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  #1  
Old 08-17-2009
Nicodemus Nicodemus is offline
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Nicodemus
Default Special tips for Genuine Sinkers?

Hi All,

I have noticed a number of people on the forum describe themselves as Sinkers because they have problems with certain drills. But, of course, their real problem could be balance or whatever.

I get the impression that true Sinkers are very rare - people whose body density is greater than water (1.0 kg/litre). But they do exist. The easiest way to test it would IMHO be to float vertically (with a snorkel if necessary) and see what happens. A sinker will sink, even with full lungs; most of us need to fully exhale before we start the downward journey.

I am writing this now because a non-swimmer friend of mine insists the reason he can't swim is because he is a sinker (which I doubt). But it has made me wonder if genuine sinkers do need slightly different swimming technique to stay afloat?

Also how much weight would I need to carry to replicate their experience? Before I learnt to scuba dive (20+ years ago) they made us swim a length with a weight belt. It was hell, but I can't remember how much lead we carried. Surely that is not how Sinkers feel?

I am very interested in the experience of anyone who knows 100% they are a Sinker, or anyone who coaches them.

Thanks
Nick
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  #2  
Old 08-17-2009
Alex-SG Alex-SG is offline
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Hi Nick,

I could be a sinker... I am tall have little FAT but heavy bones.

Even by adopting a flatter swimming style (less rotation) I still find my head below the water surface making it difficult to breath (especially at low speeds). To be more precise it is possible that the head goes up and down during the stroke.

Of course I float OK in the Superman glide position (with lungs full). But if I empty my lungs and tilt a bit to the side (Skate)... down I go.

A few adjustments I am considering:
1. Not to swim with too much rotation (stacked position = sink)
2. Bring the recovery elbow more to the side
3. May be... breath by holding air in (INHALE,HOLD,HOLD,HOLD, EXHALE-all, INHALE)

I am really wondering if 3. is acceptable for sinkers or if we have to learn the proper way without compromising a smooth breathing cycle.

ALEX
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  #3  
Old 08-17-2009
atreides atreides is offline
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atreides
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex-SG View Post
Hi Nick,

I could be a sinker... I am tall have little FAT but heavy bones.

Even by adopting a flatter swimming style (less rotation) I still find my head below the water surface making it difficult to breath (especially at low speeds). To be more precise it is possible that the head goes up and down during the stroke.

Of course I float OK in the Superman glide position (with lungs full). But if I empty my lungs and tilt a bit to the side (Skate)... down I go.



ALEX
Okay Alex, I'm probably taller and heavier than you, but not leaner. When I first started swimming conventionally, another swimmer noticed that I was doing the up and down thing while swimming. Mine was due entirely to poor vertical balance. When that got better I suffered through spearing with such force that I was submerging my body and making it difficult to roll to air. I overcame that by using softer hands (TI refers to it as Marionette arms). But I still have the breathing problem ( I don't get enough oxygen to handle the work). I begun to attack that in two ways:

1. I discovered that increasing stroke rate also increased oxygen input. And for whatever reason, I'm not dumping oxygen before I breathe. The increased stroke rate has paid other dividends. I now have a vastly improved core drive capability which has unloaded my arms and may actually have decreased my enerygy/oxygen requirements.

2. I am paying more attention to body position again. Quite by accident, I discovered that a popular pool shoe (I think they call them "Crocs") has buoyancy qualities. I usually wear them into the pool and pull them off before I swim. But the other day I decided to wear them while I did a superman glide. To my surprise, my feet never stopped floating. Now this happens when I wear fins but the floatation is usually so extreme that is worth nothing to me as a teaching my body device. But the Croc's floatation was just enough so I got an idea of where my feet should be when I swim. I began to swim that way and the result were kind of startling. I actually started swimming higher in the water and when I sank a little I made correction in my legs and hips to get higher. And it worked. Now I have a much better idea how to swim higher and I am developing the muscle mechanisms to achieve it.

