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CoachSuzanne
07-30-2012, 07:51 PM
Things I've been observing in underwater video of all strokes...

-Angle of the propulsive surface (ie palm/wrist/forearm). Where does it face on entry? How is it next positioned? What path does it take? Where is it "released" from the water?

-Flexibility of shoulders. Most elites have incredibly flexible shoulders. How does this flexibility impact the first observation and how should I modify those objectives given the limitations of myself & my students from a flexibility point of view

-The palms. I love watching the palms come out of the water, seemingly hover forward skimming the surface, entering the water usually slippping in, less often splashing in and then watching how the swimmer seems to be waiting (only a fraction of a second) until they can feel a solid surface under the palm before the next movement. I imagine what they are feeling.

-Strength. At this level of competition, strength is evident. Whwere in the stroke cycle is the strength applied? How can I swim with similar grace possessing less strength and full body coordination under that amount of power? Where is my break point where my power (small as it may be) overcomes my ability to maintain excellent form?

All fun things to observe.

swimust
07-31-2012, 07:16 AM
"strength..." - is this a TI post? I guess not ;)

to my humble/stupid opinion strength can change a lot of things.
I.E. - I noticed from above camera in the backstroke style that most swimmers are recovering the arm on the head axis (over the head line) and not on the shoulder axis (vertical line). I tried that in the pool today and it gives a lot of power and fulcrum on entry in water. Its coming from the shoulder but I got tired after few laps doing the "over head" recovery.
I can break the world record doing that and then die happy after a one 25 meters lap ;)

Another "test" that I did today was "Horizontal upper arm HEC".
I managed to hold full laps of HEC at about 5-10* degrees angle of upper arm from the surface of water but I needed much more upper arm strength to hold the pull for a longer swim distance. My upper arm wasnt strong enough to pull hard for more than 20-25 strokes at about 1 sec SR (stroke rate), but I was amazed to know that I can do the HEC just like the professionals. My arm held position.
I played a lot of basketball in the past and shot a lot of over head jump shoots which built my deltoids/rotator cuff. I guess that thats the reason I could do an olympic HEC on my first try. But I have no upper arm strength so my pull wasnt strong enough. The arm and shoulder felt fine with 10* angle.

Thats not TI and I am a serious TI student so I am out of this topic ;)

P.S. - I wasnt kicking at all during the HEC swim. I hate to kick. I only know the toe flick. I wish I had no legs when I swim freestyle.
I dont need them!

terry
07-31-2012, 11:02 AM
What I enjoy about the quadrennial spectacle most is discovering wonderful swimmers I'd not been aware of previously. And sometimes finding they come from unexpected places. Like France. Or Nice.
Yannick Agnel, who thoroughly dominated the powerful group of Park, Sun and Lochte in wining the 200 Free -- and is only 20 years old -- comes from the club Olympic Nice Natation, coached by Fabrice Pellerin, called an iconoclast in this revealing NY Times article "French Savor Swimming Success." (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/31/sports/olympics/french-savor-early-swimming-success-at-the-olympics.html)

The article didn't make clear why he's considered iconoclastic in France. Pecause he's a high-volume oriented coach? I don't know if that goes against the grain in French swimming. One thing is certain, something's working for the Nice club, because Agnel also had that stunning anchor leg on the 4 x 100 relay and another club member, Clement Lefert, was also on that relay.

And finally Camille Muffat, who already won the 400 free and looks like a strong bet to win the 200 Free, swims there as well. Watching those races I thought Camille looked as much like a TI Swimmer as any of the top women in freestyle. Her Ear Hop recovery and Mail Slot entry -- impressively maintained at high rate and full power -- stand out for their elegance in any heat she swims in. While watching the 400 Free final, when Allison Schmitt of the US challenged her at 300m, I felt fairly sure that Muffat would hold her off, because her steeper entry better converts 'inherent' power to applied power than the flatter entry of Schmitt.

As for Agnel, he's tall - 6'8" - and rangy, not powerful. So he must rely on being able to move his long limbs and body at fairly high rate, and get his forearms in a high-traction (EVF) position immediately upon entry. It's a body and stroke type even better adapted to 200m than 100m.

newbie2012
07-31-2012, 12:57 PM
One interesting bit of trivia that I've heard on French TV, is that Agnel never switched to swimming with the full suits (when they started being used some years ago), but continued with "classic" style (that is used today as well after banning full suits)

newbie2012
07-31-2012, 01:29 PM
Because he's a high-volume oriented coach?

Seems like the daily training means two 2.5hrs sessions, 15-16km swim per day, gym workouts every two days, trainings sessions every day of the year Sundays included with just a couple days off overall.

Talvi
08-11-2012, 06:49 AM
Besides the "deformed" muscle masses of the swimmers: http://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/s720x720/422315_4304933269682_934350991_n.jpg

- and that isn't photoshopped - the thing that I did NOT notice was the swimmers using the two beat kick (in freestyle) ... anyone have an explanation of why not ?

Richardsk
08-11-2012, 09:29 AM
See Suzanne's reply to my post in the backstroke forum 'Can I have lats like that?@

Talvi
08-11-2012, 10:53 AM
See Suzanne's reply to my post in the backstroke forum 'Can I have lats like that?@

re Suzanne's reply to you, bowing similarly I'd want a feel :D

... but anyone got/seen any remarks re: 2-beat kick v. what the elite swimmers do (is it 6-beat?)?

Richardsk
08-11-2012, 11:13 AM
Hi Talvi

In the sprint events they all (nearly all?) use a six-beat kick. In the backstroke Ryosuke Irie uses a kick that looks like a two-beat with extra miniature kicks. In the 1500 most of the men use a combination of four-beat for most of the race and six-beat for the final sprint. Usually, in the 800, there will be some women who use a two-beat. I believe Becky Adlington uses a six-beat throughout and I think Katie Ledecky does, too, but will have to wait until video footage becomes available to be sure. Pellegrini is basically a two-beat kicker in distance races but I think she uses a six-beat for the 200.

Video footage of the London Olympics has not yet appeared on youtube as far as I know and may well not appear if the copyright holder has other plans for the footage.

Richardsk
08-11-2012, 11:26 AM
I found this video, which seems to show, if I am right, that Ledecky is using a combination of two, six and four-beat kicks in the early stages of the race.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUU2LVGahWw&feature=related

Talvi
08-11-2012, 11:49 AM
I found this video, which seems to show, if I am right, that Ledecky is using a combination of two, six and four-beat kicks in the early stages of the race. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUU2LVGahWw&feature=related

Interesting Richard. So how does all this fit in with the TI "theory" that the kick contributes almost nothing to propulsion?? On the one hand it's a minor thing for me as I'm not interested in speed but on the other it's of great interest to me because it relates to the "feel" of the water while kicking. Understanding what's really happening helps me learn/relearn/modify perception etc etc I "feel" I do get significant propulsion (sometimes anyway) from kicking. So for me kicking more often or less often is not really the issue but whether kicking contributes to propulsion. TI posts etc I've read suggest it doesn't contribute but if it doesn't then why do elite swimmers kick, and why so much? It should be a waste of energy....

CharlesCouturier
08-11-2012, 04:03 PM
The leg kick does not contribute to propulsion in longer distance events, regardless of if it's swam in a pool or open water.

However, a compromised body position (ie compromised balance) will have a negative impact on one's distance per stroke (it's obvious right?).

At that level, the level of pressure put early into one's catch has a detrimental impact on balance. Therefore, it is fair to state that whilst your leg kick can not contribute to propulsion, it does contribute to maintaining a proper balance, which in turn has a favorable impact on distance per stroke.

Richardsk
08-11-2012, 04:29 PM
I read some interesting stuff recently from Brent S. Rushall, an Australian sports scientist based in San Diego. Basically he says the same as Charles. The kick does not provide propulsion but helps to counterbalance vertical forces produced by the arms and thus maintains good alignment.

A search under his name will lead to lots of interesting stuff.

borate
08-11-2012, 04:48 PM
I read some interesting stuff recently from Brent S. Rushall, an Australian sports scientist based in San Diego. <snip> The kick does not provide propulsion but helps to counterbalance vertical forces produced by the arms and thus maintains good alignment.

A poor kick may counter forward propulsion. Novice swimmers often report that they move backwards when simply kicking, owing to incorrect foot positioning, excessive knee bending or perhaps ankle inflexibility.

Talvi
08-12-2012, 06:34 AM
Amazing replies guys, thanks! That all adds up to me. re the catch, I've been reading the article on Emmett Hines' site called The Dreaded Dropped Elbow. Although the temp in the lake is plummetting here 17'/62' I'm still eager to test it out as I'm sure my elbow is well dropped!

swim2Bfree
08-13-2012, 02:56 AM
So how does all this fit in with the TI "theory" that the kick contributes almost nothing to propulsion??

The leg kick does not contribute to propulsion in longer distance events, regardless of if it's swam in a pool or open water.

This is obviously not true, when stated as a general proposition.

CharlesCouturier
08-13-2012, 04:33 PM
This is obviously not true, when stated as a general proposition.

"The question here is whether the front-crawl swimmers should use it (the leg kick) for propulsion or simply as a stabilizer. Adrian, Singh and Karpovich (1966) have provided the most provocative information concerning this matter. They measured the oxygen consumption of 12 competitive swimmers while they were kicking only, pulling only and swimming the full stroke. They reported that swimmers used nearly four times more oxygen when kicking only than they did when pulling only. The oxygen requirement was 24.5L when they kicked at a speed of 3.5ft/sec, compared to a requirement of only 7L when they pulled at the same speed. These results are supported by the work of other researchers as well (Astrand 1978; Chrbonnier et al. 1975; Holmer 1974), all of whom found that kicking caused a considerable increase in the energy cost of swimming.

These data present a persuasive argment that **middle distance and distance swimmers* should reduce their kicking efforts to conserve energy during their races. The energy requirement of kicking is disproportionately large relative to the additional propulsion the legs can provide. Therefore, it seems advisable to reduce the effort from the legs to the minimum required for support and stabilization during middle distance and distance races. In doing so, swimmers will delay fatigue so that they can swim faster average pace the entire race." (Ernest W. Maglischo, 2003)

If by General Statement you meant in the context of flat out sprinting effort, then I obviously agree that this statement may not apply.

swim2Bfree
08-13-2012, 07:30 PM
If by General Statement you meant in the context of flat out sprinting effort, then I obviously agree that this statement may not apply.

No, I mean it's obviously not true when stated generally about distance swimmers. If it were, then all elite distance swimmers would use a light 2-beat kick for stabilization. Even a cursory observation of elite distance swimmers (both pool and open water) shows that some swimmers use 6-beat kicks that contribute materially to their propulsion, even at marathon distances.

Of course kicking increases the energy cost of swimming. But it doesn't increase the energy cost equally for all swimmers. Isn't that obvious? Human bodies are different. Some people are more energy-efficient kickers than others. Maglischo is saying that on average the propulsion provided by kicking is not worth the energy cost. He is not saying this is true for all swimmers. And he is certainly not saying that (as you stated) "The leg kick does not contribute to propulsion in longer distance events."

CharlesCouturier
08-13-2012, 07:36 PM
No, I mean it's obviously not true when stated generally about distance swimmers. If it were, then all elite distance swimmers would use a light 2-beat kick for stabilization. Even a cursory observation of elite distance swimmers (both pool and open water) shows that some swimmers use 6-beat kicks that contribute materially to their propulsion, even at marathon distances.

The only reason which forces d.swimmers to kick more than the ideal (which remains 2bk) is that the tremendous level of pressure put early into their pulling stroke breaks a balance that would otherwise be good enough for a 2bk.


Of course kicking increases the energy cost of swimming. But it doesn't increase the energy cost equally for all swimmers. Isn't that obvious? Human bodies are different. Some people are more energy-efficient kickers than others. Maglischo is saying that on average the propulsion provided by kicking is not worth the energy cost. He is not saying this is true for all swimmers. And he is certainly not saying that (as you stated) "The leg kick does not contribute to propulsion in longer distance events." Listen, I'm truly sorry that I shocked you with my statement. I'm even a bit surprised that you take it this way. The beauty, is that you're certainly not forced to believe in anything I, or anyone else is writing.

