Originally Posted by Zenturtle
You can buy some stretch cords. Attach them high so you can use them in a straight, normal swim posture, only standing instead of lying. You can even stand on one leg and combine a kick with a pull movement to get your core also involved in a more swimlike manner.
Watch how elite swimmers move when seen from pool bottom to watersurface and mimic that movement, using a mirror....
Funnily I have set up something similar - from the headboard of my bed, but I have not used the pain-indicator method. I must take some care not to damage myself as although I do heal still it's a slow process. And I'm not sure if it has been so useful. The approximation of self-directed dryland movements is a source of significant error to the extent that I sledom find they carry over into the pool in a helpful manner. I think that getting the feeling for the water is the important thing but as Werner noted, it is a puzzle with each piece dependent upon and changed by every other piece. I have been getting a feel for the water at the extended reach by a sort of sculling, I think that "fear" is the main barrier to swimming development. It's not a conscious fear but something at the level of "muscle memory" - it's our bodies saying "Hang on a b*y minute you're going to do us in if I don't keep an eye on things here!". We can't micro-manage every single one of the hundreds of muscles in our body. We can only focus on a few at a time. That leaves 99% of them to pretty much get on with it unsupervised, so they tend to revert to habit, even if in only very subtle ways. It's extremely hard to feel this at the time. I like to become tired and rest and catch my breath by relaxing in the water and feeling myself lying on it, more than swimming in in.