Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Swimming Anatomy
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Customer Reviews

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on March 16, 2010
Ok swim coaches, go ahead and buy this book. The description of the exercises is good, the anatomical diagrams of the muscles worked in each exercise, and how it relates to swimming is worth every dime this book costs.

I've read weight lifting books for swimmers, and they are usually generic in content, or they are written by coaches who don't explain the "why's".

I've got a former swimmer who consults this book before every session in the gym; her personal trainer saw the book and ordered one for his center. Use the "Look Inside" feature here on Amazon, and the content will impress you.

Coaches should coach, and by that they should be able to explain the "why's" of what they want the kids to do, too many coaches abdicate that role of teacher. If you get the athlete to buy into what they are doing and why they are doing it, they have longer term success. This book will help take a step towards that goal of being a better coach.
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on November 18, 2009
This book is a gem for swimmers, coaches, and parents. The illustrations and descriptions are well done and easy to understand. The exercises can be done by swimmers at all levels, from age groupers through masters. A great introduction to dry land training.
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on February 19, 2014
The publisher says,
“Swimming Anatomy will show you how to improve your performance by increasing muscle strength and optimizing the efficiency of every stroke.”

McCleod attempts to connect the anatomy of swimming with a guide for strengthening specific muscles, to ultimately improve swimming performance (including racing starts and turns). It’s not a textbook, though correct anatomical terms are consistently used, and the graphics are very pretty. So what’s not to like? Why am I so disappointed?

Answer: It’s the missing parts. I was hoping to see basic sequences for each stroke with the muscles noted for each stroke action (catch, pull, exit, recovery, etc.). Then I could go straight to specific exercises to help with my freestyle. But there are no such illustrations! Okay–maybe a list of muscles used for each stroke would help. No, sorry—both the chapter names and the “Exercise Finder” is organized around BODY PARTS (e.g. arms, legs, etc.), not muscle groups for the 4 basic strokes. For stroke techniques, there are no sequential diagrams–only long paragraphs, such as the esoteric 598 word description of the freestyle!

For all the beautiful anatomical workout pictures, there is no information on setting up any sort of regimen. There is no guidance for sets, repetitions, or weights to use. Many of the exercise motions are unclear due to lack of sequential pictures. For this reason, I feel that this book may do more harm than good for anyone without a background in athletic training or physiology and kineseology.

Take the section for the basic push-up (p. 64):
“(step) 3. Lower your body until your chest is 1 inch off the ground.”

Then page 65 has has a Safety Tip:
“Lowering the chest too far can cause extra stress on the anterior part of the shoulder. Those with a shoulder injury or a history of one should avoid this movement.”

This is vague and confusing. Step 3 says your chest should be 1 inch from the ground. So what are we to make of the safety tip–what is “too far”? Is ¾ inch vs. 1 inch a problem? The author could have done better—show the proper positions (head on and side view) for the push-up. I believe most knowledgeable trainers will recommend you stop the downward motion at the 90 degree elbow bend. The touch-the-chest method is “old school macho.” Exercises that use the full body weight as resistance are not simple. Warm-ups and proper technique are essential for injury-free performance.

Finally, there is no index or glossary! With the heavy use of anatomic and specific sports medicine terms, it can be daunting. For example, I was hoping to find some information specific to rotator cuff injury. There are references to the rotator cuff, but it takes some digging to find the true definition of this muscle group. The shoulder diagram doesn’t even call this out. It’s buried in the text. And there is no specific guidance on treating or preventing this common swimming injury.

To summarize, I feel Swimming Anatomy is appropriate ONLY for those with a solid sports science knowledge base. Without such training, you should consult other reliable sources on developing a workout routine, safely, without risk of injury.
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on January 3, 2010
Ian McLeod's "Swimming Anatomy" provides a comprehensive guide to dry-land and weight room exercises which will benefit swimmers of all ages. This book is a user-friendly resource for swimmers looking to increase their strength, power, and speed. It will also be helpful for anyone who helps train swimming athletes - swim coaches, strength coaches, athletic trainers or physical therapists. Broken down by body part, "Swimming Anatomy" describes each exercise in step-by-step, easy to understand instructions. Readers will learn which exercises are important for developing each stroke and/or starts and turns. Drawing on his background as an experienced athletic trainer working with world class and Olympic swimmers, McLeod provides important information on injury prevention and exercise modification for injured swimmers. He also describes exercise progression for swimmers of all ages.
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on May 14, 2010
As a U.S. Master swimmer, I'm always looking for ways to improve my times. This book is awesome with the examples of dry land training to accompany your swim workouts. I even bought one for my favorite coach! It lists the exact muscles used for each stroke and suggestions for dry land training to strengthen those muscles and the opposing muscles for balance too. It is a must for all swimmers.
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on February 21, 2010
I highly recommend this book for fitness and competitive swimmers. It is well laid out covering each part of the body and different strokes/start & turns. The "variation" for most dryland exercise allows you to use tubes, weights or physioball - going to a "gym" or expensive equipment is optional.

This is a good book for the injury prone swimmer. The dryland exercises in the book will keep you swimming.
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on March 25, 2015
I have coached swimming/swimmers from YMCA programs to
private clubs, to college programs.
I have had swimmers that I have coached, make it to Nationals,
both in short course and long course, as well as swim at colleges,
Duke, NC State, UNC, ECU, Clemson, West Point, to name a few.
I have been a personal trainer for, swimmers, tennis players, soccer
players, and baseball and softball players.
This is a very informative book, on the "anatomy" of swimming, the
4 strokes, and starts and turns.
It is NOT, a work out book/program, or a weight training guide, those 2
programs,are yours to come up with.
The book will guide you, to which muscle groups you need to focus on,
and what purpose those muscles will serve in the stroke motion.
Swimming Anatomy is another "tool" to help a coach or trainer, that is all
it is.
Use it as such.
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on December 26, 2009
This book is an answered prayer! I have been using a specific dryland program which I designed based on my knowledge of human anatomy, but could not find a resource to corroborate my ideas...until THIS WONDERFUL BOOK ARRIVED! Each muscle group has several exercises with a drawing of the portion of the muscular system which the exercise works, the exercises for this specific muscle group and some alternative ways of performing the exercises. Excellent resource. My only complaint is the binding should be spiral so I can lay the book out flat, or even fold it in half.
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on February 10, 2013
Covers most muscle groups and how to strengthen them out of the water, but nothing new or revolutionary that I was hoping for. Most dryland exercises seemed common to me and fit my general concern, as a coach, that while the athlete may strengthen a muscle or muscle group, it may not directly translate into a more powerful stroke in the water. Also did little to convince me that power might be as or more important than technique. The one area I really wanted more guidance on, how to teach and strengthen high elbow catch, seemed pretty slim, kind of like it was difficult to describe so lets just cover things that are easier to address. Overall, I can see how this can help me sound more knowledgeable, snow the high school kids with jargon they will not understand, but not necessarily train them any better or more effectively.
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on November 10, 2009
Flat out the best book on swimming you'll find. The illustrations are attractive and cover exercises to improve freestyle, breaststroke, butterfly, and backstroke. It's great for coaches and swimmers alike.
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