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CoachSuzanne 07-30-2012 08:51 PM

Things I've been watching
 
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 08:16 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 12:02 PM

Discovering French Swimmers
 
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."

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 01:57 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 02:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by terry (Post 30001)
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 07:49 AM

I couldn't see the TI ..
 
Besides the "deformed" muscle masses of the swimmers:

- 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 10:29 AM

See Suzanne's reply to my post in the backstroke forum 'Can I have lats like that?@

Talvi 08-11-2012 11:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Richardsk (Post 30306)
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 12:13 PM

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 12:26 PM

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=NUU2L...eature=related

Talvi 08-11-2012 12:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Richardsk (Post 30311)
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=NUU2L...eature=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 05:03 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 05:29 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 05:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Richardsk (Post 30318)
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 07:34 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 03:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Talvi
So how does all this fit in with the TI "theory" that the kick contributes almost nothing to propulsion??

Quote:

Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier (Post 30317)
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 05:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by swim2Bfree (Post 30348)
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 08:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier (Post 30357)
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 08:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by swim2Bfree (Post 30364)
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.

Quote:

Originally Posted by swim2Bfree (Post 30364)
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 11:22 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 03:02 AM

In all things swimming, their is no definitive
 
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 03:20 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 05:29 AM

Most useful to me
 
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 06:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier (Post 30365)
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?

Quote:

Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier (Post 30365)
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.

Quote:

Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier (Post 30365)
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 06:44 AM

Ian, I appreciate (as always) the wisdom in your posts. Especially this nugget--

Quote:

Originally Posted by ian mac (Post 30372)
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 09:16 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/cha...nals-5746.html

swim2Bfree 08-14-2012 11:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier (Post 30373)
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:

Quote:

Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier (Post 30317)
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:

Quote:

Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier (Post 30365)
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:

Quote:

Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier (Post 30382)
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 02:30 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 05:17 PM

*raising hand timidly at back of classs*
err, great posts guys, wow,
Quote:

Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier (Post 30373)
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 :)
Quote:

Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier (Post 30382)
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 06:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Talvi (Post 30405)
*raising hand timidly at back of classs*
err, great posts guys, wow,

You're definitely welcome!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Talvi (Post 30405)
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.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Talvi (Post 30405)
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.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Talvi (Post 30405)
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 07:10 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 08:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier (Post 30407)
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=bBkzI...watch_response
No need to go into the editing suite now :)

CharlesCouturier 08-16-2012 01:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Talvi (Post 30410)
Found this on Youtube re Sun Yang: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBkzI...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 07:50 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 07:59 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 09:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier (Post 30411)
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.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Richardsk (Post 30418)
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 10:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Talvi (Post 30420)
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.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Talvi (Post 30420)
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.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Talvi (Post 30420)
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.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Talvi (Post 30420)
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.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Talvi (Post 30420)
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 08:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier (Post 30438)
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 10:08 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 02:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Richardsk (Post 30448)
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


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