How Australian Olympic Swimmers Improve Mobility with Tom Barton And Jeff Grace

The podcast that helps you improve your swimming, love the water and live a better life.


00:58 Pre Swim Routine for Olympic Athletes
02:35 How Much Time Should Be Given To Pre-Swim Routine
06:33 Basic Movements in Yoga Routine
8:58 Q Swim/ Q Swim App
15:24 Time Commitment in Integrating Yoga into Training
18:52 Yoga And Recovery
20:54 Breathing
25:13 On Adults Wanting To Improve Their Swimming
26:36 Balancing Your Nervous System
27:50 3-Minute Yoga Routine

Tom Barton

Email: [email protected]

Testing video with Mitch Larkin

Getting started with Q Swim

3 Minute Yoga Routine:

Jeff Grace:


Speaker 1:                           Welcome to the Effortless Swimming Podcast, the show that helps swimmers and triathletes love the water, become a better swimmer and live a better life. Here’s your host, Brenton Ford.

Brenton Ford:                    Welcome to the Effortless Swimming podcast. My guest today, a past guest who I’ve had on before, Jeff Grace who’s a yoga teacher and he’s worked very closely with swimmers. And also another yoga teacher but also a physiotherapist who’s worked and still works very closely with a lot of the Australia team swimmers, Tom Barton. Guys, welcome to the call.

Tom Barton:                       Thanks, Brenton.

Jeff Grace:                          Thanks, Brenton. Thanks. Great.

Brenton Ford:                    Now Jeff, you’re currently in an airport watching baggage go by but the audio is still quite good and Tom, you’re up in Brisbane. I’m sure the audio will be good enough for the people listening to get a lot out of the call. Some of the things that I want to cover today is pre-swim routines that you’ve both used with high-level athletes and how adults and triathletes can use those in their own programs to help them move better and prevent injury and how you integrate yoga into swimming and the correlation you see between the two. So do you want to maybe … Tom, would you like to sort of start out with the pre-swim routine that you’ve used with a lot of the olympic athletes in the last couple of years?

Tom Barton:                       Yeah, absolutely. From a pre-swim perspective, it’s basically trying to unravel the tightnesses and the weaknesses that we develop during the rest of the time that we’re not swimming. So I tend to categorize them and keep it relatively simple and talk about the big five areas that are the major restricters for a good swimmer and sort of sequentially through We talk about pecs, lats, the abdominals, the hip flexors and the ankles. And whenever I talk whether it’s a swimming Queensland or a talent ID camp, I always ask the kids who addresses all five of those before they swim and it’s always no hands coming up in the audience. And I think for the triathletes and masters swimmers it’s even more important for that clientele because the amount of time you spend pounding the pavement and also the amount of time you spend on the block, you need to do more to unravel that tiredness than just the regular swimmer and particularly even more so than the elite swimmer.

Tom Barton:                       There’s a lot of of free speed to be gained by improving your body position and as you’re well aware, it helps you get into better shape so you can effectively execute skills.

Brenton Ford:                    Yeah. And that’s something that really has impacted the older we typically get, we just get tired or we move less and we’re not as mobile. So what sort of time should someone … Let’s say someone’s training three times a week, they’re a master swimmer and they’d like to improve their mobility and move better. How much time should they, let’s say ideally set aside, in an ideal world how much time could they put into a pre-swimmer routine? And then what’s the bare minimum to see at least a little bit of results?

Tom Barton:                       So I would say if we start with the bare minimum, I have got a three minute routine that I give out to the older clientele and also the kids that are coming straight from school and hitting the water and telling me that they have no time and they just have to jump straight in. So negotiated it down into a three minute yoga routine that hits all five of those areas. So that’s the bare minimum from our perspective. And I think everyone can find three minutes. And it’s also about getting the coaches to buy in on that because the coach needs to see the difference in terms of their swimming that the three minutes could make. And you’re going to make more difference in those three minutes than doing an extra 200 meters or an extra 400 meters in the water as a warmup. And if we go to more of an ideal timeframe 15 to 20 minutes is what we work on with our light guides, they’re getting paid to do it.

