Appy swimming!

Has this year’s Commonwealth Games sparked an interest in swimming and winning? Tom Barton, Director of The Health Collab, gives insight into his new project — an app for swimmers and coaches.

Tom Barton is a physiotherapist, yoga teacher and strength and conditioning coach with a passion for swimming and surfing. Tom believes that by providing the resources that empower the coach and swimmer, we will see more enjoyment of the sport and new talent emerging from the pool.

The Health Collab has developed an app to help swimmers and coaches assess, track and address body position in and out of the pool. With thanks to Advance Queensland Sport Science Challenge funding, the Q Swim app will be in the hands of all Swimming Queensland members across the state within the next 3 months.

To go faster, swimmers need to get their body into positions that decrease the drag created by the water.

The Q Swim app aims to optimise these body positions for training and competition, leading to improved performance in the pool and reduced potential for injury.

App users will be able to create and download customised pre-swim warm-up routines in 4 categories and at 4 challenge levels. The Q Swim app will also deliver the best and most up-to-date educational resources, covering topics such as coaching, physiotherapy, physiology and skill acquisition.

A key feature for swimmers and coaches is the ability to quickly measure and compare photographs of swimming style with an ‘ideal example’ — in this case, dual World Champion and 5-time Commonwealth gold-medallist Mitch Larkin.

The app provides an easy way to compare best practice body position

Using these visual cues athletes can then improve their swimming style based on body position and arm angle to match best practice. The coach or swimmer can then use this information to decide what to focus on before getting in the water.

Benefits for regional swimmers

The Health Collab has partnered with Swimming Queensland on this project. This collaboration will have an immediate impact on the 9,000 registered members in the organisation.

The Q Swim app will provide Swimming Queensland with a communication platform that they can use to disseminate information to all members across the state.

It guarantees that swimmers and coaches in rural or remote areas receive the same access to information and resources as a swimmer in Brisbane’s inner suburbs. No longer will geography be a limiting factor for the many dedicated and talented swimmers and coaches outside the major metropolitan centres.

Swimming Queensland is funding the roll out of the app for its membership base for the 2018/19 season.

The Q Swim app will be available to individual users here and overseas from August 2018 on both IOS and Android for $1.99/month.

The content on the app will be frequently updated with more exercise videos and educational resources made available. The development and refinement of the app is well underway with coaches, physios and athletes currently testing the beta version in the field.