High-tech fitness: New gadget can improve your swimming technique

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Published February 22, 2012

| FoxNews.com

Want to make less of a splash in the pool? 

Get the most out of your swimming workouts with some high-tech help. Whether you're training for a triathlon, swimming to stay in shape, or using the pool for rehab, analysis of your stroke with the help of the CoachCam underwater video system can improve your technique.

The high-resolution video camera combines an underwater lens and an above the surface camera to monitor it -- a cutting-edge combo that can highlight weaknesses in your swim stroke, showing where there's room for improvement.

“The coach can tell you as much as he wants on what you are doing, but until you actually see it, sometimes it’s really hard to get your head around it,” tri-athlete Jennifer Place told FoxNews.com.

Place says that swimming is her weakness when it comes to competitions. Since working with the camera, she says her speed has improved, shedding precious seconds that can mean everything when it comes to elite races.

The camera above water is connected to a telescoping lens. “We're able to shoot up and pan to see what the swimmer is doing under water,” explained Lance Ogren, masters swim coach at Chelsea Piers Sports Center in New York City.

Out of the water, the CoachCam is hooked to a computer to give coaches and swimmers instant feedback in helping to refine technique.

Ogren explains what he looks for while viewing the footage: “I watched how she went off the wall, try to see what her arms are doing, and where her head position is. Then I’m looking to see what her legs are doing, to see her kick, if it's steady.”

The benefits of viewing aquatic style from in the water, as opposed to up above the water, are as clear as the pool water itself -- for amateurs as well as the pros, he said.

“It’s one thing for me to tell them how to do their stroke, it’s another to actually see what they are doing. They may think they are doing the right thing, and then they see ‘oh I’m not doing that at all,’” he told FoxNews.com.

As in Place’s case, Ogren points out that the camera also benefits advanced swimmers. “It will help me pick up the very small flaws in their stroke, which could mean few seconds, a very big difference in their race.”

Chelsea Piers Sports Center offers use of this high tech gear in swim fitness classes and individually with trainers. Check to see if you local gym or sports center offers the same.

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http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2012/02/22/high-tech-fitness-improve-your-swimming-technique-with-underwater-analysis/