I definitely agree with both Maglischo and TI on this topic, as it's been what I've observed over the last 18years of coaching, ie most people having a sound pulling mechanics are literally faster when swimming long endurance sets with a pull buoy. It's as simple as that. Maglischo does clearly state, if you re-read his quote, that this recommendation applies to all, with no single exception.

Obviously though, these recommendations apply to those having a sound technique (Maglischo has observed elite swimmers, not age group or masters). There's a lot of data that suggest that several distance recreational swimmers are faster full stroke compared that with a pull, and that even over longer distances. My personal take though is that these swimmers would benefit in:
1. Improving their balance
2. Improving their pulling mechanics

Again though, you certainly don't have to believe me.

WFEGb
08-13-2012, 10:22 PM
Hi Charles,

just a remark from an unknower: When I realize that a Marathon runner is running 42km in a 400m-pace that I could just run once in my fittest (long ago) years. I think at that level (some 10sec difference after a 10km swim) energy wastage more or less with a 6bk to get an additional "sprint drive" might just make these tiny differences, in cause of technique this wastage might not be put into the stroke itself.

That's nothing against Maglischo's energy statements.

Regards,
Werner

ian mac
08-14-2012, 02:02 AM
Ah, a debate between 2 of my favourite posters, Charles & swim2Bfree!

My fellow countryman Ryan Cochrane ( silver at these Olympics in the 1500) has often stated that the 1500 is becoming a "sprint". The changes in physiology, training and approach from even 2003 to now are significant. When the great Olympian Dara Torres started her first comeback in the early 2000's, her coach at Stanford, Richard Quick told her after her first workout, "Dara, we don't swim like that any more".

Terry himself will acknowledge that things are always evolving and we constantly need to revisit what we know. I think that both of you have made great observations, and neither is completely right or wrong.

As a student of swimming and an older distance swimmer who is currently training with my training partner Michael to both surpass the current FINA All Time Top Ten of 18:30.71 in the 55-59 age group, we are always playing around with different approaches and theories in order to improve.

During this journey, and while enjoying your debate, allow me these observations:

1. A six beat kick allows for more propulsion and the cost/benefit will be dependent on the individual swimmer.

2. The current fastest 1500m swimmer Sun Yang takes just one kick coming off the breath, completes two small flutter kicks and then snaps just one kick to get to the breath again.

3. The great distance swimmer and coach Rick deMont states, "the best swimmers figure out the minimum amount of effort that they need to produce in order to get the maximum effect...If a task at hand requires a certain amount of force, it would be foolish to expend more energy than necessary...Many swimmers use too much force to do the dance, that is why they die before their time...each swimmer has a different pull to kick power ratio depending on his or her individual strengths...the bottom line is that what gets an athlete there the fastest is the best."

4. Mindful practice (smart trial and error) will prevail. That's why we do the swimming.

ian mac (a mostly, for now, two beat guy).

CharlesCouturier
08-14-2012, 02:20 AM
Ian, I'm so flattered ;-)

I was pleased with Ryan's results and was amazed by the level of fitness he displayed.

I'm also pleased that you could achieve such a good level of performance with your swimmer. It's a great thing to design a training process that includes monitoring etc. It's even better to see that we hit the target!

You know, I've never said any of these things, so far:
1. 2bk is superior
2. One should try to race using a 2bk
3. It should be every swimmer's goal to rely solely on a 2bk

I'd just like to remind everyone about the tech suit adventure we recently went through. Again there, a suit was producing a lift effect (suits can not contribute to propulsion right?). That slight lift effect was enough to contribute to increase speed, and in some cases in quite a drastic way. Same thing with the triathlete. A wet does not contribute to propulsion. It does contribute to 0% in increase in propulsion. But it makes most athletes faster, as a result of cutting on drag.

And anyway, I can count on the finger of one hand, the male swimmers that could impress me in achieving a perfect body position feeding on a 2bk whilst racing. No. 2 hands. But not anymore. Most benefit from a 4-6bk, and I'm talking just to pass the balance test. +, I agree with the member that mention about the fact that a light 6b isn't that energy consuming. I even question the use of a systematic 2b if it makes you slower over a 40k (ie, a Grand Prix Event, where you're there not to prove a point, but to earn your living). If a 4b makes you faster, the energy cost isn't high enough to live without it imo. But all the time, I'm thinking drag cut, not propulsion.

Dad and the son in the canoe. Dad in the front. He generates 57sec/100m worth of thrust. Son sitting back generates 1:45/100m worth of thrust. I'd like to know. Will the canoe be faster when they both paddle?

Ken B
08-14-2012, 04:29 AM
I loved the racing but the video clip most useful to me was of Lochte in the warm down pool concentrating on keeping his hips high, at first an easy swim and then some high hip thrusts. It was an aha moment for me, a must try harder. My pool swims since have totally focussed on floating and high hips. It feels great. In the process I find to my amazement that I can almost achieve a starfish in fresh water, something I'd given up on.

Ken

swim2Bfree
08-14-2012, 05:26 AM
The only reason which forces d.swimmers to kick more than the ideal (which remains 2bk) is that the tremendous level of pressure put early into their pulling stroke breaks a balance that would otherwise be good enough for a 2bk.

I don't follow this logic. But anyway, not even Sun Yang - who I think we all agree has the most TI-esque stroke among elite swimmers - uses a 2-beat kick in the 1500m. He does a 4-beat with a 3/1 rhythm.

In the Olympic men's open-water 10K, the gold medalist Ous Mellouli used a 6-beat kick for the entire last 30 minutes of the race.

The great American distance swimmer of a few years ago, Larsen Jensen, switched to a strong 6-beat kick for the full 1500, at the behest of his coach, Bill Rose. He subsequently broke the American record.

At the amateur level, the winner of this year's Manhattan Island Marathon Swim used a strong 6-beat kick for the entire 7.5-hour swim.

Why would these swimmers do this - and why would their world-class coaches encourage them to do it - if there's no benefit to more than 2 kicks per cycle?

Listen, I'm truly sorry that I shocked you with my statement.

The only thing I'm shocked by, is that the notion that there's a single "ideal" stroke for all swimmers, is one that is taken seriously by anyone.

Maglischo does clearly state, if you re-read his quote, that this recommendation applies to all, with no single exception.

Maglischo's book is a coaching manual with generalized recommendations, not meant to be mindlessly applied to every single swimmer at all times. And in this case, the recommendations are based on data from, let's see: 1966, 1974, 1975, and 1978. For the study Maglischo describes in greatest detail (Adrian et al., 1966), the sample consists of 12 swimmers.

Sorry, but I'm not convinced.

I do agree with TI that a light 2-beat kick is best for novice swimmers, for whom balance and drag reduction are the lower-hanging fruit. Further along in their development, some of these swimmers may discover they have powerful, energy-efficient kicks, and may benefit from developing a 4- or 6-beat style.

swim2Bfree
08-14-2012, 05:44 AM
Ian, I appreciate (as always) the wisdom in your posts. Especially this nugget--

1. A six beat kick allows for more propulsion and the cost/benefit will be dependent on the individual swimmer.

-- which I think was the point I was trying to make, but you stated it much more eloquently.

For what it's worth, I do a 4-beat (3/1 rhythm) for anything longer than 400m, and a 6-beat for <400m.

CharlesCouturier
08-14-2012, 08:16 AM
I can no longer add any more argument as most of what you bring here, is already answered somewhere in my two last posts. It's all there. You may re-read the last one in particular. It's long I know, but you'll see that we're essentially saying pretty much the same things. I'll try to edit it to make it easier to read.

Trying to write smaller posts has been a big challenge for me, I'll try to perform better at this in the future.

I guess the last one could be summarized the following way:
- Tech suits among other phenomenons brought to our attention how much a bit of a lift effect could translate into better performances
- I've never said, not even once that kicking more could not improve performances
- More importantly, I've rarely seen a male freestyler being able to race on a 2bk. Most need more to achieve decent balance.

In other words, you're constantly challenging me saying that kicking more than 2bk can benefit to some swimmers, and this and that and individuality. I've never claimed otherwise. I've never seen any other way of performing a 4b than using the 3/1 paradigm (Ian, this is related to your mention about the two little flutter kicks that Sun is taking), and most of the time, those 3 beats occur at the moment the swimmers need to breathe, so...

I truly don't think that a 4bk is propulsive anyway. It's design implies adding more lift at the back of the stroke whilst the swimmer is breathing, ie needs more lift at the back of the stroke. Like I answered Ian, Ryan Cochrane is probably faster using a 6bk, and so that's why he does it. As for the OW swim, again there you need more lift. In fact, nothing could be worst than open water swimming without a coach along side you to handle direction matters, on balance. The suit helps (techsuit), but that doesn't cancel out the negative effect of having to sight all the time.

**edit**
For my own curiosity, I had a second look at the men's 1500 in London 2012, I'm yet to see the systematic use of a 6bk during that event. Most males, and it doesn't come as a surprise, do use a 4bk. Both Cochrane and Mellouli sometimes display a funny 4b with cross over action, it's typical. To an untrained eye, it looks like a 6bk, but it's the cross-over effect during the 2bk portion of the cycle that gives this impression. So Swimmers and coaches may be stating that the 1500 has changed, and that it is more and more similar to a sprint event, but as of now, at a high level, swimmers still use a leg kick that I consider non propulsive.

I haven't taken the time to look at the 400. There I'd expect more 6b kicking patterns.

Stay well

http://www.ctvolympics.ca/videos/channel/obs2/watch/swimming-finals-5746.html

swim2Bfree
08-14-2012, 10:00 PM
You know, I've never said any of these things, so far:
1. 2bk is superior
2. One should try to race using a 2bk
3. It should be every swimmer's goal to rely solely on a 2bk

In that case, it seems I misunderstood when you previously said:

The leg kick does not contribute to propulsion in longer distance events, regardless of if it's swam in a pool or open water.

And again when you later said:

The only reason which forces d.swimmers to kick more than the ideal (which remains 2bk) is that the tremendous level of pressure put early into their pulling stroke breaks a balance that would otherwise be good enough for a 2bk.

But we certainly agree that:

Ryan Cochrane is probably faster using a 6bk, and so that's why he does it.

While the kick doesn't provide propulsion for most distance swimmers, it clearly does for some.

Cheers.

CharlesCouturier
08-15-2012, 01:30 PM
I see what the source of this confusion is then.

By *ideal*, I really meant the basic definition of this word, ie " A conception of something in its absolute perfection."

I would distinguish *ideal* from *utopian* though. Utopian would mean an ideal that no one could reach.

By reviewing my posts, you probably noticed that I also mentioned at several occasions that it's very rare see a male swimmer capable of achieving a good balance relying solely on a 2bk in racing. As such, I do recognize that most males do prefer adding a touch of support whilst breathing, which then translate into a 4bk, which is the pattern used by most swimmers making the final in London 2012 over the 1500 (including Ryan btw).

Talvi
08-15-2012, 04:17 PM
*raising hand timidly at back of classs*
err, great posts guys, wow,

Dad and the son in the canoe. Dad in the front. He generates 57sec/100m worth of thrust. Son sitting back generates 1:45/100m worth of thrust. I'd like to know. Will the canoe be faster when they both paddle?
The answer, to what is probably a rhetorical question, is definitively yes, not a lot, but it depends. I think the formula is that for a given drag coefficient resistance increases with speed so that extra power will increase speed (rather than accelaration). However if delivery of the extra power changes the drag coefficient of the canoe (by raising or lowering the rear of it for instance) then that additional "power" may also decrease or increase the canoe's speed "disproportionately" up or down relative to the initial drag setup. My mechanics A-level was over 40 years ago and this is only approximate. I'm rusty! The 1966 data set and results seem not to have been overturned though so I'd assume there are sound?

