Alexander Popov – Kayak Principle

Relaxation at Top Speed
This short documentary looks at Olympic gold medallist, Alexander Popov’s front crawl swimming technique, and the way he balances propulsion and  resistance to minimise drag and create fluid relaxed motion at top speed.

Gennadi Touretski, Popov’s coach: “The kayak principle is based on the theory of using two arms simultaneously to provide continuous propulsion.”

“Drills that encourage the Kayak principle include freestyle head up, with a dolphin kick.”

“Relaxation is the key for excellence, because if your skill is automatic you will be relaxed. Relaxation decreases the energy cost of locomotion.

“Performance is the only real measure of effective swimming and Speed through the water is a combination of rhythm, range and relaxation”

“Gennadi believes that the future of sprint swimming is in creating ways to take advantage of muscle elasticity and to redevelop the swimming stroke to enable the swimming body to move as a single unit, not as a number of independently moving parts.

In short technical efficiency becomes more important than increasing propulsive forces.”