What do these TI terms mean?
I've worked through most of the Ultra-Efficient Freestyle e-book and videos, and while my TI-style front crawl has improved (I think), I'm baffled by some of the terms and concepts.
"engaged core" and "stable core": I'm trying to imagine an "unstable" care and can't. How do you "engage" your core?
"weight shift": Do you actually feel your weight shift? If so, does it feel like one side of your body tipping over to the other?
"holding the water" with hands. You actually feel your hand anchored (so to speak) in the water?
"bodyline is stable and streamlined": I know that traditional swimming uses the term "streamline" to mean holding arms tight above head and compressing the body tightly, usually for an upside-down dolphin kick after flip turn. But what does "streamline" mean in a TI context? And how do you do it?
Think of sitting or standing in a slouched position, and someone tells you to sit up straight and get good posture. You use your back and stomach muscles to straighten your spine and elongate your body.
You do the same when you're swimming. Try swimming without using your upper body at all except your arms. Your body will swing around a lot. As you stretch out and tension your upper body, you'll find you flow through the water better. If you do the equivalent of standing tall, you'll find you can also get better reach.
Also, when you're rolling - your shoulders want to rotate along with your hips. You need tension in your upper body for your shoulder and hips to rotate together.
Tension isn't a great term because you should still feel relaxed - but if you think about standing, you're using your muscles all the time to stand up straight, but that doesn't mean you feel tense - there are core muscles that you use all the time for balance, without feeling tense. Hope this helps.
As you roll from one side to the other you can feel a definite weight shift. I visualize it as laying on one shoulder, then releasing and shifting my weight to leaning on the other shoulder.
Just something I've personally found useful...
As an exercise you can have some bounce letting your body raise to the surface as you roll slowly and drop back onto the other side. If you feel you're landing on your shoulder, then you're "swimming downhill" - if you feel like your weight is dropping on the length of your arm then you're "pressing your buoy" OK, but not optimal, and if you fell your weight dropping on your hips then you probably don't have your balance right.
Note I'm not suggesting you should actually bounce in your regular stroke - it's just an exaggeration to get a feel for the weight transfer.
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