Swim2Bfree's points on the other hand seem to me to relate to records and athletes. My fault as that's where my question originated but they train relentlessly to change themselves from having an oar to having a whale fin, and to be able to use it! Seems to me they have power to spare. Most of them barely looked out of breath at the end of a race. If kicking more could deliver them an extra 100th over 1500m then they'd take it. Seems to me though that if Sun Yang doesn't find the extra kicks help then that's a clue isn't it? *off to try and find video"

Personally though I am in the non-athelete world. Finding efficiency (cost benefit) is all, and speed and distance are just by-products. Come to think of it though it's the same for fish ! :D If I can put the energy I use for my legs into something that gives me more bang for that buck that's where I'll put it, which is what Charles post seems to definitively show. The way I see it from the above exchange is that the pro-swimmers may not have quite the same equation. Their fuel tank is bigger and they've got afterburners. For me (fwiw as I'm probably in a tiny minority here) I only get fit because I swim (and ski). I like skiing and swimming and the more I do them the fitter I get and the fitter I get the more I can do these things that I like doing. It's always about the enjoyment and never about the training. I'd take being a sprat over being a salmon anyday. The more lazily I can swim the better :)
Trying to write smaller posts has been a big challenge for me, I'll try to perform better at this in the future.
I know the feeling, but you write really interesting stuff Charles :D Thanks!

CharlesCouturier
08-15-2012, 05:40 PM
*raising hand timidly at back of classs*
err, great posts guys, wow, You're definitely welcome!

The answer, to what is probably a rhetorical question, is definitively yes, not a lot, but it depends. I think the formula is that for a given drag coefficient resistance increases with speed so that extra power will increase speed (rather than accelaration). However if delivery of the extra power changes the drag coefficient of the canoe (by raising or lowering the rear of it for instance) then that additional "power" may also decrease or increase the canoe's speed "disproportionately" up or down relative to the initial drag setup. My mechanics A-level was over 40 years ago and this is only approximate. I'm rusty! The 1966 data set and results seem not to have been overturned though so I'd assume there are sound? My main concern in regards to this rhetorical question, is that if the forward speed maintained by Dad rowing is faster than the speed at which the Son can paddle backward, then there's a chance that every time the Son presents his paddle to the water, drag resistance made by this paddle ends up increasing.

The application of this enigma applied to swimming is quite simple. As some of us know, we're faster over 1500 wearing a pull compared to performing the same distance full stroke.

Swim2Bfree's points on the other hand seem to me to relate to records and athletes. My fault as that's where my question originated but they train relentlessly to change themselves from having an oar to having a whale fin, and to be able to use it! Seems to me they have power to spare. Most of them barely looked out of breath at the end of a race. If kicking more could deliver them an extra 100th over 1500m then they'd take it. Seems to me though that if Sun Yang doesn't find the extra kicks help then that's a clue isn't it? *off to try and find video" Voilą. Sound observation. If kicking more could grant them these extra 100th of a second over 1500, then you'd see more 6-beat kick in the men's 1500 Free final swam last week.

Obvsiously, it is not the case on the clip I referred too earlier.

Personally though I am in the non-athelete world. Finding efficiency (cost benefit) is all, and speed and distance are just by-products. Come to think of it though it's the same for fish ! :D If I can put the energy I use for my legs into something that gives me more bang for that buck that's where I'll put it, which is what Charles post seems to definitively show. this is what Both Science and TI says. And I agree to this.


At this point is really worth to again listing a few important milestones:
- Tech suit. Took several people by surprise didn't they? How can the increase in speed shown among several swimmers wearing these be explained? Cut in drag, period. Unless anyone believes that a suit can generate propulsion?

- 2bk, biomechanically speaking, it's obviously the ideal to reach. But very few males swimmers are actually capable to rely solely on 2bk to race. It's been like that for what seems to be ages now.

- 4bk, it's a kicking pattern that offers a good compromise for those swimmers that need a bit more support whilst breathing.

- Working on your 2bk improves the 4bk. Working on the 6bk improves the 4bk, as the later is merely a combination of the two formers.

- The speed at which an elite swimmer could move forward relying on a 4bk alone (with a kicking board) probably won't exceed 2min per 100m. As such, I doubt it could be qualified as propulsive.

I'll tell you about a little anecdote in the next post (to keep this one short)

CharlesCouturier
08-15-2012, 06:10 PM
Anecdote

I'm currently working with a national level swimmer (he has his standards at the 200m free, therefore around 1min55). So not your super star swimmer, but he certainly knows how to swim right?

I'm working with him for producing my DVD, I'm using him as a model to demonstrate drills and stuff. Well, my initial contact with him saw me becoming worried as to the fact of actually being able to teach him these drills within a month!!

Here that's attempting the single-arm drill:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGJGHbUgIfQ

Conclusion: Balance is not that good right? Lower body is, well, low. That, is spite of a head position that is kept very very low, so much so that he often ends up having water over his head.

I then asked him if he sometimes works on his 2bk, his answer was : "What's a 2bk?". Elite, national level.

The point I'm trying to make is that balance is a constant preoccupation for most male swimmers. This guy on the clip merely has 5% body fat.

I think the *traditional coaching* field does not insist enough on the importance of better exploiting balance, and that's why I persisted in this thread in spite of having been challenged quite hard.

Talvi
08-15-2012, 07:40 PM
Balance is not that good right? Lower body is, well, low. That, is spite of a head position that is kept very very low, so much so that he often ends up having water over his head.
I then asked him if he sometimes works on his 2bk, his answer was : "What's a 2bk?". Elite, national level.
The point I'm trying to make is that balance is a constant preoccupation for most male swimmers. This guy on the clip merely has 5% body fat.

... yeah rubbish :D but err assuming that some of us (me!) don't get it would you persist a bit more here?

I've got a pretty similar body shape/type to your coachee, abdomen sucks in when stretching. On the other hand I see Sun Yang, Terry Laughlin, and Martin Strell as having a similar sort of "barrel" shape body. I have no visual proof but it feels like I have water over my head quite a lot too. I try to keep my head low (lasers etc balance etc), and sometimes feel I'm diving more than swimming! I think that for me as I tire this tends to be unnerving. My breathing begins to feel too close to the water, as if I am almost swimming under water. This feeling diverts my concentration from what I'm doing and towards my breathing. It's a vicious circle which I try to counter by relaxing and slowing down (from a crawl! sic) ... but how might practising the 2bk help and could you suggest ways to practice doing this?

That one arm drill looks good, and I began to do a sort of "side-stroke on one side from time to time to get back into a feel for "floating" breathing, going with the water rather than fighting against it sort of a thing. I noticed that sometimes my kick in that feels "useful" in that, but people say you need to take care your kick is compact so ..... Sometimes I become aware that I'm not actually using my legs at all, just dragging them along!! Crazee :D

Found this on Youtube re Sun Yang: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBkzItqN1dg&feature=watch_response
No need to go into the editing suite now :)

CharlesCouturier
08-16-2012, 12:52 AM
Found this on Youtube re Sun Yang: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBkzItqN1dg&feature=watch_response
No need to go into the editing suite now :) I'll try to be back tomorrow to answer your questions.

But for now I couldn't help but noticing something cool in your clip. Do you notice anything special in the way Sun Yang kicks?

A clue: straight in line with our debate (propulsion vs drag).

Richardsk
08-16-2012, 06:50 AM
The most unusual thing I can see is that he sometimes kicks twice in succession with the same leg. Possibly the opposite foot makes a small counterbalancing movement but a very small one. I find his kick hard to classify. It has features of the two-beat but it is not a pure two-beat and it seems to me that it isn't a pure four-beat either although it's more four-beat than two-beat. On his final sprint it is surely a six-beat but I don't think there's any underwater footage of his final sprint.

He enters his turn with a dolphin and does one dolphin off the turn. his feet turn in very noticeably, which of course is orthodox.

I would guess that his kick is more propulsive than the commentators seem to think. The Australian commentator on the Shanghai swim describes him as just trailing his legs and the English commentator for the BBC in his Olympic swim stated that his kick was just for balance. I'm sure that fore-and-aft balance is the main purpose of his kick but I do think he gets some forward momentum from it too. Since the stroke is a complex thing it is almost impossible, I would say, to tell how much propulsion any part of it provides.

Paltrinieri and Kis seem to me to have fairly classic two-beat kicks, although they may add in some extra flurries to make a four-beat from time to time. There never seems to be enough underwater footage of Cochrane but mostly he seems to be using a fast four-beat. He has a much higher turnover than Sun, which perhaps suits his physique. His kick is also much more of a straight leg kick than Sun's. Sun has quite a pronounced knee bend on the up stroke of his big kick, while the little kicks seem to be more like the TI toe flick. Cochrane is nearly as tall as Sun but not as muscular - rather the wiry type. The competition with Sun is obviously beneficial to him! The American record isn't bad although I'm sure he would have preferred an Olympic gold.

Richardsk
08-16-2012, 06:59 AM
Here's a link to footage of Paltrinieri winning the European Championship with Kis in second place. Commentary in Hungarian,

There's some good underwater footage of Paltrinieri's kick.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OV_10f1qv_U

Talvi
08-16-2012, 08:41 AM
I'll try to be back tomorrow to answer your questions.
But for now I couldn't help but noticing something cool in your clip. Do you notice anything special in the way Sun Yang kicks?
The first thing to me is that it was a lot like watching Shinji. It just looks so b****y beautiful! Ok, I'll bite! It looks to me as if there are two patterns of his kicking that overlay or interweave with one another. One is the 2bk and the other a flutter. I'm thinking the flutter is to make his legs flatter, and I'm wondering if that relates to his changing head position etc after taking a breath. I see the 2bk part as "soft" and fishlike. It looks to me like he bends at the hip, moving his thigh downwards in synch with his arm pulling back, his knee relaxed so that his lower leg just trails behind with his foot at the surface rather than pushing his shin downwards as some of the others in shot do. He then staightens his hip and knee with his ankle as a totally relaxed extension in a sort of flicking movement, a lot like a fish really (except that fish have double-jointed knees so do it in both directions)!

Looking at the beginning of butterfly races (and Richards clip of the Paltrinieri race), when the swimmers hit the water they swim with both legs in this "Sun/Shinji flicking" dolphin/merman manner for quite some distance. It looks fabulous, and it looks to me that there is a lot of power being delivered. (When I try to do this the result is so hopeless I have to be careful not to burst out laughing underwater! :D )

p.s Usein Bolt is also barrel shaped.

Here's a link to footage of Paltrinieri winning the European Championship ..
There's some good underwater footage of Paltrinieri's kick.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OV_10f1qv_U

Starting at 0.57 in the clip, he ONLY kicks with his left leg and hardly even with that! Amazing!!

CharlesCouturier
08-16-2012, 09:03 PM
The first thing to me is that it was a lot like watching Shinji. It just looks so b****y beautiful! Absolutely awesome indeed! (btw, is bloody a bad word? I use it extensively, should I be careful?).

Hey, before talking about Sun, I want to raise both Swim2bfree and Ian's attention on the kicking pattern displayed by Ryan Cochrane (lane 2). That's the 2b crossover I was referring to earlier, and which could easily be confused with a 6bk when we look at it from outside water.


Ok, I'll bite! It looks to me as if there are two patterns of his kicking that overlay or interweave with one another. One is the 2bk and the other a flutter. Yep, and this is what most would refer to as being a 4bk. A 4bk is nothing more than a 2bk that doesn't work well enough to be a true 2bk. Every once in a whilst, the swimmer is firing the flutter kick, most of the time it happens when the swimmer is breathing.

I'm thinking the flutter is to make his legs flatter...

...and I'm wondering if that relates to his changing head position etc after taking a breath. That assumption is a fair one.


I see the 2bk part as "soft" and fishlike. It looks to me like he bends at the hip Ahah, this is where I may beg to disagree.

This sort of kicking reminds me a young fly specialist. He would display a fly kick (with a board) having almost no body undulation. He'd kick very flat on the water. Huge knee bent. He would literally position his feet to be able to push water backward as much as possible. Used to work for him.

Some have compared his kicking action with Shinji's (or, was it you?). Well, the thing that strikes me in this regard.... These kicks he gives where he really bends at the knees, these *major* kicks (not the minor ones), they seem to occur slightly before, or pretty much in the same time as his body weight shift. Don't you think? Especially the shift from left to right.

Anyway, it's awesome I find. Very productive kick. And I may be tempted to believe, that every once in a whilst, there could be a kick or 2 that end up contributing to the propulsion (ie, those who occurs at a moment in the stroke where the forward velocity is at its lowest peak, combined with a strong kick pushing a lot of water backward etc...). But that, I'll really believe when we're fortunate enough so that someone somewhere finds time and $$ to test all this scientifically.


