As you probably already know, rotation is a key component for long-axis strokes, Freestyle and Backstroke. However, did you know the rolling of the hips is as equally important in Breaststroke and Butterfly?
I have commented on the advantage of maintaining high hips on breaststroke in previous posts. The core is used to drive the body forward, increasing propulsion and reducing the stress put on the arms. As a result, this undulation motion is triggered by some of the strongest muscles the body possesses. The Tech Toc can help teach you this motion. By utilizing a ball bearing inside of a capsule, the Tech Toc provides auditory feedback while you swim, helping you understand how the hips and body are moving in the water.
Thread up your Tech Toc so that the Tech Toc is aligned along your body’s long access (parallel with your spine). Position the belt across your hips with the Tec Toc sitting on your tail bone. In this position the ball bearing inside the Tech Toc will only “click” if you correctly emphasize the undulating of the hips.
Swimming with the Tech Toc in this position often requires emphasizing a concept called “popping the hips” by swim coaches. This concept involves pressing the chest down into the water, causing the hips to rise to the surface during Breaststroke and Butterfly. At this point, you should hear a resounding “click” from the Tec Toc indicating that you have successfully “popped your hips”. You will again hear a click as you move into the next phase of the stroke where the hips are lower again (see diagrams below). Cycle and repeat for great undulation!
Like I said earlier, the Tech Toc tends to force you to exaggerate this undulating motion; use the Tech Toc for a few laps, focusing on the “feel” of this motion. Then try swimming without the Tech Toc while trying to replicate the undulation.