Tom Barton:                       So they’re often a bit better with their buy into it. But again for those guys, they have to see, they have to see the change and they have to feel the change in order to get them to buy in. And once they do, that’s from my perspective, that’s when you really, you see them buy into it and really start to develop and get better each time ’cause their skill acquisition is better. They have less niggles, all that sort of stuff.

Brenton Ford:                    And Jeff, you’ve worked with a lot of swim teams as well. How long is it taken to have the athletes or the coaches buy into two what you teach?

Jeff Grace:                          I think it’s been really smooth actually. I first off, I agree with Tom totally on the minimum effective dose and once someone starts doing just a little bit and can see just the benefits from when they first jump in and can see how much difference they have in mobility. And then also being able to have different muscle recruitment to gain that feel the water and actually have a real strong sense of what they’re getting out of it. That, that really creates that … That starts to create the buy in right away. But when I when I start working with the group, as long as there’s really that explanation of why they’re doing it, how it’s going to affect, and then they can have that relatability right into you what they’re doing in the water. I think that buy in happens right away as long as there’s that knowledge and then they can piece the two together. It’s a pretty quick buy in.

Brenton Ford:                    Yeah I found the very similar thing coaching athletes with technique is as long as you frame it in the right way, then there’s a much higher chance of getting that buy in. For example, at clinics or if I ever work with someone one on one, then I’ll explain to them that, that it’s going to take at least eight to 10 weeks to change a habit and replace a habit. So to get them set up long term to frame it that way it works so much better than having them expecting to be able to swim fast straight away. So just being able to frame things in the right way can really make a difference with that. And in terms of this, let’s say the three minute yoga routine for your will that the athletes that you work with, Tom, what are some of the, I guess the basic movements that they go through there and how does it help them warm up for their swimming?

Tom Barton:                       So I always start, this is sort of the physio in me coming out, I get them to test something. So I get them to test either just like a standing streamline or what we call combined elevations that laying on your belly thumbs interlaced and sort of working into a streamline whilst lying on your stomach and to get a baseline. And then they just go through, they do a lat stretch on each side, and they do that for three to five breaths on each side just to open up that aspect of their body. And then they work into a down dog transition to push up, lower down into a cobra position. And they repeat that a couple of times. And then just a high lunge on each side. And it’s, I guess it’s quality. We’re looking for quality movement necessarily over quantity, focusing on connecting good body awareness and breath awareness as they’re going through it.

Tom Barton:                       And again when they retest, they should notice that it’s either going to be easier to get into the position or be it they just feel better and more fluid with the movement. And so you’ve got that, then you’re I think you’re halfway there to getting that buy in that I was talking about earlier.

Brenton Ford:                    That’s such a … I really liked that test. We used to do that at the clinics and we’d test a test everyone there and most people, the average was about one or two degrees elevation. And we sort of looking for about 15, 20% elevation. Is it over 20% that you aim for with the elite athletes?

Tom Barton:                       So [inaudible 00:08:40] sort of traffic, we’ve got a little traffic light system, so we say 15 to … Anywhere between five to 15 degrees, we consider in our sort of ideal range. Anything from zero to five is sort of in the ambo, which is, need some work and zero or below is the red flag needing to address that sort of stuff pretty quickly.

Brenton Ford:                    Yeah, it sets. And when people do that, particularly adult too … I’ve had swimmers who feel like they’re actually quite flexible. But then they do that test, and they realize, oh, there’s a lot that I could actually gain from working on my mobility and that’s a great one just to kind of open the eyes up and show them how stiff that they really are. And I found that position that test is a really good indicator of being able to get into a high elbow catch position quite effectively. And so yeah having routines like that, having ways to actually improve that mobility without your static stretching, having it more active. That’s really, really helpful.

