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Old 04-28-2016
Danny Danny is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,442

Originally Posted by descending View Post
Sure thing. Remember not to lift your head keep your chin low. Like freestyle the head position can ruin your body position and in fly that becomes a non-starter. As in difficult to even maintain a single stroke cycle. Do a little experiment with head lift for me if you don't mind. Stand up and put your head and neck in what you would consider a neutral aligned position and take the arms through a stroke cycle noting shoulder stress and mobility. Now take your head/neck out of alignment in a manner you'd consider excessive head lifting. Feel the difference in shoulder stress? You will be shocked how not difficult it is to keep your arms flowing once you consider pushing out the back a no no and get the head flowing with the body(not disconnected). Always try to keep in mind rhythm over 'grrrrrr'. Consistently I see women pick up fly faster than men and I'm not sure why, but my mind keeps going back to guys wanting to make it a 'look how strong I am!' move. Women listen to the instruction and just flow with the undulation. We are big dumb animals sometimes.
Descending, unfortunately I can't do the experiment you recommended above, because the weight of gravity on my bad shoulder makes it impossible for me to execute a butterfly recovery in standing position. When I am horizontal, things are very different, but you can see from this that I am in a delicate position. I have, however, taken your advice about head alignment to heart, especially when your head comes out of the water, and I agree with you entirely. The key to this for me is to time my down-kick to support my head as it comes out of the water. By doing this, I can maintain alignment.

Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
Have you watched any of Terry's / Total Immersions video instruction on Butterfly?

It all comes back to gravity & bouyancy just like in freestyle.

Not trying to "pull" through the water, but letting buoyancy bring you back to the surface and timing hand action to "help your head" to the surface relieves shoulder stress at the front of the stroke. Then simply "releasing" the water as soon as you feel pressure allows a recovery in time wiht the body rising before it falls back in.
Suzanne, I did get Terry's DVD on butterfly some years ago, but had trouble with the technique he was advocating. As you say, he advocates letting buoyancy bring you back to the surface. In the meantime, I am finding that using the up-kick is an easier way to accomplish the same thing. By using the up-kick in a conscious manner, I am already well-positioned for the down-kick when my arms go in up front. I think my problem with buoyancy was that I forgot about the lower half of my body while waiting for my head to rise and, as a result, I was out of body position.

Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
Now, even after my car accident, when my neck or shoulder are hurting butterfly is easier than freestyle and way easier than backstroke which stresses both my neck and my shoulder .

Fly is now my goto relaxation stroke. Doesn't mean I'm swimming it quickly but I've never had anyone watch me swim fly and say, "Boy you're slow for a 47 year old"
I agree with both of you that it is all about timing. As a man, I concede that I have probably relied too much on upper body strength in the past. The old saying "To a hammer everything looks like a nail" applies here. Upper body strength used to be my advantage, whereas full body coordination was my "Plan B". Now, as my body slowly dissolves with time, Plan B has been elevated to my first priority. That said, the reason I love fly is because of the sense of rhythm I get from it. To me swimming both fly and freestyle are, at their best, like dancing; you just let the music carry you along. Anyway, knowing that it is possible to do fly in a relaxed fashion motivates me to keep working at it.
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