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Swimming Pic of the Week - Roque Santos - Win A Subscription

Posted by Glenn Mills on Apr 05, 2012 10:14AM

 We're going to use the Pic of the Week again to select someone to win a free month on our premium website,

Post a comment below, understanding that when we have a chance to use one of our Olympic athletes, we're going to do our best to have them pick the comment that speaks to them as well.  You have to keep that in mind when posting on Roque's picture, because, if you know Roque, you know he's not just about technique, he's about the swimming business, and has a fantastic sense of humor... so have fun.

 - Preview Roque's video here
 - Direct link to Roque's video on

The Rules:  You need to be a member of to be able to post, which is free.  If you're already a subscriber to, you will be refunded for the amount equal to 1 month of your subscription.  You can win only once per year.  You will be required to set up an account with, which requires a credit card number, but you will be instructed how to create the account so that nothing will be charged to your card upon creation of your account.  This prize has no monetary value and can not be exchanged or used for any product other than the subscription at  The winner must be over 18 years of age, or must have a parent's permission (in writing to us) to accept this prize.

Archived Comments

Responded Apr 05, 2012 03:26PM

Well, it's clear that it's breaststroke, based on the thumbs down hand position, and the clue given with the tags. What strikes me is the unbent elbows. He's sweeping pretty wide with elbows unbent. Common thinking would dictate that he'd begin his elbow bend sometime soon after breaking apart the hands, but the key here seems to be that the legs are still in a nice relaxed streamline form. You see this with Kitajima and a lot of breaststrokers these days, taking advantage of the breaststroke rules on the timing of head surfacing and maximizing the effect of the glide with the first part of the pull, and then bending the knees at around the same time as the elbows are bending to fuel the surfacing of the head and the forward dive and counteract the drag caused by the knee recovery. Now, the other tag is "breath control," so I suppose I should say something about that. Exhaling at that point makes sense to help prepare for the emergence of the head and the breath he will take at that point. A full exhalation at too early a point would create a sense of urgency in the swimmer to hurry up to the inhalation part, and potentially compromise some amount of buoyancy, both of which you don't want at that stage. Exhaling too late, though, is even worse, with late stage exhalations leading to improperly timed inhalations, affecting the stroke mechanics. You can, so long as your head emerges, skip taking a breath between stroke cycles, like with butterfly, to help save time and maintain form. This can be very good practice on short sets or on any set where it would be prudent if it were butterfly. Now, while you might not inhale on every stroke, it's generally a good idea to practice some amount of exhalation on every stroke, to help ease the tension of the body and prevent late-stage exhalation. He's currently exhaling through his nose. Many swimmers tend to exhale through the mouth, but, as a smaller aperture, breathing through the nose is a more controlled and sustainable exhalation, and an open mouth creates drag. Also, I don't suppose projecting bubbles behind you via the nose vs under you with the mouth is a bad thing, either, when you are trying to move forward..

Responded Apr 05, 2012 05:50PM

Glenn, as promised, going to do first ever masters workout tomorrow. eeek.

Responded Apr 05, 2012 06:54PM


Responded Apr 05, 2012 07:41PM

Loving the posts... Bridget... I can't wait to see you and I just started writing an extra long butterfly practice to break you in slowly! ;) We'll have fun. Looking forward to it.

Responded Apr 06, 2012 09:36PM

Its Santa Claus!

Responded Apr 06, 2012 09:59PM

Excellent streamline position with lovely hands to pull armstroke. Hands and arms look equal position - odd that he didn't win those olympics medal...

Responded Apr 07, 2012 01:24AM

Hey, what does that wise guy above me think he's trying to do? He better get a DQ for interference, and I'll just give him a quick head butt to let him know I'm tough.

Responded Apr 09, 2012 02:39PM

How does he do that....water out of his nose....but no bubbles or splash arond the hands???....maybe related to the guy that used to walk on water???...hahahha...happy easter!!!!!!!!!!

Responded Apr 09, 2012 08:39PM

What you talking about Koolactress?

Responded Apr 10, 2012 03:29AM

Breaststroke is possibly my worst stroke. I really like to study pictures of other swimmers doing strokes correctly. I like the big burst of bubbles coming out of the nose. A few months back my coach said to me (while I was swimming breast stroke), "Are you holding your breath?" Gosh, I didn't realize I was. Since then I really think about the exhaling. Well, maybe it is starting to become automatic. My coach doesn't let me take such a wide stroke on breast stroke. But today I was swimming on my own and did some breast and tried turning my arms out a bit wider and thumbs down like that, just to see how it feels. It's good to experiment. Mostly, I like this picture because it looks like he's flying.

Responded Apr 10, 2012 02:45PM

Full extension now recoil

Responded Apr 10, 2012 03:10PM

Ahh.. captain Walrus left the sinking ship... strongly determined to rebuild his ship..

Responded Apr 10, 2012 04:07PM

This photo illustrates PATIENCE to me.... extending, stretching into the catch, head just slightly below the surface, exhaling, waiting for the insweep to breathe, waiting to feel the velocity change to begin the kick and press/pull with the shoulders and hands, taking advantage of the length of the stroke in streamline for as long as possible. Core muscles engaged and body stretching through the shoulders and feet, chest pressing down, hips up. Nice.

Responded Apr 10, 2012 07:25PM

Swimming...the best way to blow your nose.

Responded Apr 10, 2012 07:26PM

Is that air? No, it'snot.

Responded Apr 10, 2012 07:30PM

Ladies and gentelman...Roque Snotos. I could go all day folks.

Responded Apr 10, 2012 08:12PM

He looks like the Aqua Man version of Darth Vader X 2 with the reflection.
It's a beautiful stroke. I've already been to the pool today, I plan to use Sean's notes to improve my technique.

Responded Apr 12, 2012 01:36PM

Wow, I just love how the reflection in the water gives an image impression of an eagle in flight.
Mr. Santos looks mean - in a good way :)

Responded Apr 16, 2012 06:18PM

hahaha...good going's a snoty affair!!!...who let the snot out???...he is the snotynator...or the snotmeister!!...need more help???...hahahha....oh...anough snot a day keeps Roque away??...hahaha

Responded Apr 18, 2012 02:03AM

It worked in the past:

* Perfect head position for proper body alignment
* neck, shoulders very relaxed to maximize her power output
* eyes fixed not wasted head movement
* appears to use more rthymic breathing inhale/ exhale for efficiency
* I have watch Margaret swim many times/ very beautiful backstroke champion

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