Brenton Ford:                    And I mean you, the way we sort of got in touch was you’ve been putting together an app for swimming Queensland that takes people through these mobility tests and helps them improve on that. Can you explain a little bit more about what you’ve put together there for the swimming Queensland guys and to share the methods and the strategies that you’re using with the Australian swimmers, and how people just everyday swimmers can take that and use it?

Tom Barton:                       Yeah. So the app is designed for the everyday swimmer and it’s basically trying to take the test that I can do with our elite guys and we might do that four times a year. We’ll get them in and we’ll do half an hour to an hour physio session which will be a full physio screening and then exercise prescription. But obviously people don’t have that access or that time necessarily. So the idea behind the app was to create a digital version of both the testing side of things but also the exercise prescription and also the underpinning education that goes along with what we give our elite guys. I basically put the app together because I was seeing with a lot of our senior guys that they weren’t actually getting, like they were arriving at high performance and not having some of the fundamentals that we want to see at high performance.

Tom Barton:                       And then teaching down at the talent ID level and the regional development camps and noticing just generally the skills and the body positions, the coordination that we’re noticing with our 13, 14, 15 year olds was a sort of year on year was getting a little bit worse. So rather than wait till they get to the high performance level and try and fix them, the idea was to create the app so everyone particularly in Queensland gets all of the information that basically I can give in a session with the elite guys. Everyone gets access to that information and also gets access to the ability to test and retest and actually see a visual representation of that combined elevation or the standing streamlined or the high elbow catch physicians. That’s the concept behind it.

Brenton Ford:                    And what’s the name of the app?

Tom Barton:                       The app is called Q Swim. So Q for Queensland and swim. So it was really nice. I’ve been working with Mitch [Larkin 00:12:19] for probably four years now and so he’s sort of come on board and he’s the face of the app. So it was a nice subject to have ’cause he moves really well. All the videos that we’ve got in the app of Mitch and the idea is to test against what we talk about as the optimal position. And it’s sort of the app split screens, a photo that you take with Mitch during the position ideally, and then you can look at exercises of how Mitch does the exercise and you can sort of learn by copying and building your own routines and that sort of stuff.

Brenton Ford:                    Yeah, that’s fantastic. A really simple way to go through it. I did some filming with a physio therapist down here in Melbourne who’s worked with some of the Australian swimmers and just showing some of the tests that you guys do it at that higher level as a physio. And it’s just really good to show where there’s opportunities to move better which can help a lot with body position and catch and pull and it’s one of the things that certainly not focused on much at all for most swimmers, for most triathletes because it’s more just about do your work. You swim, you go up and down the pool, train hard, but there’s often very little focus on how people move. But for many people I think a combination of better technique and being able to move better, there’s a huge opportunity there for 90% of adults who are swimmers and triathletes.

Tom Barton:                       Yeah. I honestly think even though the app was designed for swimmers and junior swimmers and developing swimmers. Like when you talk triathlete and senior swimmers, the bang for buck that you can get by improving those couple of measures is as you can see from a skill perspective, it’s huge, but also if you improve your efficiency, you’re going to start a swimming PBs pretty quickly with not working any harder. Just getting a bit smarter by how you do things.

Brenton Ford:                    Yeah, absolutely. Even with younger kids, I’ve had them at clinics and I’m surprised how stiff many of them are. Just to me my guess is it’s a lot of it is just time on the phone or the iPad or video games where they’ve got very poor posture throughout the day and you see that reflected in the tests and kids who are 10, 11 years of age should be able to do really well in the combined lateral raise test. But I’m amazed how stiff many of them are just from poor posture over a couple of years.