Starting at 0.57 in the clip, he ONLY kicks with his left leg and hardly even with that! Amazing!! I'm going to have to analyse this!!! OMG, have we found a male for whom the 2bk seems enough? So much so that he sometimes relies on a 1bk??

swim2Bfree
08-17-2012, 07:26 AM
I want to raise both Swim2bfree and Ian's attention on the kicking pattern displayed by Ryan Cochrane (lane 2). That's the 2b crossover I was referring to earlier, and which could easily be confused with a 6bk when we look at it from outside water.

Maybe once or twice Cochrane doesn't complete a full 6 beats, but it's a stretch to call that a 2-beat crossover. Possibly the slow motion video is deceiving. It's a 6-beat kick. There was lots of good underwater footage of Cochrane in the London 1500m prelim. Again, clearly a 6-beat kick.

I had trouble finding good video of a 2-beat crossover, but here's one example (by a decidedly non-elite model):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbl5K_i_0yQ

Richardsk
08-17-2012, 09:08 AM
I have just watched the heats of the 1500 again on the BBC web site, which is still available here but probably not in the US or Canada for copyright reasons, and I can state categorically that Cochrane is not using a six-beat for most of the race. I think he uses a six-beat into the wall but otherwise he is using a four-beat (actually often it looks like a three-beat to me if that is possible). It would be nice to see it in slow motion. It doesn't look like a crossover to me. I can't see any crossing of the ankles.

Paltrinieri, in his heat, was using a two-beat most of the time and, as Talvi pointed out, it is almost a single beat kick. His left leg kicks and his right leg just moves with the hip. He does occasionally add another little flick that makes it technically a four-beat, I suppose. His last fifty meters was swum with a four-beat as far as I could see. He was so far ahead of the other swimmers that he probably could have stuck to his two-beat.

CharlesCouturier
08-17-2012, 01:33 PM
I have just watched the heats of the 1500 again on the BBC web site, which is still available here but probably not in the US or Canada for copyright reasons, and I can state categorically that Cochrane is not using a six-beat for most of the race. I think he uses a six-beat into the wall but otherwise he is using a four-beat (actually often it looks like a three-beat to me if that is possible). It would be nice to see it in slow motion. It doesn't look like a crossover to me. I can't see any crossing of the ankles.

You're right Richard, and S2BF. I confused him with another swimmer.

Here, classical example of a 2bk with cross over, but displayed by a swimmer that's not ryan. See between minute 0:25 and 0:32, swimmer wearing a blue-ish jammer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBkzItqN1dg

Talvi
08-17-2012, 03:50 PM
btw, is bloody a bad word? I use it extensively, should I be careful?.
Can never be too bloody careful I find ;)

Ahah, this is where I may beg to disagree.

not sure where Charles...
It looks to me like he bends at the hip, moving his thigh downwards in synch with his arm pulling back, his knee relaxed so that his lower leg just trails behind with his foot at the surface rather than pushing his shin downwards as some of the others in shot do. He then staightens his hip and knee with his ankle as a totally relaxed extension in a sort of flicking movement
Check 1:53 dead. I see his hip bending, say 20-30', but I guess the point is that he must maybe "more consciously" bend his knee rather than his hip? (His hip is lower than his foot at this point of maximum flex, otherwise his foot would be waving at his mum).

Some have compared his kicking action with Shinji's (or, was it you?).

Guilty as charged
Well, the thing that strikes me in this regard.... These kicks he gives where he really bends at the knees, these *major* kicks (not the minor ones), they seem to occur slightly before, or pretty much in the same time as his body weight shift. Don't you think? Especially the shift from left to right.

Absolutely :) I just think this sort of fishflick kicking links so beautifully well with the side spearing. After seeing it in Shinji it prompted my questions on kicking. It just all looks "right" somehow.

There's something else I find intriguing and it relates to Emett Hine's article on the Dreaded Dropped Elbow. Sun's elbows seem to me to bend in an amazing way. First the hand on his spearing arm angles down 45'. Then he breaks his elbow, his forearm sweeping quickly downward while his upper arm remains flat and pointing forward. Then, rather than moving his elbow down more than the say 15cm (6" in old money) into the water that it already is, his body is by that point turning and rising so he brings his still vertical foream and hand back almost along his stomach, bending his elbow towards his feet and finally pushing back with his hand just before his arm fully leaves the water. His elbow looks like it's double jointed in some angles compared to the other swimmers.

Anyway....... can I claim a prize ? ;) If so ...... :

I'll try to be back tomorrow to answer your questions.

for instance:


I've got a pretty similar body shape/type to your coachee...I try to keep my head low (lasers etc balance etc), and sometimes feel I'm diving more than swimming ... but how might practising the 2bk help and could you suggest ways to practice doing this?
:)

CharlesCouturier
08-17-2012, 06:40 PM
for instance:

Your question was in regards to my coachee, referred to in a clip on which we demonstrate the single arm drill.

I wrote, this kid has a very poor balance. I mentioned about teaching him the 2bk. The main purpose in teaching him the 2bk was to improve his 6bk in fact.

If you notice by looking back at this clip, the kid seems lost in his 6bk pattern. That's, I believe, because he has no hierarchy in his 6bk. No major vs minor kicks. Normally, a 6bk is timed exactly as a 2bk (ie, opposite kick in relation to the hand that just entered) but + 2 minor kicks per half cycle.

This is very difficult to achieve when you've spent most of your life kicking out of synch, unless you're good at music (or beat). He's not. So I thought that teaching him the 2bk could teach him how to synch the major kicks.

It turned out to work very well. I saw him again yesterday, and everything was under control. His balance looked awesome in fact.

Now with that aside. I think there's still some benefits to earn in learning the 2bk, in regards to your preoccupation. At the moment, there remain a chance that you could be over kicking to counter balance issues. And that becomes more apparent when you limit the involvement of the flutter kick to the bare minimum.

Some people are both a) breaking the balance too much and b) kicking too much. Without lowering element b, it's hard to realize element a).

A few recommendations to improve a 2bk, now be aware that I'm not a TI coach, and that to some extent I acknowledge the superiority of TI coaches in teaching what is the official way of kicking applied to Freestyle. The training system to which I belong discourage beginners to tackle on the 2bk before first having a sound 6bk. So it goes against TI values I believe (I'm a tourist here, not working, not a coach, just a big mouth).

Here's my approach:
First, learn like kids do. Try to put the pieces together without even aiming at booking full lengths of the pool. Why always wanting to cross the pool. Instead, set up in a quite place, that allows you for say, 10-15m of swim. Push off the wall to experience your best possible balance, then try to put the 2bk robot pieces together. Do not hesitate to wear a front snorkel, it's a great swim aid for focusing on this sort of work

Then, I like to use the Freestyle pulling / simulatenous flutter kick action (ie, something that looks like butterfly kicking, minus the undulation). It teaches you to output one kicking impulse every arm pull.

I also like the Band-Around drill, but I remember endless debates with a TI-Coach that would span over months and months... At that time, the Band-Around was definitely on TI's No-No list. This drill involves restricting your own kicking by wearing a rubber band around the ankles, no pull buoy. Try to swim and survive this way. Great drill for balance, but I definitely respect the fact that if TI has a valid replacement for this one, you should go with TI.

Then to me, the ultimate way of perfecting your 2bk is definitely to mimic Shinji. He displays a technique which I used to call Hide-the-foot back in the 80s, when I was too working on this sort of stroke. I'd play holding 1:30/100m perpetually whilst never exceeeding 11 strokes per 25m using a 2b hide the foot kick. As soon as a foot kicked, it must come up hiding itself below the other foot. That's your perfect streamline exercise. I still teach this in fact to some of my people.

Again though, take these words for what they are, those of a passionate and enthusiastic blogger that loves to chat, maybe more than he should...

Ref: Band-Around drill: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpXgRyc6r1U

It's easy to imagine that the subject on this clip, once you remove the band, will easily achieve an optimal balance relying solely on a 2bk.

(again, if it goes against TI values, pretend you've never ever seen this LOL. It's certainly not your quite mindful sort of drill, it's more of a torture. It fits my masochist temper perfectly! I love to see em drown)

Talvi
08-17-2012, 09:37 PM
Thanks Charles,

Do not hesitate to wear a front snorkel, it's a great swim aid for focusing on this sort of work

1) Is this the front snorkel you're referring to: http://blog.swimator.com/2011/12/how-to-breathe-with-swimmers-snorkel.html ?


Then, I like to use the Freestyle pulling / simulatenous flutter kick action (ie, something that looks like butterfly kicking, minus the undulation). It teaches you to output one kicking impulse every arm pull.

2) Does this train the same thing as the band-aid drill ?


As soon as a foot kicked, it must come up hiding itself below the other foot. That's your perfect streamline exercise.

3) Are the legs after a kick then resembling the hands in the hand-on-hand streamline position ?

swim2Bfree
08-17-2012, 10:34 PM
I see what the source of this confusion is then. By *ideal*, I really meant the basic definition of this word, ie " A conception of something in its absolute perfection." I would distinguish *ideal* from *utopian* though. Utopian would mean an ideal that no one could reach.

I'm familiar with the definition of ideal, but I disagree that a 2-beat kick should be described as such. Ideal for whom, and for what purpose? If very few - not even Sun Yang, who is as close to achieving perfection of the crawl stroke as anyone we've seen - use a 2-beat kick in racing, how can it be ideal? The few who do use a 2bk in racing - e.g., Paltrinieri, Janet Evans, Laure Manaudou - compensate with extremely high stroke rates.

Actually, utopian seems much more apropos.

2bk, biomechanically speaking, it's obviously the ideal to reach.

Would you expand on this? What is biomechanically superior about a 2bk than a light 6-beat flutter with the same energy cost?

I think the *traditional coaching* field does not insist enough on the importance of better exploiting balance, and that's why I persisted in this thread in spite of having been challenged quite hard.

I think you're right.

Working on your 2bk improves the 4bk.

I agree. And this is where I think a 2bk is most useful for those (like me) who are most efficient with a 4bk or 6bk - as a balance drill.

CharlesCouturier
08-18-2012, 01:43 AM
I'm familiar with the definition of ideal, but I disagree that a 2-beat kick should be described as such. Ideal for whom, and for what purpose? If very few - not even Sun Yang, who is as close to achieving perfection of the crawl stroke as anyone we've seen - use a 2-beat kick in racing, how can it be ideal? But he tries, he definitely does. Sun only kicks more than twice per cycle when he feels in need too (and that's very often). His erratic semi-random kicking pattern, especially when looked in slow mo, seems to suggests this.

Swimmers at that level have thousands of sensors all around their body. These sensors are providing them with live feedback, on speed variation, on drag resistance they may feel on any part of their bodies, and obviously on balance (how well they float). Sun seems to rely a lot on these sensors, which probably explains some weird gestures he seems to display, e.g. strange weight shifts, kicking actions that vary *a lot* based... on the demand.

The few who do use a 2bk in racing - e.g., Paltrinieri, Janet Evans, Laure Manaudou - compensate with extremely high stroke rates. Very well said, and I do agree here. Not that they *compensate* but that usually females, who often display higher sr but also that often display better balance, due to a better proportion of body fat all across their body, are more successful using a 2bk.

A lot of female do use this approach. I'd qualify Shelley Taylor Smith as Mrs 2bk, the queen among all.

I mentioned being uncomfortable with your use of the word compensate though. In most cases, the demand for pulling stroke rate is determined by a bunch of factors such as the Ape Index, the arm span, the psychological profile, etc... If you're born to stroke at 90, then so should you. Ask this to Scott Nedelli, or David Davies. And by the way, Scott Nedelli stroke at 90-94 over 3.8k (swam under 45min open water) and still shows a 6bk.


Would you expand on this? What is biomechanically superior about a 2bk than a light 6-beat flutter with the same energy cost? A foot is not designed for efficiently flutter kick. It's very difficult to push water backward when flutter kicking.

And even if you do, for every cubic inch of water evacuated backward, you have probably 5 inch of water pushed downward. So it's very very difficult for you guys to try and prove any propulsion effect over long distance, other than performing this very simple test: Get a swimmer to perform 1500m flat out with a pull buoy. Then the same without. If the swimmer is faster with a pull, then forget it. Kick doesn't contribute to propulsion, it's quite the opposite in fact isn't it?

