives you a full body workout like swimming does. And it’s more fun than weights

  6. I like the 'anatomy of …' videos, it explains in numbers which factors are important in certain sports. But please, not everything is 'amazing' or 'extraordinary'. Be honest about the interpretation of the results. For example an armspan of 182cm compared to a 179cm is an apefactor of 3, which is not 'exceptionally'. The average human has the same number on armspan and height. Not all measurements can be as spectacular as you hope them to be, which is okay, we're still talking about humans that can not excel in everything..

  7. 182 cm wingspan compared to 179 height is "exceptionally long"? I must be a monster since I am 182cm and have 187 wingspan. Better start training for the olympics.

    Former nba dunk champion Fred Jones is 188cm and has 213cm wingspan. THAT is exceptional.

  8. This was really interesting…. of the studies I've seen of Michael Phelps showed that physically he was the perfect swimmer: tall, longer arm span for his height, bigger hands and feet for his height, shorter legs for a faster kick rate, and ultra flexible ankles. Ledecky should be an interesting study too… physically she's not the tallest or the longest in the pool and yet she BLOWS away competition every tine.

  9. ah when I swam varsity I was exceptionally quick off the blocks as well. too bad everything else was painfully mediocre :/

  10. Interesting to watch, but completely useless tests. We already know she is one of the best, if your tests did not detect that, the tests are flawed. Her VO2max is low actually.

  11. "those are indicative of an elite level athlete", he said to the olympian. who writes this stuff??

  12. She should be a boxer with that upper body strength. Imagine and uppercut from her. Lol.

  13. I like the text which is off at times. Right near the end its of typing Abbey, the text states a baby! 😉

  14. Dude, you need a long toso and shorter but more powerful legs and not short toso and long legs. Look at Phelps. He should be the good standard physic of swimming.

  15. Anatomy of a surfer please!!!!!! Plus i also swim, row and do treadmill….. but surfing owns all sports!!!!!!!!

  16. I was a swimmer for 10 years. I believe as a professional swimmer, we truly have the best lungs. One day I was getting an x-ray done and the Dr who viewed them said "you have incredible lungs! I want to take a picture of them and place them in a book!" I adore swimming, it is my passion and always will be. And yes, I still swim but on my own at the gym.

  17. I met her at the cal swim camp! She’s really inspiring and nice! I will cheer for her all the time! She has a great heart!

  18. The film is not that precise about the start. It is not about quickly jumping in the water, it is about doing so in the right angle. Wrong angle can cost very much time.

  19. Lol a "level of exhaustion she has never experienced before". As a competitive swimmer, I'm sure Abbey experiences this almost daily in practice.

  20. Great to mention the vo2 max test result should be totally different in a so specific disciplin like swimming. the max Hr too because of the horizontal position during swimming. She has a lack of control of her ankle and knee during the counterjump… Did she was tired during the test?

  21. I mean a v02 of 48 isn't that impressive, very good but not extraordinary. Although she's a female and also a swimmer so then it's kind of good then

  22. This video just made me to measure my arm span, I guess I would have made a decent swimmer. I am 1.93m tall and my arm span is 2.04m

  23. Inspiring that she started so young. I was self conscious starting swimming at 11, because I was in a class with 7-9 year olds. Now I'm 12, and I'm in a class with 14-16 year olds. Keep working hard, any other late start swimmers!

  24. Yes I’m also skeptical of what the academic sports scientists are proving with the test on explosively pushing a 6 Kg ball away seated ( the pectorals and pushing action of triceps and deltoids) has to do with a swimmers power during a freestyle stroke.

  25. 6:02 until you've got Noella left…😭😭💀💀💀💀💀💀 an I the only one who finds this hilarious? Ok.

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