Tom Barton:                       I had a 10 year old earlier today who’s combined elevation was minus 22. So his swim coach sent him through to me ’cause she was saying that he couldn’t rotate very well, but he couldn’t get his arms above his head really. So it’s a common problem and I think from a skill perspective, if you can’t get into the position on land, you’re not going to be able to do it in the water under fatigue and that speed. So, that’s we need to make sure that you can make this shape that we’re asking you to make on land and then it’s going to be transferable into the water.

Brenton Ford:                    Yeah, definitely. And Jeff, in terms of your yoga teaching and running a lot of clinics and teaching this stuff around the world, what sort of time commitment do you find people getting really good results with in terms of integrating yoga into their training?

Jeff Grace:                          I think when you look at it, the greatest result that I’ve seen coming is just whatever consistency is going to be. So a lot of times when I’ve been working with the age groupers, the typical consistency has been two times 30 minutes in a week. And then with more the senior athletes have been working with we’ve been just doing one time a week. But when it’s held consistently throughout the year, I think that you’re seeing great results for both. And when for what I’ve been doing, the majority of it with the younger guys … I shouldn’t say a majority, it’s been both. But with the younger guys, a lot of it is the pre-swim stuff and watching them get out of exactly what you’re talking about, their daily patterning and then getting them into going both mobility wise and then also just activating and body awareness wise has a huge benefit.

Jeff Grace:                          And then with the older guys, the more senior, the training center guys I’ve been working with, we’ve been doing a ton of recovery has been the consistent work and mobility within that recovery. One of the things I was going to say that Tom brought up that I think really kind of differentiates what we’re talking about when it comes to yoga and how this, I guess modality or intervention can be a little bit different than others, is both the breadth and the awareness aspect of it.

Jeff Grace:                          That’s the biggest thing that I’ve found from my coaching days where I used pretty much every modality I could think of. And what separates what I’ve been seeing with the yoga compared to other strength and mobility modalities is that key with the breathing and the awareness aspect. Because you’re doing everything with such great intention and then the connection with the breath, not only the effectiveness of what’s happening when you talk about mobility. But because of that awareness, being able to link movement is … And then being able to link the movement on dry land into the water, I think is so much more efficient, so much more effective when you’re using yoga comparative to other modalities.

Brenton Ford:                    Yeah. It makes a lot of sense because you see, well I see this when I’m doing analysis is there is a huge improvement in swimmers’ speed when they can get the connection from the timing of the catch and the rotation and the kick in when they bring that together. And I guess the more experience people have and the more experienced swimmers that I work with, I see that a lot more than those that are newer to the sport. And it’s quite a difficult thing when you are in the water because you haven’t got the stability of a stable surface, the ground and being able to train that and teach that with it outside of the water, I think yoga is a great way to be able to do it. And with your … Yeah with recovery, how do you use yoga and recovery with swimmers? What’s the process there? How do you get them to do it that way? When do you time it and how’s it sort of look in terms of a session?

Jeff Grace:                          When we look at it for the majority of the people I’ve been working with, majority of the athletes has been coming in right after practice. And I mean it’s usually given about a 15 minute window and just so that the athletes are comfortable and dry and whatnot. And then come in and really look at getting into the mobility aspect in a little bit more active of a way. Not Static right away, but getting into it more active. So keeping the body in that movement orientation and finding different ways of opening into the body that way. But then a big component is that connection with the breath again, because I think that that connection with the breath is going to really help the athletes start to key in on the parasympathetic nervous system. And get that side of the nervous system activated to allow their bodies to really start to relax and let go.

Jeff Grace:                          And I’ve found just being able to dedicate time to that process has developed a greater efficiency and optimization of the recovery process. So there’s that in the way of looking I guess the smaller periodization structure. And when you look at it in the bigger sense, when you get into taper phases and whatnot, it becomes even a little more on the passive side and just being able to understand how the body can release and how you can actually allow the body to you to let go, to give you the ability to recover more optimally.