I did send an enigma in the air earlier. Dad in the front of the canoe, capable of paddling to get the canoe moving forward at a speed of 57sec/100m. Son sits in the back. Alone, he can hardly get the canoe to move at a pace of 1min50/sec. Will the canoe be faster if Dad paddles alone, or when they both paddle?

Then the other great benefit of a 2bk, is that if you indeed need a higher stroke rate to win your gold medal, 2bk will only require one kick per pull stroke. A perfectly timed 6bk requires no less than 3 times the kicking rate. If Shelley had made the choice of relying on a 6b for a bit of propulsion, since she was racing at 88, it would have required an astonishing 260k per minutes.

Well, the ideal I guess would be to not have to kick at all. The foot is not well designed for flutter kick. But this is the utopia I was referring too.

One thing that strikes me in your question, is that you're opposing the 2bk with a gentle 6bk. Obviously a gentle 6bk is not propulsive right?

I think it's the key words in this whole post. Opposing a *gentle* (therefore not propulsive) 6bk to a 2bk.

Why on earth, would you want to kick 3 times more, even if every kick is gentle. Why?? If you can achieve the same with a 2b.

I agree. And this is where I think a 2bk is most useful for those (like me) who are most efficient with a 4bk or 6bk - as a balance drill. Absolutely, and there's a very good reason for this: Kicking as little as possible remain an ideal. But since you can not reach it, persist in trying to get closer. If you're faster over 1500 with a 6bk all the way, then I'd say your technique may not be sound, otherwise you'll probably be doing the same thing as most male swimmers, ie relying on a 2b for half a cycle, and a 6b for the other half. The ideal is to rely on 2b for all, a 4b being a compromise.

There's a good reason why these 3 beats occur while you breathe you know?

If kicking more is to provide with more propulsion, then it would be a coincidence that the 3 flutter kicks, most of the time, occurs to support during breathing?

Remember. A wetsuit is likely going to make you faster over a longer distance. And it itself, it generate 0% propulsion. Drag is a big thing, and kicking during a ld event is mostly aimed at cutting down on drag, which will translate into faster swim times.

swim2Bfree
08-19-2012, 04:31 PM
I mentioned being uncomfortable with your use of the word compensate though. In most cases, the demand for pulling stroke rate is determined by a bunch of factors such as the Ape Index, the arm span, the psychological profile, etc... If you're born to stroke at 90, then so should you.

Absoutely - I agree! I didn't mean "compensate" in a negative sense.

I'd qualify Shelley Taylor Smith as Mrs 2bk, the queen among all.

Indeed, Shelley is the model for the "swinger" style at that other site we're not allowed to mention here on the TI Forum. There's some good footage of Shelley in her prime at the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyNTUuCIY4w Of course, Terry does not acknowledge this as a valid way of swimming.

Get a swimmer to perform 1500m flat out with a pull buoy. Then the same without. If the swimmer is faster with a pull, then forget it. Kick doesn't contribute to propulsion, it's quite the opposite in fact isn't it?

I'm not a strong kicker (especially over distance), but I'm about 2 seconds/100m slower with a buoy, unless I'm fatigued and riding extra-low in the water.

Why on earth, would you want to kick 3 times more, even if every kick is gentle. Why?? If you can achieve the same with a 2b.

Because the light 6bk provides more consistent lift at slower stroke rates. In my experience, the threshold is about 60 strokes/minute. Lower than 60 SPM, there's just too much of a dead spot with only a 2bk.

Kicking as little as possible remain an ideal. But since you can not reach it, persist in trying to get closer. If you're faster over 1500 with a 6bk all the way, then I'd say your technique may not be sound

Or, your body type is such that you're a very strong, energy efficient kicker and relatively weak puller. I know, because there really are swimmers like this! They're faster with a 6bk because they're great kickers!

CharlesCouturier
08-19-2012, 07:07 PM
Or, your body type is such that you're a very strong, energy efficient kicker and relatively weak puller. I know, because there really are swimmers like this! They're faster with a 6bk because they're great kickers!

And obviously, that other website would refer to them as kicktastics, kindly inviting them (through dedicated teaching/training) to convert into swingers.

I understand a little better why you seemed disgusted by my original proposal. Note that Scott Neydeli also happens to be faster FS compared to with a Pull. He has a propuslive leg kick in other words, as clearly demonstrated by this very simple test (FS vs PB performances). He doesn't display a typical 6bk, I think he's missing a kick, but yet, at > 90spm race pace over 3.8 (sub 45min), that flutter kick is fairly impressive.

Would you qualify your technique as sound? Being slower with a pull buoy over 1500m, you're comfortable with the situation? I'm not arguing at all here, just want to see how other people think about all this.

CharlesCouturier
08-19-2012, 07:10 PM
Indeed, Shelley is the model for the "swinger" style at that other site we're not allowed to mention here on the TI Forum. There's some good footage of Shelley in her prime at the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyNTUuCIY4w Of course, Terry does not acknowledge this as a valid way of swimming.


Oh I know Shelley, raced against her, almost drove her rental car into a shopping center wall whilst testing it for 0-60mph (I didn't account for distance it would take to stop the car).

She does an *excellent* job in preventing footage of her being posted on Youtube...

Shelley did win some international races *overall* (thus beating all males). In 1991, she won the Final World Cup overall I believe (again, thus beating all males).

So I doubt anyone on earth be in a position to criticize the way she swims. Her stroke encompasses swim philosophies etc...

swim2Bfree
08-19-2012, 08:07 PM
And obviously, that other website would refer to them as kicktastics, kindly inviting them (through dedicated teaching/training) to convert into swingers.

Not necessarily. Kicktastics (as defined by the site-that-shall-not-be-named) have flawed technique. This seems to be the nub of our disagreement: Having a strong kick -- and being faster by using it, even over distance -- doesn't imply flawed technique. It is a valid way of swimming, for people with certain body types.

One of my favorite examples is Abby Nunn, who won this year's Manhattan Island Marathon Swim in the most dominating performance since, well, Shelley Taylor-Smith. She used a strong 6-beat kick the entire swim. She swims that way because she's faster that way. And she has beautiful technique, as you can see in this video:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=4033918763956 (unfortunately, not viewable by non-Facebook members)

She would probably be classified by SS as a "refined swinger" (albeit one with an unusually strong kick). Her 1500m speed is about 17:00, and she can keep it up for a long, long time.

Would you qualify your technique as sound? Being slower with a pull buoy over 1500m, you're comfortable with the situation?

I'm always striving to improve, but... yes? It's all relative I suppose. I've never really considered whether being slightly slower with a buoy is desirable or undesirable. That's just how I am, and how I've always been.

So I doubt anyone on earth be in a position to criticize the way she swims. Her stroke encompasses swim philosophies etc...

Indeed. (btw, I think you mean "transcend" rather than "encompass"?)

Talvi
08-20-2012, 09:51 AM
.. Abby Nunn, who won this year's Manhattan Island Marathon Swim ...has beautiful technique, as you can see in this video: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=4033918763956 (unfortunately, not viewable by non-Facebook members)

I'm on FB but can't access the vid. :( May be due to her privacy settings?

borate
08-20-2012, 02:46 PM
I'm on FB but can't access the vid. :( May be due to her privacy settings?

Did you actually LOG IN? Until I did it wouldn't display the video. USA.

Talvi
08-20-2012, 08:42 PM
Did you actually LOG IN? Until I did it wouldn't display the video. USA.
:D THANKS, I wasn't sure how to reply ;)

CharlesCouturier
08-20-2012, 08:59 PM
Still doesn't work for me though... :confused:

swim2Bfree
08-20-2012, 09:20 PM
OK. I managed to extract the Abby Nunn video from Facebook and put it on YouTube. It should be totally public now.

Enjoy. She's one heckuva swimmer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVPu8cs4SCo

Talvi
08-21-2012, 07:01 AM
I slowed down the Abby Nunn clip to get a closer look as her kick too seemed to look like an overlay of patterns... major kicks (on arm entry) and minor ones (in between)?

The only way I could find to share it was also to get it posted on Youtube.
http://youtu.be/pMKgZwSrqko
Hope that's ok S2BF ?

swim2Bfree
08-21-2012, 06:11 PM
I slowed down the Abby Nunn clip to get a closer look as her kick too seemed to look like an overlay of patterns... major kicks (on arm entry) and minor ones (in between)?

The only way I could find to share it was also to get it posted on Youtube.
http://youtu.be/pMKgZwSrqko
Hope that's ok S2BF ?

It's not my video, so I suppose it's not my permission to give! Sorry for the poor quality of the video. I'm afraid slowing it down only makes it worse!

I think most "real-life" 6-beat kicks are less than robotically precise.

CharlesCouturier
08-21-2012, 07:34 PM
I slowed down the Abby Nunn clip to get a closer look as her kick too seemed to look like an overlay of patterns... major kicks (on arm entry) and minor ones (in between)?

The only way I could find to share it was also to get it posted on Youtube.
http://youtu.be/pMKgZwSrqko
Hope that's ok S2BF ? What you're describing is actually how a 6bk should be thought, or done. Otherwise it's kind of hard to synchronize your 6bk correctly.

Talvi
08-22-2012, 07:48 AM
What you're describing is actually how a 6bk should be thought, or done. Otherwise it's kind of hard to synchronize your 6bk correctly.
Good to know Charles. Thanks.

Also wondering at her unbent elbow when it recovers (out of water) and how her foot (on the major beat?) starts out of the water (the big splashes) ... Any thoughts?

CharlesCouturier
08-22-2012, 09:31 AM
I don't like that foot for sure. Not as much because it's popping out, but more because before doing so, it's seems to be goinging way outside the hole that's created by the body moving through the water. Therefore it could be creating drag, which is sad, and that regardless of the resulting performance. In other word, if that's the case then the outcome could have been even faster. As always, a leg that opens too wide was easier to notice on the slowmo version. That said, I am pretty sure we don't have a clue about the true impact of feet popping out of the water.

Straight arm recovery is very typical, there's nothing new here and not much to be said about, especially among open water specialists of all kind (swimmers, triathletes).

swim2Bfree
08-23-2012, 04:10 AM
A discussion of Abby's technique may be interesting, but is beside the point. My point in mentioning her was: Here is someone who uses a propulsive 6-beat kick for extremely long distances, and appears to be highly efficient with it. Such swimmers do exist, and disprove assertions that the kick cannot propulsive over long distances.

DD_l_enclume
08-23-2012, 05:40 AM
Charles,
Like Talvi, I also wonder what is "Hide-the-foot" ?


3) Are the legs after a kick then resembling the hands in the hand-on-hand streamline position ?

Is that right ?
can you explain a bit more please ?

marry
09-22-2012, 07:38 AM
Hello Every Buddy! I Belive That Trainings sessions every day of the year Sundays included with just a couple days off overall.I have also heard that
Agnel never switched to swimming with the full suits......:o

CharlesCouturier
09-23-2012, 05:28 PM
Charles,
Like Talvi, I also wonder what is "Hide-the-foot" ?

Is that right ?
can you explain a bit more please ?

Bah, never mind this I was wrong.

When I first saw Shinji swimming, I was sure that he was performing some hide the foot, ie the name I used to give to a particular element I've mastered in the past that pertains to 2bk. As soon as a foot had finished kicking, it would immediately move back up, hidden under the other foot, hence hide the foot. Both feet would touch each other here...

But I don't think this is TI specific. I believe Shinji gets close to this naturally as a result of an excellent balance/body rotation. I couldn't see the same characteristic with Terry's stroke. Therefore I think it is of little relevance...

Talvi
09-24-2012, 11:40 AM
Thanks Charles, I am guessing your "hide-the-foot" is to do with streamlining?

p.s. as I am just struggling to learn "TI", the finer points of what is TI and what is not escape me at the moment. I gaze at Terry's limpid blue pool, shimmering in the heat of the midday sun, and remember swimming in Jamaica. Hmm. I swim in a pretty cool (both temp and view!) lake, so I find most of the drills tricky to "relax into". I have to keep moving, not drown, and find things that I can do to get to the feel of "TI" before hypothermia sets in! :D
p.s. Is the site-with-no-name": "S**m S****h" ? And why is it banned here? Because of conflicts of interest or....?

borate
09-24-2012, 01:57 PM
Thanks Charles, I am guessing your "hide-the-foot" is to do with streamlining? Is the site-with-no-name": "S**m S****h" ? And why is it banned here? Because of conflicts of interest or....?

