Dr. Jan Prins on Freestyle Biomechanics: The Science of Swimming Faster, Better

Dr. Jan Prins on Freestyle Biomechanics: The Science of Swimming Faster, Better


Jan Prins, Ph. D.
of the University of Hawaii has long established his credentials as one of the deepest thinkers, observers, and analytical minds in the science of swimming more efficiently, effectively, and quickly.

I first became aware and had the good fortune to meet Dr. Prins in the mid-1980s,” said Steven Munatones. “He was ahead of the times back then – and he remains so to this day. One of his seminal works was a paper published in 2009 called ‘The Biomechanics of Unintended Consequences’ where he analyzed stroke mechanics in depth using high-speed videography and motion capture software.”

In a recent 2021 issue #4 of the American Swimming Magazine, published for the American Swimming Coaches Association by the American Swimming Coaches Council for Sport Development, Dr. Prins described the approach he takes to video tape and analyze swimmers in biomechanical research. “We focus on (1) Impulse – the ability to apply a force over a period of time – by swimmers, and (2) Asymmetry – how dissimilar motions between the left and the right arm pulls affect overall propulsion.”

A video-based version of these topics is available in the recently launched Video-on-Demand program Freestyle Biomechanics – The Science Behind the Strokes™ (see here).

The advantages and benefits of Dr. Prins’ 16-part Freestyle Biomechanics are significant for freestylers (i.e., open water swimmers) where he covers all aspects of the freestyle stroke in detail; both what should be done and what should not be done,” said Munatones. “Dr. Prins explains in an easy-to-understand manner, highlighted by easy-to-see videos of swimmers of all abilities. I very much enjoy and learn from his written materials and, especially, his video explanations of both younger world-class swimmers and older masters swimmers and triathletes.”

Check out Freestyle Biomechanics at freestylebiomechanics.com.

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Steven Munatones
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