Brenton Ford:                    Yeah. You notice a big difference in … Well, first of all, if you do the test. You notice a difference from if you do it before a training session after training session ’cause you warmed up and you’re a lot more mobile that way. And with the breath it’s certainly a big one for more beginner to intermediate students to you. I did a video just on how you should breathe when you’re swimming freestyle, just in terms of when you return your head to the water after you take a breath. You want to exhale a little bit through the nose and then just before you turn again to breathe you want to kind of exhale everything. You want to push it all out, and that it’s almost like a vacuum when you turn your head to breathe the air with the sort of naturally fill up and it’s a much easier way than if you either exhale everything straight away and return your head in. Or if you’re just breathing out purely through the mouth. And that that video had a 160,000 views in a week or 10 days or something. And it was just such a basic part of the strike, but I guess it’s something that basically is something that is relevant to a lot of people. It’s just Tom explaining how to not be exhausted when you’re swimming.

Brenton Ford:                    So just being able to relax and control your breathing when you’re swimming is a huge thing for many beginner to intermediate swimmers. And I think that’s why it kind of it resonated with a lot of people in why it got so many people sharing it. Is just that connection with the breath. So it’s a huge thing for swimming particularly when you can only breathe at certain times. It’s not like running.

Jeff Grace:                          Well. Yeah. And I think that, you know what, it’s funny that you talked about it. I’m not sure if it’s the exact same video that you’re talking about, but I was just putting together because I still coach masters in triathlon, a triathlete grouped in Vancouver four times a week. And I was bringing together an email for them to send out in the morning, and I was looking for at one of your videos and it was a breathing one and positioning of breath that I was going to send out. Because especially for the beginners, but I mean when you look all the way through, the not only the breath itself and being able to work with the breath, but then you talk about the mobility aspects. You look at the shoulder mobility, you look at this spine mobility when it comes to being able to position with the breath a lot better.

Jeff Grace:                          And that is obviously a necessary aspect when we talk about that in swimming and efficiency. So I mean it all ties together when you look at what Tom’s talking about with the pre-swim routine and being able to get the mobility, being able to get things open enough. Do you have the ability to get into positions that are going to give you … I’m sorry, I’m just having to walk around this airport a little bit here. I apologize on that guys. But to get into the positions, to have the ability to actually set yourself up for that technical efficiency is a huge thing to you. So I looked at when putting together what you were just talking about it in that video for the communication with my master’s group is talking about the mobility combined with the breathing, combined with how you can actually use all of this in the technical efficiency.

Brenton Ford:                    And you sent me a video a little while ago with a pre-swim yoga routine that I think would be really helpful. So make sure to include that in the show notes at And you’ve also got, yeah … I’ll include that other information as well that you sent through because when we did the podcast last time when she was about, it’s probably a year ago to this day I think. Because I have a feeling that I’ve put it out just before I was leaving for [inaudible 00:25:10] swim camp in Thailand and a number of the swimmers is who came onto that camp, had gone through some of the yoga routines that you’d sent through. And they really enjoyed them. They got a lot out of it. So I think it’d really good to include that.

Brenton Ford:                    And Tom so for the swimmer listening, let’s say you have an adult who’s between 40 and 50 years of age, they want to get better at swimming and they know that they’re quite stiff. What would you tell them? What’s a plan that you can put together for them to begin that process and improve it over the next six to 12 months?

Tom Barton:                       I think consistency is the big thing. So similar to what Jeff said, but if we talk from a pre swim thing, you can package it together with their swim training or their running training or surfing training. If you carve out five minutes and you consistently do five minutes prior to every single session that you do, and don’t worry about just whether it’s serving specific. I’d try and carve out that five minutes for every session. You’ll definitely see gains and it’s really important to do that stuff prior to swimming or prior running or prior to cycling because it puts your body in a better position to then start to optimize your motor recruitment and your skill acquisition and your body position. Which is ultimately what we’re after. There’s no point of people quite often asking me should I do it beforehand or afterwards, but there’s no point in training and then getting into a better position.