I don't believe that a "ban" has been issued, but simply a caution that these forums should concentrate on TI. It is, after all, funded by that organization.

Other enterprises run similar boards where it is more appropriate to comment on their techniques.

CharlesCouturier
09-24-2012, 02:28 PM
Thanks Charles, I am guessing your "hide-the-foot" is to do with streamlining?

p.s. as I am just struggling to learn "TI", the finer points of what is TI and what is not escape me at the moment. I gaze at Terry's limpid blue pool, shimmering in the heat of the midday sun, and remember swimming in Jamaica. Hmm. I swim in a pretty cool (both temp and view!) lake, so I find most of the drills tricky to "relax into". I have to keep moving, not drown, and find things that I can do to get to the feel of "TI" before hypothermia sets in! :D Hmmm, don't you have access to a pool?


p.s. Is the site-with-no-name": "S**m S****h" ? And why is it banned here? Because of conflicts of interest or....? Yes it would be, although I want to make clear that though I have strong affinities with this group, I still have my own works, created a concept in 2011 which promotes values that are compatible with SS, without necessarily being a copy/paste. So I, Charles Couturier, speak on behalf of my own thoughts, hence why I feel good here. If I was a certified SS coach (which I'm not yet, it's due for 2013), I don't think I'd be bold enough to be here trading tricks etc...

My own concept is called the Swim Training Day. It promotes values that are incompatible in some regards with that promoted by TI, but that really doesn't matter. I won't bother you guys with these too much. I'm certainly not looking for some clientele, I am not about to travel to the US with this concept, which is almost boring compared to TI. The Swim Training Day core business is to organize hybrid seminars, a full day, in which people do swim more than in any other concept. As simple as that.

In spite of having recorded several clips where models are wearing a SS bathing cap, all that I've done so far has been in the context of my own concept.

OK. Now that we cleared this question, I believe that the reason why it's important for anyone tied to a different system sharing different values should be careful here on TI-Forums is simply that you guys are committed to a Process that we don't even totally understand. It's a complete learning training system, so deep that you'd need to become certified on it in order to become fully significant issuing advices etc...

So we're certainly not talking conflict of interests here, as much as noisy advices that could come in the way of your progress with TI. For instance both SS and I think it's preferable to develop a 6bk (in the context of your full stroke) *before* developing a 2bk. This strongly conflicts with TI I believe. If I knew how TI teaches the whole kicking progression etc, I'd be in a better position to issue advices around this.

Because it's clear in my mind that the limit over which I can not go, would be to try and convince you that it's better to develop a 6bk before a 2bk. That would be - in my book - a severe lack of respect toward TI method. If you see me making this sort of bad calls, please do advise as it's not my goal.

swim2Bfree
09-24-2012, 05:13 PM
p.s. Is the site-with-no-name": "S**m S****h" ? And why is it banned here? Because of conflicts of interest or....?

Here's the thread (http://www.totalimmersion.net/forum/showthread.php?t=3030&page=8) in which SS became the site that shall not be named. It makes for good reading. As I recall, Terry started deleting any posts that included links over to that site. Which I think may have had the opposite effect of what he intended, lol.

CharlesCouturier
09-24-2012, 05:39 PM
Here's the thread (http://www.totalimmersion.net/forum/showthread.php?t=3030&page=8) in which SS became the site that shall not be named. It makes for good reading. As I recall, Terry started deleting any posts that included links over to that site. Which I think may have had the opposite effect of what he intended, lol.

Wow so many great ideas expressed in this discussion though, which I will not read entirely as it would be pointless. I am amazed by how some members have decided to ignore (literally) this debate over which system works best, and decided to simply combine the 2.

Anyway, fantastic thread, great great statements issued such as this one here which I really *love*

Since probably most of us in these forums are TI oriented, we probably have a certain bias. While I am definitely a TI advocate, when it comes to fast swimming I enjoy the comments of the great swimmers and coaches as well to learn new things. Watching Ryan Lochte and Sun Yang, Michael Phelps, Grant Hackett and others on You Tube, or reading David Salo, Rowdy Gaines, Jim Montgommery et al is of very great value.

During a workout earlier this year, I noticed an extremely fit man with rather poor technique muscling his way through a typical tri-athlete, empty headed set. When I attempted to mention a TI oriented principle regarding stroke length to him( he was taking 26 SPL to my 14), he rather dismissively mentioned how he preferred the Swim Smooth approach. Given that I am 15 years his senior and swim about 12 sec faster/100m with less effort, I though it odd that he felt that his was the better way. Curious, I checked out Swim Smooth and while I felt that there were a few interesting tid-bits to learn from, THERE WAS NO SOUL.

What has been significant for me is that TI is not just about technique, but the complete approach to learning to be better. While SPL and SR are very significant, the "raison d'etre" of TI is about Kaizen, which to my mind goes far beyond math and technique and incorporates a sense of spirituality that goes far beyond anything I learned from Swim Smooth.
Ian Ian, you are one heck of a smart man. Cheers.

CoachSuzanne
09-25-2012, 09:40 PM
Bah, never mind this I was wrong.

When I first saw Shinji swimming, I was sure that he was performing some hide the foot, ie the name I used to give to a particular element I've mastered in the past that pertains to 2bk. As soon as a foot had finished kicking, it would immediately move back up, hidden under the other foot, hence hide the foot. Both feet would touch each other here...

But I don't think this is TI specific. I believe Shinji gets close to this naturally as a result of an excellent balance/body rotation. I couldn't see the same characteristic with Terry's stroke. Therefore I think it is of little relevance...

We do a 2BK progression that does involve "covering" one foot with the other, I call it "toe tapping" because that's what it feels like to me.

While swimmign, the foot on the same side as the arm that is extended is nearer the surface adn "covers" the opposite foot so that the are touching. This prevents the same side foot from sinking as that hip rotates twards the bottom of the pool. It remains in a place of leverage for the next kick...no lifting up is needed as the foot is already there.

I learned it from Terry, I don't know where he learned it from or if it was an observation of his own swimming...but it's an effective way of further streamlining the 2BK

terry
09-26-2012, 01:32 PM
I was in LA recently, doing a Coach Certification Course with Suzanne in Van Nuys. While there I swam with a very popular open water group in Santa Monica. There were about 80 people and I enormously enjoyed swimming with them. Prior to the swim, the head coach of the group took questions. One - which he raised himself - was "Is there an advisable way to kick when racing in open water?" He answered himself, saying essentially 'No.' In fact he said 2-beat, 4-beat, 6-beat, even 8 beat or 2-beat crossover are all equally good options.
As Charles notes we advocate unambiguously for the 2BK - for reasons I've expressed elsewhere. But when I hear someone way "any kick is as good as any other" I think what's unsaid is "I don't know how to teach 2BK (or perhaps the skills for any kick) but don't want to admit it."

As with other aspects of the stroke, we have a process for teaching 2BK that is specific and detailed -- and works with great efficacy and consistency. When working with a student who already has good balance but lacks the coordination and kinesthetic awareness for the 2BK, we can often get them doing a 'serviceable' 2BK within 10 minutes. Tuning that basic version to really high effectiveness is a process that can continue for years. I devoted most of the spring this year to tuning my 2BK to be more compact/streamlined and to rely more on weight shift, not quad muscles. It paid off significantly in my races during the summer.

Later this year we will publish an ebook with embedded video that explains and shows the process.

PS: When coaching the sprinters at West Point from 1996-99 I just as unambiguously believed in the 6BK as most efficacious for them . . . and devoted many hours to tuning it to deliver the max propulsive power with the least cost in energy and power.

terry
09-26-2012, 03:53 PM
My own concept is called the Swim Training Day. It promotes values that are incompatible in some regards with that promoted by TI, but that really doesn't matter. I won't bother you guys with these too much. I'm certainly not looking for some clientele.

Charles
You've got me curious and I encourage you to start a new thread to describe the principles underlying your concept
1) No worries about being thought to be 'trolling for customers.' Rather it might be grist for stimulating discussion.
2) Rather than anticipate incompatibility, wouldn't it be interesting to look for potential for aligning principles. TI principles can be applied quite flexibly. No rigid diktats here.

CharlesCouturier
09-26-2012, 05:38 PM
Charles
You've got me curious I am flattered then, should I be? (lol)


and I encourage you to start a new thread to describe the principles underlying your concept Bahhh, it's not worth it. It's a very modest concept which acts as a vehicle more than anything else.

Before introducing it, let us issue a few fair assumptions over which I think we all agree:

1. The traditional path to produce swimmers, ie club coaching is kind of dragging its feet at the moment. Swimmers are coached as a single unit, as a group. There, the *traditional* world performs very well I'd say. However, every individual swimmer is a bit scarified along this process, unless you're fortunate enough to be in the 4-5 coache's pet.

I've witness one video-session occurrence last year, within the elite club (varsity level) in the U where I also coach. And that was above water views only. To the best of my knowledge, no swimmers receive private coaching as part of this process. This is how I believe that the traditional path is dragging behind.

2. Yet, it's the traditional path the still produces the fastest swimmers on earth. So if we assume that the *proof is in the pudding*, we - ie the new path to produce swimmers, still have a thing or two to learn from the traditional process.

So. In other words, the coaching level displayed by Total Immersion, as far as the individual swimmer is concerned, is better than the traditional counter part. But yet, there are values that are transmitted from generation to generation, through this traditional path, which is still responsible for producing the Sun Yang of this world.

I personally sit between two chairs. And that's usually where I feel best. I've learned most of my job through the traditional path. I've discovered, first through TI (Late Ian Smith) the existence of this new path. Couldn't believe what I had discovered. Never would have ever thought that some day, that many great resources would be made available for someone that can't even hold 2min per 100m.

I know you've asked (long long ago) yourself the same question as my Swim Training Day concept is putting forward: What makes a swimmer a swimmer. How can someone that starts swimming at 29yo can close the gap with those who started at age 9. Is this even possible? If so, how? What happened to the body (and soul) of this swimmer that began at age 9?

The best answers I could come up with are:
1. Exceptional feel for water
2. Superior (I mean, out of this world!) flexibility
3. Great proprioception
4. Superior swim specific muscle development


Note that element #4 is just another way to describe what you refer too as neural adaptation, or nervous system adaptation. You, at TI, do address this a lot. I mean a lot a lot.

So our Swim Training Day concept tries to promote values that are in line with aforementioned 4 categories.

Feel for water. You will eat sculling drills when you attend a Swim Training Day. I think advanced level reaches a volume of 1.2K of sculling. 600m for beginners.

Flexibility. How many very serious adults swimming lovers, do seriously stretch? I mean home? Dara Toress, a 50m fs specialist (for God's sake) did commit to an extraordinary hard Stretching program for her return in 2000. Here we have someone who's fast twitch / slow twitch proportion reaches 70%. She knows how to swim. Is she more flexible than all of the readers here on TI? Probably. But still. This is what she believed in for her return. 2-3 hours of stretching .... *per day*.

And there you are folks, stretching only every once in a whilst? Makes no sense to me.

Sure fins will stretch your ankles. But they assume that you go to the pool! Why not simply using Finis' Rack and stretch these ankles home, every day!

Swim Specific muscles. How do swimmers get there? Repetition. I'm sorry, but blogging won't grow your lat muscles (or won't develop your nervous system's ability to engage these muscles). Repetitions remain the best bet for that!

Etc etc...

And the activity choice, the vehicle for all this, the most important service offered by the Swim Training Day, is simply a full day long seminar. Video feedback is kept to minimum (75min per person, no slow down, no burning a dvd, nothing as such). I like to believe that this concept is the one that promotes swimming the most. There are 2 90min slots (AM and PM) for practicing what is taught during 2 60min slots (again AM and PM).

So that's 5 hours of swimming in total. The remaining 2 hours are spent stretching, chatting, playing back clips etc...

Beginners (1-2) intermediate (1-2) and advanced (1) for 5 lanes in total. No more than 4 swimmers per lane. therefore an empty lane for video. We are 3 coaches generally, 1 for video, 1 for overall, and me.Beginners typically swim 5k that day.