I guess my theory is that there is so much information that your body/brain has to process that it is just going to take time to do it. Get a pair of croc's and try it . Once you can feel a sustainable floating position, it may not be as hard as you think to swim from it and breathe with it. I used to think I was cursed because I have long legs and arms. I used to think that my arms speared to deeply causing me to pull too much water and get tired. I thought my legs were too muscular and heavy and caused me to sink in the back. That may all be true. But I'm learning little tricks that offset those disavantages. It sounds like you are to. But I'm a flatter swimmer because of tighter hip drive and wide tracks. In other words these are accomodations that most TI swimmers eventually have to make. You and I just had to make them sooner rather than later.
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Old 08-17-2009
Alex-SG Alex-SG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atreides View Post
Okay Alex, I'm probably taller and heavier than you, but not leaner....

1. Increasing SR
2. CROC Shoes
3. But I'm a flatter swimmer because of tighter hip drive and wide tracks..
ATREIDES: Thanks for the inputs. I need to try this "CROC shoes drill..."
In fact I have always thought BALANCE, when you have long legs, is not as easy as "keep the head down and relax". I am sure one also has to think about how to maintain hips and legs high (abdominal/core muscles ???).

I understand the concept of swimming flatter and wider tracks. The HIP drive and weight shift is someting still new to me....
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  #5  
Old 08-18-2009
Nicodemus Nicodemus is offline
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Thanks for the interesting comments - particularly the one about not relaxing. I have always thought that was a bit of a myth. But density is determined by volume and mass. If tensing your muscles reduces your total volume, then your density would increase. I guess this would also apply to if tension in your chest compressed your lungs slightly.


But are any of you 100% sure you are a genuine sinker in the sense I meant - that you can't float in any position whatsoever. This is very different from saying "I can't seem to get air when doing drill x" or "my feet are heavy".
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  #6  
Old 08-19-2009
mutian mutian is offline
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mutian
Default experimented today

I tried it today. I held one breath and exhaled four times. I could feel sinking obviously if I exhale twice (about one half air). I sink directly downward if I exhale all air.

I tried my head position and I relaxed as much as I could do. I got a nose plug so I don't need to worry about it. I do everything slow. I found out I float flat in superman glide. But my legs sink in the position that, forgot the name - skating?, one arm in front and roll a bit. My head and arm position help a bit but not completely.

It's a very good post. Thanks.

Last edited by mutian : 08-19-2009 at 01:51 AM.
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  #7  
Old 08-19-2009
Nicodemus Nicodemus is offline
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Hi Mutian,

That is exactly how to do the 'sinker test'.

With air in your lungs you floated; when you exhaled most of it you sank. Congatulations, you are normal!

If you were a sinker, you would sink even with full lungs
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  #8  
Old 08-19-2009
weinzwei weinzwei is offline
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weinzwei
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Hi Nick, i always thought that i was a sinker. I would take a large breath hold it in and sink right down to the bottom of the pool and sit. My wife by contrast could take a large breath begin exhaling under water and still not be able to sink. In superman glide my wife would travel a long distance. I would begin sinking in superman right away unless i kicked. I learned that by swimming flat and rotating just enough i knowlonger sank and i could easily get air. However i have almost 0 rotation now and i swim like a crab. My issue i believe is not being able to fully relax in the water and exhale properly. If i could master the breathing issues i think that i could easily find balance in a more stacked position and realize the benifts of good propulsion via core rotation. I think exhaling correctly is key to many people that call them selves sinkers. reguardless of if you sink or don't sink. Good balance, rotation, and rythimc breathing seem to negate any issues someone may have with being a sinker. As i try to get over the hump of bilaterial breathing i realize more and more that being a "sinker" may have some advantages like swimming just below the surface of the water. According to TI there is less drag. As i watch other swimmers swim that seem to float and swim in a state of slow motion i always notice that there bodies are much more on top of the surface than i am. Thus i would expect that they are not able to fully realize the benefits of being a "sinker".

Jon

Jon
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