Tom Barton:                       You need to get into a position first and then start moving forward from there. Tying into what you guys were talking about with the breathing. Yoga is just … If you’re trying to design something that perfectly encompasses what we’re trying to teach, breath awareness connection, whole body movement, multiplanar movement. It’s a really nice umbrella term for all of that. So we don’t have to label it as Bikram or as a vinyasa or some sort of yoga or you don’t have to do pilate. It’s just like Jeff said, movement with awareness, connecting and breathing. And I really try to encourage all of my clients and all of the swimmers that I look after to breathe through their nose the entire time during that pre swim session because it helps to balance your nervous system.

Tom Barton:                       And when your nervous system’s balanced, you get better mobility without talking about that effortless effort, effortless swimming. You’re looking to find that point where your body and your nervous system particularly is centered. Because when you jumped in the water, sympathetic nervous system’s up, you’re breathing through your mouth a lot. Your heart rate’s going up. So we want to set a good nervous system time when you swim. It’s going to lift up a little bit and then like I said, with the three minute pre-swim routine, if you take that concept and find three minutes at the end of your training to down regulate the nervous system. And again, just by literally lying on your back, close your eyes, breathe in and out through your nose for three minutes, your nervous system is going to find a better balance and you’re going to have a better day and then you’re going to be more receptive to some post mobility work if you wanted to find some extra time to do that.

Tom Barton:                       But ultimately it’s about consistency. Finding the things that work ’cause we’re all pushed for time and that’s where the testing comes in. If you’re carving out five minutes of your day twice a day or once a day, every day, you’re going to know that, that five minutes is being effective. And if you’re not testing it, you’re sort of flapping in the breeze is what I say. Like, you don’t know what’s going on. So the whole the old adage of you’ve got to measure something to manage it. If you’re not measuring, or you’re not testing your streamline or your body positions, you’re not knowing whether you’re actually going to create and you don’t know whether you’re being effective or not working.

Brenton Ford:                    Where can people find the three minute routine?

Tom Barton:                       The three minute routine that’s you can either get that through the app, which is the Q Swim app or you can jump on to the YouTube channel. So it’s Q Swim on the YouTube channel and there’s a bunch of videos in there. There’s the three minute routine. And then there’s a few other things that are exercises that are embedded in the app that people can explore and have a look at. And yeah, the app’s on Google, it’s on the Play Store and the App Store and it’s a $2.99 a month. So I try to make it inexpensive so people don’t even think about the price if for 20 bucks a year they’re getting the same information that the Cat Campbell’s and Mitch Larkin and Ariana [inaudible 00:30:06] are getting on a weekly basis. They’re getting that for a couple of coins a week.

Brenton Ford:                    That’s about one 10th of my daily coffee bill. So it’s pretty affordable. That’s fantastic. And Jeff what’s been working really well for you as a yoga instructor, as a coach? What’s, been working well with the athletes that you’ve been coaching?

Jeff Grace:                          I’m sorry, in what way, Brenton? Or are you just in the way of time and-

Brenton Ford:                    No. Just in terms of what are some of the things that you’ve been doing more of in the past six to 12 months with the athletes that you coach and what are some of those things that you, think would help a athletes out there listening who want to become better swimmers?

Jeff Grace:                          I think one thing just to talk about where Tom left off there on the testing element of it. I think that he’s come up that app is an extremely easy to use and gives you some really great data and information right away. And then it’s set up in a way that you can keep going back and see where your progression is. And with what I’ve been seeing working really well lately and if you look at … When you look at talking about helping someone move through a six months period or 12 month period to really look at developing their mobility, strength and body awareness. One of the things that I’ve been working a lot with the athletes … Guys, I am really sorry here in the airport.

Brenton Ford:                    Sound like you’re on the run.