So for beginners, it's often the first occasion to finally swim perpetually. They may show up with a PB of 400m before being forced to stop, and leave with a PB of 1k (continuous) as part of a 5k long session. This is where I believe this concept could clash with what TI promotes, as I don't perceive you guys as encouraging a beginner to book 5 k of work in a day.

People will try tools, such as fins, although I personally hate these. So I won't insist. They're being introduced to training on Tempo, as owning a tempo device is mandatory for this day.

So if it does clash with TI in term of values that are promoted, it could be all these elements borrowed from the Traditional world of swimming. I'm teaching my NAD (No arm drill), which is based on the 6bk. Etc...

Since water temperature is not always ideal, and that it's a long long day, I can not spend as much time as I'd like with beginners improving balance. Very few buoyancy exercises etc... But I'm still fine tuning this aspect. Etc...


1) No worries about being thought to be 'trolling for customers.' Rather it might be grist for stimulating discussion. Bah for now it's a local concept. It's a Training Day. It's 100$ for the day, so very modest. In fact Terry, as you know, I'm working to become certified for real seminar business. And I've created my Training Day concept to be compatible, and not in competition with other concepts. In other words, one of your swimmer could follow a TI seminar on Saturday, then come and practice in a Training Day on Sunday. She'd be allowed to swim the TI stroke, ignore my drills, use yours, try a few of mine if she wants etc... It's a Vehicle that leaves a lot of room. It's priced in a way to avoid that people actually have to make a choice.

For instance, if I was living in the same Area where Smat lives, he could see his TI Coach on Saturday then come and apply all that on Sunday with me, on Tempo. He'd leave with a new clip on a USB key etc, + a big training session under the belt. That's the idea.

(finally, it took me more lines than expected to explain the whole thing, a new thread could have been an option after all. But I don't really want people to start wondering about this concept as it basically doesn't teach how to swim, it teaches how to behave in general for becoming a better swimmer, regardless of what stroke you'd like to develop)

swim2Bfree
09-26-2012, 06:26 PM
I swam with a very popular open water group in Santa Monica. There were about 80 people and I enormously enjoyed swimming with them. Prior to the swim, the head coach of the group took questions. One - which he raised himself - was "Is there an advisable way to kick when racing in open water?" He answered himself, saying essentially 'No.' In fact he said 2-beat, 4-beat, 6-beat, even 8 beat or 2-beat crossover are all equally good options.
As Charles notes we advocate unambiguously for the 2BK - for reasons I've expressed elsewhere. But when I hear someone way "any kick is as good as any other" I think what's unsaid is "I don't know how to teach 2BK (or perhaps the skills for any kick) but don't want to admit it."

As usual when Terry throws bombs at other coaches - in this case Gerry Rodrigues (http://openwaterpedia.com/index.php?title=Gerry_Rodrigues) and his Tower 26 (http://tower26.com/) group - certain questions are worth asking. Such as:

- What is Gerry Rodrigues' track record (http://tower26.com/testimonials/) coaching open water swimmers?

- And what is Terry Laughlin's track record coaching open water swimmers?

CoachSuzanne
09-26-2012, 11:06 PM
believed in the 6BK as most efficacious for them . . . and devoted many hours to tuning it to deliver the max propulsive power with the least cost in energy and power.

Thanks Terry for the reminder!
Many triathletes who want to adopt ahigh turnover kick have a kick such a high energy cost and low return in propulsion, that they are better off not kicking! A kick is not an efficient method of propulsion, even if you are Phelps...while he goes fast, he uses a lot of energy to do so. But an inefficient kick is worse than no kick at all!

CoachSuzanne
09-26-2012, 11:20 PM
I am flattered then, should I be? (lol)




1. The traditional path to produce swimmers, ie club coaching is kind of dragging its feet at the moment. Swimmers are coached as a single unit, as a group. There, the *traditional* world performs very well I'd say. However, every individual swimmer is a bit scarified along this process, unless you're fortunate enough to be in the 4-5 coache's pet.

I've witness one video-session occurrence last year, within the elite club (varsity level) in the U where I also coach. And that was above water views only. To the best of my knowledge, no swimmers receive private coaching as part of this process. This is how I believe that the traditional path is dragging behind.

2. Yet, it's the traditional path the still produces the fastest swimmers on earth. So if we assume that the *proof is in the pudding*, we - ie the new path to produce swimmers, still have a thing or two to learn from the traditional process.

So. In other words, the coaching level displayed by Total Immersion, as far as the individual swimmer is concerned, is better than the traditional counter part. But yet, there are values that are transmitted from generation to generation, through this traditional path, which is still responsible for producing the Sun Yang of this world.
....



I think that this is where many TI coaches such as Dave Cameron, Leah Nykes, Todd Ericson and others (myself lagging behind) help fill the gap that you describe.

Traditional swim programs process a high volume of swimmers. TI programs traditional process a small number of swimmers.

It's basic epidemiology with a 2x2 box. Success in traditional swim training yields a tiny percentage of elite swimmers, yet the volume is so high that the total number of swimmers moving to elite ranks is a sizable number.

TI training by whatever measure you want to use to gauge improvement...addresses fewer swimmers, the population is different (mostly adults), and the volume of time they can dedicate is smaller (few hours per week vs. 10 or more hours).

Ti training also produces elite (adult) swimmers and many of those with a traiditional background. Why ? The fundamentals of swimming and a new approach to training combined with a knowledge and memory of the swim work ethic from high school can combine to create a great performance in time.

But folks like yourself, Dave Cameron...and others who know how to combine TRAINING with correct MOVEMENT and TECHNIQUE can produce quite skilled swimmers as well.

If we could move TI trained coaches into the ranks of youth swimming clubs, we'd see many, many more faster swimmers emerge.

(This is a 2x2 box...)
http://practice.sph.umich.edu/micphp/epicentral/2X2.php

CharlesCouturier
09-26-2012, 11:21 PM
As usual when Terry throws bombs at other coaches

A bomb? I donno, I don't think so.

Terry knows all too well that I only have one speech... Not always easy, ie especially when challenging my own camp (at SwimSmooth), but that's the way I am.

So that said, all Terry said is that he has a doubt as to this Coach's capacity to effectively teach the 2bk. Since I consider that TI remains the Top swimming company to teach the 2bk to everyone, even if in my humble opinion a lot of people to whom this kicking pattern is implicitly imposed could be faster using the 4bk. That's another debate, and I don't want to trigger it.

The bottom line is that here you have a man that created a very detailed system, step by step on how to develop distance stroke relying on a 2bk.

So it ain't a matter of credentials here, but it's a matter of material. Does one, has, yes or no, a means of teaching something, with no regards whatsoever of his track or record for OW success.

Starting long distance *pissing* contest (based on results and success etc), don't try this with me. Don't even think about it. In spite of my past record, I can recognize an organized system when I come across one. And in spite having been involved on the World Grand Prix (that's Elite, not master level), I must admit that I come fairly short of resources when time to teach the 2bk. Still have stuff to learn there, as most coaches I believe.

CoachSuzanne
09-26-2012, 11:28 PM
even if in my humble opinion a lot of people to whom this kicking pattern is implicitly imposed could be faster using the 4bk. That's another debate, and I don't want to trigger it.



I don't think it's a debate, just a matter of energy cost. Like I said before, a 6 beat kick can add a lot of propulsion, but at a great energy cost. If you can turn your kick OFF on purpose, you can save a lot of energy AND learn the 2 BK. Adding a 4 or 6 BK at your desire is then more a matter of fitness, the distance you're training for and whether or not you want to bike & run following.

terry
09-27-2012, 01:01 AM
I don't think it's a debate, just a matter of energy cost.

Correct. When we teach the 2BK, we're not just teaching that it's two beats per cycle. We're also teaching - via repeatable steps -- that (1) The energy and power source of the kick should be the weight shift, not the quad; and (2) The kick should be a levering action, sustained throughout the weight shift - not a quick firing action similar to kicking a soccer ball.
The job of the quad is to connect the action of the weight shift to the lower-leg lever. It does so by maintaining tone, rather than firing. This isn't precisely turning muscles off. Rather it's using them differently.
Done this way, the 2BK adds striking propulsive power, yet has little energy or power cost.

ONLY a 2BK can draw the majority of its power from weight shift. Any other kick will require the quads to provide all the activating or propelling power multiple times per stroke cycle. The quad is a large muscle with high energy requirements. It's also fatigue-prone. Which is why we unambiguously advocate for the 2BK to our students in distance and OW swimming. Then we teach them how to optimize it.

CharlesCouturier
09-27-2012, 03:35 AM
I don't think it's a debate, just a matter of energy cost. Just? Yes and no, but I still agree with your position, even if I diasagree with your conclusion.

A conclusion doesn't necessarily need to be the only possible or even the best one, for a position based on it to be perfectly desirable I guess. Not suggestion that my conclusion would be worthier than yours by the way. We're talking swimming here LOL

CharlesCouturier
09-27-2012, 04:01 AM
Bahh, since I opened this can of worms...

Ok, energy cost.

Swimmers, those with a sound technique and good preparation are limited in their ability to perform, in part by their ability to expand as much energy as possible over the whole 1500m event. It's think it's fair assumption.

If two swimmers that can expand both say, 700 KCal in the overall event, the most economical would win. That's theoretical model but it's just to support the idea.

Whilst it is very tempting to believe that a 2 bk systematically lowers the energy cost as there are less involvement of the legs, we have to look at what swimmers themselves do. Take Sun for instance. If for him, 2b was systematically more economical in term of energy cost, then it would be fair to assume that he would thus be able to travel the same distance in same time at lower energy cost. That's very tempting.

However that brings me back to statement #1. For these race horses, if you manage to lower the energy cost at same speed, this will undoubtedly translate into fastest performance in the end, since as we mentioned their performance is limited by energy cost expanded in total. So they will output their max eneregy cost for the event all the time. That's what they're geared for. Better economy = faster performances.

And so that's why I think that Sun is more economical using 4b, than 2b, and the reason for this as I almost died explaining the other day, is that unfortunately there's a possibility that all this energy expand at the *upper* body level, all these forces that go in all bunch of directions does alter his balance a bit, and that minimal (ie, 2 little extra kicks, not major ones, but minor ones) be required in his case to avoid loosing overall Economy. This would occur of course as a result of an impaired balance, which would raise the energy cost instead of lowering it.

Could anyone imagine how it feels to book a 100m free in 58.5 seconds at 13 strokes per 25m? Well, it could be hard sometimes on balance cause you're expanding tremendous energy upper body. Cut the speed a bit and I'm sure he can swim 2bk no problem.

Now that's theory. Who's concerned, who's not, what's best to begin with, how should we train, comparing both methods, when's time to switch to various patterns whilst racing, etc... It's stuff that's outside this theory, which rather tries to explain why swimmers themselves, ie those I'm committed to always consider in my theories, often favor 4b whilst racing.

As for triathlon, I'm yet to see the imact of adding 2 minor flutter kick, not big ones but minor ones in between a relaxed 2bk on riding for 40k and running for 10k. It's reasonable to believe that the preparation for the last two legs be well enough to allow this little increase at the kick level, pro bonno that is. With no impact.

A bit the same principle as is walking quite a lot prior the race really has an impact or not on the overall triathlon time. But that's how I see it.

A 4b or 6b wrongly done will have a detrimental impact obviously, a scissored punchy, draggy 2bk too though.

That's what I meant by it ain't just a matter of energy cost.

CharlesCouturier
09-27-2012, 04:28 AM
Now all that said, I don't insist a lot on 2bk for my own clientele, as they all want to swim as fast as possible. But this is not a statement against TI.

I, like this other coach, throw the towel and don't even try. When I spot someone with exceptional balance, then I try and it may very often work, I mean at least matching speed, so bringing these two patterns head to head with that particular person. Does it mean I'd think my approach (position) is superior? Absolutely not. In fact this demonstrates that it's inferior in teaching the 2bk probably. It's just the one I'm the most comfortable with to deliver what my swimmers except from me, at this point in time.

Needless to say that I applaud the fact that you seem to *expand* more energy teaching this, and I'm here a bit to see how all this works out with you.

(if that was not a thread hijack, then I've never seen one)

CoachSuzanne
09-27-2012, 04:47 AM
Bahh, since I opened this can of worms...

Ok, energy cost.

Swimmers, those with a sound technique and good preparation are limited in their ability to perform, in part by their ability to expand as much energy as possible over the whole 1500m event. It's think it's fair assumption.

