More evidence for Terry's spinal support concept
This week I spent more time than usual working on back stroke. (I realized that the other three strokes were improving much faster than back and my 400 IM is looming in mid-October). I spent a lot of time working on body position. I forget the name of our drill but it is basically skating, on your back, with the recovery arm raised to 30 degrees off the water. I like this drill because it is very difficult to keep my body in line and on top of the water. Keeping the arm raised makes it very difficult to hold the "ust enough" rotation. I use a nose clip for slow back stroke work because I am still a bit unstable and fall under a lot. After about 15 minutes of this drill alternating with back single and triple switches, I noticed my spine and ribs were getting really tired. I have been a little sore in these muscles for the past few days. (It is a strange feeling to be sore in these places.) I would count this as evidence that suggests the spinal support muscles are the ones that hold us in proper alignment in the water.
I tried to do the same with free, find a place where I can hold my arm in a partial recovery (I was hoping for right at the spear point), but I just sank until the water supported more of my arm so I didn't feel the extra effort. I am still processing why I could stay at the surface with back but not free.
to top it off, I managed a 10 stroke length after doing this (my usual low end is 12.