Jeff Grace:                          Well I am actually because I’ve got people cleaning and they seem to keep following me. Okay. I’m hoping that that got out of the way there and I can be a little bit more clear. So I apologize to you guys and I apologize to anyone listening about that. Now that I’ve finished my exercise for the morning, I think all of the areas that Tom has talked about with opening through when you look at shoulders, spine, through the abdomen, through the hip flexors and the ankles, are all huge aspects that we have had focus on. I think doing a lot of thoracic spine opening too has really helped a lot. I think when you look at that in the way of not only the pure mobility aspect through that area of the body, but when you look at the efficiency of shoulder movement. And something that Tom and I have talked about in just simple direction with swimmers in doing different exercises is also it just … They start to learn how to move through these gaps a lot better and a lot more efficiently.

Jeff Grace:                          And I think that that’s something that I’ve put a huge emphasis on is making sure that the awareness in that area and developing control and having the ability once again, to have the awareness and develop the control through these gaps. And the thoracic spine mobility I’ve found to be a huge, huge difference maker. And then also combining that with hip mobility. So you’ve been doing leading into different stretches/poses where we combine both the hip mobility and the thoracic spine mobility I have found has been a huge thing. I’m sitting in a corner and they came right up to the corner in front of me.

Brenton Ford:                    Make sure you lift your feet Jeff and they come and they clean underneath you.

Jeff Grace:                          I’m going to have to do next. But combining the thoracic spine mobility and hip mobility and there’s a good amount of that in this session that you have that you’ll be sending out to people. And then also another thing is shifting through developing core stability and cross body, a core connection. And then combining that with both ankle mobility and hip mobility. So something that we’ve been playing with that I’ve found has been really helpful. That goes into this gap awareness, the control of that movement, shoulder stability, shoulder mobility is a core stability and ankle mobility is simply moving from a down dog to a high plank or a high pushup position.

Jeff Grace:                          But then taking that into where instead of having the toes tucked, you come onto the top of the feet and you move the shoulders just a little bit for it as well, and then you then press back to your down dog. So you’re moving to that on breath, press back to down dog and then exhale and then you slide forward keeping that connection through this gap, so your entire way. Keeping that core connection and then coming into that ankle mobility. So that’s something that I’ve found when you look at something that’s very simple and something you can do activation wise before getting into the pool, that’s something we’ve done a lot with the swimmers I’ve been working with, along with some of the movements that I talked about. And I can send you some additional resources with the thoracic spine and hip mobility combination as well.

Brenton Ford:                    That would be great. There are some key things that I see working with the swimmers that I do, is often the hip flexes are very tight and the thoracic mobility as well. So that would be great if you can send that through and I’ll put it all on under these podcast episodes show notes. And for people who are looking for more information, so maybe more routines, more yoga routines for swimming. Jeff, what’s the best place to get in contact with you?

Jeff Grace:                          It’s And so my website there has a lot of the articles. I write a series of articles for swim swam, that’s yoga for swimmers and so it’s got a series of articles. It’s got the link to my YouTube channel as well, which is Swimming Specific Yoga that has a number of different videos of short routines as well as some pose, tutorial and educational aspects as well on the website. It’s got to pose database and on the website too, there’s a channel. And so for 15.99 a month, you’ll have access to over 40 yoga classes that are swimming specific and they range anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes. And there’s two new classes that come out each week, one shorter class and one longer class. And with it, one of the things that I wanted to make sure that everybody knew was the connection between what Tom is doing and what I’m doing and the things that we’ve started to collaborate on. The two products work so well hand in hand and I think it can be a huge advantage to anybody to use the two systems combined.

Brenton Ford:                    Yeah. I totally agree. And it’s still within my daily coffee budget. So it’s still not very expensive. And Tom so for the people … Anyone who’s located in Brisbane or surrounding areas, where are they able to go and see you for anything physio related? Do you offer your physio services to people who are not on the Australian swim team?

