One of the key differences between an average swimmer and a great swimmer is how someone approaches a wall, turns, and then pushes off. Over the past few months I have been working out with a local triathlon club, and I have really noticed how bad triathletes use their walls (don’t worry I have already told them). Now of course you say that triathetles only have to worry about open-water swims, but the benefits of having “Hot Walls” will also translate into a better swimming technique.
The concept of a “Hot Wall” is to mentally think that the wall you are turning on is piping hot. You don’t want to stay on the wall too long or you will get burned, and you certainly don’t want to grab it. The idea is to be quick in and out of the wall…you can take your rest between sets! As a result, you will build speed into your last few strokes instead of slowing down at the end of a length; you will engage your core muscles more in order to somersault or turn your body around quickly; you will have a faster push off, forcing you to recognize the benefit of a tight streamline.
All of these factors will not only make your turns better, but it will also make your swimming better. You will start to build up a longer stamina during your swims; you will build a tighter core and streamline; you will be working your legs harder during your swim as you continually jump off the “Hot Wall”, especially when used in conjunction with Zoomers or Z2 fins.
Now initially you may completely “wiff” the wall a few times as you turn too quickly, but keep trying. In the end you will start to see results when you crush your lane mates both off the walls AND in the middle of the pool.