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Dara Torres is able to swim at an amazing level for her age.

But she is missing a key component in her  training.  More specifically, her non swim training methods.  If she is to swim and win at the next olympics, she must take her non swim training to the next level.

Dara Torres - looking lean and mean

Dara Torres - looking lean and mean

I don’t believe that she takes drugs – well, not more than anyone else 😉

This story by AP talks about her easy victory at the university of texas:

This link

She may have won that easily, but she does complain of her knee in the article.

Her stretching routine is extremely thorough, but it ignores a key factor in how the body is built and how she swims.

Watch this video and see if you can spot where the gap is in this stretching modality that she uses as a key part of her training:


this one is also very interesting:


Now, dont think for a second that she actually follows the above regiment  to be a world record swimmer.  These videos have been watered down so as not to pop the shoulders out of the sockets of scrawny mortals such as you and I.  But the same principles apply.

But unconventional training method notwithstanding, she must embrace something different in the way she trains if she is to achieve full body control and tap into the even greater potential she has.

To win in London 2012, Dara Torres must swim her heart out.  But she must also start stretching her body the way she uses it to swim.

In rotation.

If you look at the swimmers body, there is a subtle yet significant rotation in the hips as the legs kick.  In the water, this kick done a few thousand times adds a considerable amount of torque on the human body (especially the knee).

If there is an anticipation of pain (no matter what the issue might be) the body has trouble using that joint to its peak potential simply by subconscious deactivation of the muscle and joint.

Dara Torres stretches… a whole bunch..  (like, five times a day!) from front to back.  But she does not stretch a bunch in side to side or in rotation.  At least not in her hip – knee – foot complex.

To make matters worse, if she fails to train her hip to be flexible in rotation then as the hip rotates in the water her knee must take the brunt of the torsional load (eg if her hip needs to twist then the next link down has to do the work for it – the knee – which can sometimes hurt when it twists like a pretzel).

The foot also is doing some fancy twisting as it goes through the water – the knee has to be able to react with this as well.

As you can see, the knee is getting the blame for what may well be a hip and/or foot that has been stretched in the front/back plane, but not at all in the rotational plane!

As for the rest of us, when you stretch, make sure you give some time to rotational movements and stretches in the rotational plane of of movement – the results just might astonish you.

Yours in health,

Jamie Atlas

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