Tom Barton:                       Yeah, absolutely. Probably 50% of my week is with working with the elite guys. So there’s still 20/25 hours in the week for a general pop and I really, I think a lot of the times you actually get more bang for buck with those guys ’cause quite often they’re more stiff. They haven’t had the time to … They don’t get free physio and all that sort of stuff. So they might have not spent the same amount of time and resources in fine tuning their body and it’s quite often a bit of an eyeopener for those guys that how poorly their body is positioned in some of those swim specific shapes that we’ve discussed already today.

Tom Barton:                       So yeah, I’m just at the centenary pool now, so I’ve just got a studio here. It’s like a yoga studio/a physio studio/gym. And yeah, we’re here probably … We’re here seven, six days a week and then the rest of the time I’ll be out teaching with someone in Queensland or with the app now we’re sort of running regional development camps across the state for the next three months.

Brenton Ford:                    Yeah. And I think it makes such a difference when you go and see a physio who knows swimming. I’ve had … I’ve seen physios who don’t really know much about swimming and their recommendation is take two weeks out and rest. And then I’ve been to people who know what they’re talking about and they’ve actually, they’ve helped me kind of get over some injuries in the space of one to two weeks. Obviously not major injuries, but they’ve helped me stay in the water, keep swimming and basically just manage it and strengthen the areas that needed strengthening.

Brenton Ford:                    And yeah, just going to see someone like yourself who knows all of the intricate details about swimming and the movements you actually go through. If you are having shoulder issues or anything that’s related to something. Yeah, go and see a Tom up in Brisbane and the person is if you that I see down in Melbourne as well. So I have quite a few people who asked me for any physio recommendation. So it’s good to have someone up in that kind of Queensland area that can help with that because boy, there’s a big difference there. And your website, your physio website, Tom?

Tom Barton:                       Yeah. So the physio business, it’s called the Health Collab as collaboration, so c-o-l-l-a-b and then the app website is just So yeah. The idea again for the app is to help everyone sort of upscale. So whether you’re a recreational swimmer or even potentially like a physio that doesn’t have much experience working with swimmers, it’s a nice, easy to upscale, learn a bit about your body, learn different exercises that help. And then potentially if things don’t get better you can come to the physio armed with information and say, I’ve noticed that this tests I’m not very good at and I’ve tried out this exercise, but it doesn’t help. From a physio perspective that would be a dream to have a initial client come in with that sort of information and fixing them would be a very easy thing to do I think.

Brenton Ford:                    Yeah, absolutely. So they come in and say my combined lateral raise is minus 22 and I just don’t know what to do.

Tom Barton:                       Yeah, absolutely. That would be perfect.

Brenton Ford:                    Well thanks so much for being on the podcast Tom And Jeff and I’m sure a lot of people listening will download the app and get on Jeff’s website and combine the two because it’s … I mean I’m 31, but I’m feeling like I’m at least 41 these days just picking kids up and down and I’m feeling a lot older than I was five years ago. And just making sure that you stay mobile and can move properly is something that’s so important. So I appreciate you being on the podcast and I’d love to get you guys on again soon.

Tom Barton:                       Pleasure too. Thanks Brenton.

Jeff Grace:                          Yeah. Thanks Brenton. It’s always a pleasure.

Speaker 1:                           Thanks for listening to the Effortless Swimming Podcast. If you’d like us to help you become a faster, more efficient swimmer, go to


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Amazing swimming and fitness podcast

Love, love, love listening to Brenton and his guests. Always learning something new to add to my swim sets with drills or training sets. Also very motivational guests with great tips to add to your fitness routine. I love the stories of the longer distant swims and what’s involved. I’m always smiling after listening to these podcasts!! Thank you so much !!!!



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Brenton and Mitch were great to work with at the clinic, Good to get video analysis to work on straight away, practice some new drills and go home knowing what you need to work on.

Alex McFadyen