If two swimmers that can expand both say, 700 KCal in the overall event, the most economical would win. That's theoretical model but it's just to support the idea.

Whilst it is very tempting to believe that a 2 bk systematically lowers the energy cost as there are less involvement of the legs, we have to look at what swimmers themselves do. Take Sun for instance. If for him, 2b was systematically more economical in term of energy cost, then it would be fair to assume that he would thus be able to travel the same distance in same time at lower energy cost. That's very tempting.

However that brings me back to statement #1. For these race horses, if you manage to lower the energy cost at same speed, this will undoubtedly translate into fastest performance in the end, since as we mentioned their performance is limited by energy cost expanded in total. So they will output their max eneregy cost for the event all the time. That's what they're geared for. Better economy = faster performances.

And so that's why I think that Sun is more economical using 4b, than 2b, and the reason for this as I almost died explaining the other day, is that unfortunately there's a possibility that all this energy expand at the *upper* body level, all these forces that go in all bunch of directions does alter his balance a bit, and that minimal (ie, 2 little extra kicks, not major ones, but minor ones) be required in his case to avoid loosing overall Economy. This would occur of course as a result of an impaired balance, which would raise the energy cost instead of lowering it.

Could anyone imagine how it feels to book a 100m free in 58.5 seconds at 13 strokes per 25m? Well, it could be hard sometimes on balance cause you're expanding tremendous energy upper body. Cut the speed a bit and I'm sure he can swim 2bk no problem.

Now that's theory. Who's concerned, who's not, what's best to begin with, how should we train, comparing both methods, when's time to switch to various patterns whilst racing, etc... It's stuff that's outside this theory, which rather tries to explain why swimmers themselves, ie those I'm committed to always consider in my theories, often favor 4b whilst racing.

As for triathlon, I'm yet to see the imact of adding 2 minor flutter kick, not big ones but minor ones in between a relaxed 2bk on riding for 40k and running for 10k. It's reasonable to believe that the preparation for the last two legs be well enough to allow this little increase at the kick level, pro bonno that is. With no impact.

A bit the same principle as is walking quite a lot prior the race really has an impact or not on the overall triathlon time. But that's how I see it.

A 4b or 6b wrongly done will have a detrimental impact obviously, a scissored punchy, draggy 2bk too though.

That's what I meant by it ain't just a matter of energy cost.

My default kick is actually more like a 4BK...but it's because I'm lazy and not inclined to put in the effort to find my balance and keep a leg still and ready to be anchored. It's a work in progress. So in my case the 4bk takes less energy (I'm lazy afterall), but it's also less efficient then when I have a finely tuned 2 BK. When I tune into that...I get more balance side to side and front to back and more speed due ot less wasted movement. When i THEN add another beat or two back in, I'm even faster, and very much more tired.

;)

Other than that, I really didn't follow your post, most likely because I'm very tired and should go to bed.

CharlesCouturier
09-27-2012, 09:49 AM
Other than that, I really didn't follow your post Can't blame you dear :o

Talvi
09-27-2012, 02:43 PM
A Japanese rowing crew in an olympics stroked so fast that many died from exhaustion at the finish line. No doubt a schoolboy fable, but it illustrates a point: the best sprinters/runners/swimmers, seem to me to usually be the ones at the finish who look like they haven't broken a sweat. So, when making comparisons about energy, there seem to me to be at least three fundamental factors: Total available energy; Max energy burn rate; and Conversion efficiency (energy to propulsion. The top athletes clearly have a different set of these factors working than other mortals (including the elite athletes who collapse in a heap at the finish line).

p.s. @Charles: yes there is a public pool, and maybe ... but I've never liked public pool swimming, in fact I loathe it. For me swimming is about enjoyment not about performance/endurance/power/speed/etc It's about "being", not "performing"/"training". Generally, I pursue "being"/mindfulness, and from that the "learning" and "training" emerge (when the pupil is ready, the teacher will appear). I even walk mindfully! What a complex thing walking is!! Like the ad that came with the vid says: "When exercise is a pleasure, fitness is easy". When you dance for joy you want to go on forever, until you drop from tiredness, or until the tiredness sucks out the joy of movement. Great for your body and for your spirit. So, I just love the way "good" swimmers move: like dancers, like cats; seemingly effortlessly, lazily. When I downloaded the churningly powerful olympic Youtube videos (and others) recommended here I slowed them down to 1/8th speed. THEN they look cool, like Shinji :)))))

CharlesCouturier
09-27-2012, 04:18 PM
p.s. @Charles: yes there is a public pool, and maybe ... but I've never liked public pool swimming, in fact I loathe it. For me swimming is about enjoyment not about performance/endurance/power/speed/etc It's about "being", not "performing"/"training". Generally, I pursue "being"/mindfulness, and from that the "learning" and "training" emerge (when the pupil is ready, the teacher will appear). I even walk mindfully! What a complex thing walking is!! Like the ad that came with the vid says: "When exercise is a pleasure, fitness is easy". When you dance for joy you want to go on forever, until you drop from tiredness, or until the tiredness sucks out the joy of movement. Great for your body and for your spirit. So, I just love the way "good" swimmers move: like dancers, like cats; seemingly effortlessly, lazily. When I downloaded the churningly powerful olympic Youtube videos (and others) recommended here I slowed them down to 1/8th speed. THEN they look cool, like Shinji :)))))

Thank you so much for this testimony. Really helps understanding what TI is about.

Talvi
09-27-2012, 09:12 PM
Thank you so much for this testimony. Really helps understanding what TI is about.

Sarcasm?? If so: sorry. I did wonder about all that followed the first sentence... hey ho.

CharlesCouturier
09-28-2012, 12:55 AM
Sarcasm?? If so: sorry. I did wonder about all that followed the first sentence... hey ho. I'm unable to issue sarcasms. My mind isn't configured for this. I'm just incredibly curious by nature, and just love to love stuff.

Talvi
09-28-2012, 11:35 AM
I'm unable to issue sarcasms.
:) Good to hear :) Thanks.

p.s.
I'm not a real TI-er, I just blew in here after becoming besotted with Shinji's style while looking for something to get me out of my frestyle swimming dead-end. The offer of "Perpetual Motion Freestyle" is irresistable. And vote goes to the tag line of whoever it is here that says: "May we swim more easily at the speeds we choose".

Better technique translates into better efficiency ie more speed for the same power. However any technique can deliver more performance simply by adding more power. Of course I'd love to have the power of youth with the potential of age, but being "goal oriented" is problematic. There's a great story my Tai Chi teacher passed on that goes like this:
A student comes to the master and says: "I am eager to learn the Tai Chi. How long will it take me?". The master replies: "Ten years". The student, disappointed, asks: "How long will it take me if I practice twice as hard?". The master replies "Twenty years.". The student asks again: "I am eager to learn. How long will it take if I practice day and night, never taking time off?". The master replies "Thirty years.". Confused by this the student asks: "How is it possible that the harder I practice the longer it will take me?". The master replies: "If you have one eye on your goal, you have only one eye for your practice.".

I find that as I get older this lesson becomes more and more important to reconcile oneself to.

CoachSuzanne
09-29-2012, 06:10 PM
Better technique translates into better efficiency ie more speed for the same power. However any technique can deliver more performance simply by adding more power.

amazingly true! I second Charles' thanks for your testimony. Besotten is a good word.

"May we swim more easily at the speeds we choose".

I think this is Grant's line.

Grant
09-29-2012, 07:04 PM
Thanks for the vote Talvi. It is an expression of my longest term goal.

azamy
09-30-2012, 07:39 AM
For me swimming is about enjoyment not about performance/endurance/power/speed/etc It's about "being", not "performing"/"training". Generally, I pursue "being"/mindfulness, and from that the "learning" and "training" emerge (when the pupil is ready, the teacher will appear). I even walk mindfully! What a complex thing walking is!! Like the ad that came with the vid says: "When exercise is a pleasure, fitness is easy". When you dance for joy you want to go on forever, until you drop from tiredness, or until the tiredness sucks out the joy of movement. Great for your body and for your spirit. So, I just love the way "good" swimmers move: like dancers, like cats; seemingly effortlessly, lazily. When I downloaded the churningly powerful olympic Youtube videos (and others) recommended here I slowed them down to 1/8th speed. THEN they look cool, like Shinji :)))))

Beautiful statement! We are in the same boat Talvi, that's exactly how I pursue my goal of becoming a better swimmer. Enjoyment and mindfulness is priority no 1.

Better technique translates into better efficiency ie more speed for the same power. However any technique can deliver more performance simply by adding more power. Of course I'd love to have the power of youth with the potential of age, but being "goal oriented" is problematic. There's a great story my Tai Chi teacher passed on that goes like this:

A student comes to the master and says: "I am eager to learn the Tai Chi. How long will it take me?". The master replies: "Ten years". The student, disappointed, asks: "How long will it take me if I practice twice as hard?". The master replies "Twenty years.". The student asks again: "I am eager to learn. How long will it take if I practice day and night, never taking time off?". The master replies "Thirty years.". Confused by this the student asks: "How is it possible that the harder I practice the longer it will take me?". The master replies: "If you have one eye on your goal, you have only one eye for your practice.".

I find that as I get older this lesson becomes more and more important to reconcile oneself to.

What an insightful and scholarly post is that one. Thank you

Talvi
09-30-2012, 10:42 AM
:) encouraged by kindness, I'll recklessly venture some more words onto the table, like a gambler on a roll ...

I've been gazing (again!) on the Shinji vid, and it reminded me of the way cats walk across wet ground! I tried to find a YouTube video to illustrate the point but failed to find anything good. I think that anyone who has watched a cat getting its paws wet may be able to relate to the thought though.

A cat places it's front paws down on the ground, almost gingerly, deliberately, carefully. When the ground is wet they lift each paw up, with some distaste, shaking the presumptuous water off with a twitch, before reaching forward and placing them down again. That's what I saw Shinji doing: lifting his arm and shoulder disdainfully clear of the clingy water, before carefully reaching forward to slip it down under the surface again. There seems to me to almost be a pause after his arm exits vertically from the surface. Time for that pesky water to drain off! :D


Edit:
Stumbled on an Ian Thorpe video that shows the striking difference in this hand entry between "normal" and "TI" . I think I also pinned down the pause in Shinji's out-of-water arm movement. It's just before his hand enters the water. His hand pauses only for a fraction of a second, but it stays about 10cm over the water just for a moment before slipping in. he looks almost as if he's picking his spot. It really does look just like a cat!

This is the Thorpe video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=2b1Fiw9uekM

azamy
10-01-2012, 09:16 AM
:) encouraged by kindness, I'll recklessly venture some more words onto the table, like a gambler on a roll ...

I've been gazing (again!) on the Shinji vid, and it reminded me of the way cats walk across wet ground! I tried to find a YouTube video to illustrate the point but failed to find anything good. I think that anyone who has watched a cat getting its paws wet may be able to relate to the thought though.

A cat places it's front paws down on the ground, almost gingerly, deliberately, carefully. When the ground is wet they lift each paw up, with some distaste, shaking the presumptuous water off with a twitch, before reaching forward and placing them down again. That's what I saw Shinji doing: lifting his arm and shoulder disdainfully clear of the clingy water, before carefully reaching forward to slip it down under the surface again. There seems to me to almost be a pause after his arm exits vertically from the surface. Time for that pesky water to drain off! :D


Edit:
Stumbled on an Ian Thorpe video that shows the striking difference in this hand entry between "normal" and "TI" . I think I also pinned down the pause in Shinji's out-of-water arm movement. It's just before his hand enters the water. His hand pauses only for a fraction of a second, but it stays about 10cm over the water just for a moment before slipping in. he looks almost as if he's picking his spot. It really does look just like a cat!

This is the Thorpe video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=2b1Fiw9uekM

The only thing missing on TI forums is a "Like" button :)

CharlesCouturier
10-01-2012, 02:57 PM
The only thing missing on TI forums is a "Like" button :)

That feature is available for this board though (vbulletin). It'd be awesome indeed.

JakeCosby
08-14-2017, 07:36 AM
Ian Thorpe's technique is flawless!

Joniantrey
11-25-2017, 02:26 PM
Ian Thorpe's technique is flawless!

That is why he is a champion:)