Sports Science Topic – June 9, 2009

There are many variations of freestyle, and most are successful based on the athlete and the event duration.  However, a number of world-class swimmers use a combination of two styles. One arm employing a high-elbow, anchor-based option, the other arm using a straight-arm, underwater-anchor option. This hybrid technique is normally known as a gallop stroke since the swimmer surges on one side and looks like they sink on the other.  Are there benefits to this style, and should more athletes employ it as a viable option?