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-   -   How Do You "Engage The Core" in Freestyle? (http://www.totalimmersion.net/forum/showthread.php?t=3626)

WinnAngela 07-19-2012 10:09 AM

How Do You "Engage The Core" in Freestyle?
 
I have been told that I need to engage my core, more. *I know this is true.

Coach Luísa told me,

"being in a 45 degree rotation, more or less, activates your core, and you feel your abs working, while at the same time the legs are very light"

Now, this is something I don't quite understand. *I don't have a weak core. *I used to and suffered multiple running injuries 4 years ago. *In November, I stared getting serious about running again and began adding core strength and stabilization exercises to my routine and have been running "injury free" since.

So, I know how to engage my core in running, biking and weight bearing exercises, but how do I do this in swimming?

I thought the object of TI was to swim "relaxed", because any unnecessary tenseness wastes energy and requires more O2 and strength for sustainability

I have posted *this video of me swimming yesterday in another thread, so you may have seen tit already. I added one of my sister, TI Coach Maria Crowley, *swimming with Terry and Shinji. * What is Maria doing with her core that I'm not?

My sister, TI Coach Crowley
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfJC9...e_gdata_player

Me
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgmSb...e_gdata_player

Tell me what do do to engage my core.*

I know this is a lot of info and I do apologize, but I am VERY DETERMINED!

Thanks in advance,

Angela :)

haschu33 07-19-2012 12:53 PM

This:
Quote:

Originally Posted by WinnAngela (Post 29492)
..."being in a 45 degree rotation, more or less, activates your core, and you feel your abs working, while at the same time the legs are very light"...

Is the answer to this:
Quote:

... What is Maria doing with her core that I'm not?...
and this:

Quote:

... Tell me what do do to engage my core. ...
Just don't think about it, you got to do it. At one point I did this: Zen skating (you are into that anyway aren't you ? :-)) and then doing a stroke, rotating to a 45 degree position (more or less of course) and then let it glide almost to a full-stop. It is easy to glide on your belly, and it is easy to glide on your side with stacked shoulders. But to glide in between is very difficult and when you are motionsless gliding you cannot engage large muscles or large levers like arms or legs to correct your position. You will end in the beginning either on your belly or on your side. It's fun. I did that a lot. You can only fine tune with those larger and smaller core muscles. But you don't have to think about where your core muscles are. Just give it a try. And make sure that the lifeguard doesn't start a rescue action, happened to me once (almost).

In your videos you rotate very much, almost to stacked shoulders. That is a main difference to the way your sister is swimming, check the front view. But it is not so hard to change that and less rotation is less energy, a faster feeling and more fun.
You can also just swim and rotate only a little, yes, you can do it, it is not hard to do. It just doesn't correspond with your feeling, it will feel as if you don't rotate at all and swim flat. If you try to swim flat it will probably be just right.


Hope this helps...


You really want to fix everything at once and immediately, don't you ;-)
I like your determination, but you should remain relaxed. You cannot force it, that will only make you tense.

swimust 07-19-2012 01:59 PM

By practice and focusing on the core and not on the stroke. You just need time to work on it I guess.

andyinnorway 07-19-2012 02:45 PM

Angela,

My read on the video is that you are using your core to maintain your horizontal balance and to initiate rotation. What you are already doing is way ahead of most of the people you will see in a public pool session.

however, compare your video to Ian Thorpe when it slows down underwater

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2b1Fi...eature=related

He is using his core to generate torque which in turn is thrusting him forward every stroke. A good drill I did to learn more core connection without thinking too much about it is to pick a relaxed SPL/TT setting for a normal workout swim. e.g. SPL18 and TT 1.3

Then perform repeat 25's with 20-30 seconds rest. Each time you complete 2 lengths at the SPL you set yourself, click your TT down 1. You may be surprised how quickly you can hold SPL for single lengths even down to 1.0/0.9

the way you do this is that your body will start to engage more muscle, get in better streamline, or snap harder.

I think this will help you understand your coache's advice on core better.

This is a good drill to do once a month or so as it gives your a measure of progess over time. Its also challenging and fun as its about physics rather than fitness. Make sure your push off is for a set amount of TT clicks (2 or 3) too so that your measurements are consistent at different effort levels.

Janos 07-19-2012 03:20 PM

Angela, you most certainly do not have a weak core. Think of your arms up to your elbows as outliers, whether you are in recovery or catch position. All they are doing is transmitting the power generated from your core. The only way you will get a feel for the water during the catch phase is to relax the arm until you feel the viscosity of the water, and then practice to increase the amount of extra pressure you can apply, until you get the thrust you want. The same with the recovery. Relax the forearm, and hand. If you relax the upper arm, you lose the connection to your core. Think of your core power generator as your torso and your arms, up to your elbows only, unless you plan on a straight arm recovery of course!:-)

Regards

Janos

tony0000 07-19-2012 04:28 PM

Though I'm just a TI beginner, I'm skeptical about "engaging the core." It's always seemed a bit of mumbo-jumbo to me. Human cause their muscles to contract and can allow them to release. That's it. I can't believe that contracting the abs or other "core" muscles is going to make much difference. The proper amount of hip rotation. of course, is important. But hip rotation not controlled by core muscles. It's controlled by your stroke (i.e., your lats and deltoids) and your kick.

Good luck!

Tony

CoachSuzanne 07-19-2012 04:56 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Here is one example...

It's less about strength and more about balance. Bring your ribs toward your pelvis in a way that it remains a solid connection throughout all parts of the stroke. This requires not more strength in your abdominals but a new kind of education of the muscles to isometrically contract in order to hold posture throughout dynamic movement of the torso.

CoachSuzanne 07-19-2012 05:02 PM

1 Attachment(s)
And here is the other side. If you watch the video you can see your body flexing right then left as you alternate sides. You want the core to remain solidly "activated" so taht the torso remains streamlined adn energy isn't leaking into this changing relationship between the thoracic spine and the hips.

CoachLuisaFonseca 07-19-2012 05:45 PM

Hi Angela

I don't know about others, but I don't TRY to engage my core. But I remember pretty well that when I changed from a stacked position (like TI taught around 15 years ago) to a rotation of 45-60 degrees (like it is taught in these past year) that I felt what I described to you. I think it is simply because mantaining balance in that degree of rotation requires more core work.

If you have a good core, that is a an advantage because it is easier for you to maintain good balance. Since you do, I don't think you have to worry about engaging the core, it's the other way around - work more on finding a good degree of rotation - and your core will do its job.

Regards

Lu

grandall 07-19-2012 06:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne (Post 29517)
Here is one example...

It's less about strength and more about balance. Bring your ribs toward your pelvis in a way that it remains a solid connection throughout all parts of the stroke. This requires not more strength in your abdominals but a new kind of education of the muscles to isometrically contract in order to hold posture throughout dynamic movement of the torso.

Coach Suzanne,
The core connection your referring to(bring your ribs toward your pelvis) would this be similiar to a pelvic tilt exercise? Since I have been doing pelvic tilt exercises it's improved my balance, and posture while swimming. I definatley feel more connected as a whole when I'm swimming one analogy I think of "would be like a kayak" ..of course there is always room for improvement :-)


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