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  #1  
Old 01-25-2015
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Talvi
Default Finally some video. What to do, besides the obvious?

Having found that YouTube could help decipher the files, here's the whole horrible edited content from my recent videos (not great quality, 70 secs worth):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjeK...ature=youtu.be


Here are links to the source videos (good quality, easier to "read", pain to access?):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYY5fI69yqQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PkP2xBkWbU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TD3j3Fl6aR4

My spear is confusing. After my hand enters my elbow is bent but not at 90' to the water so that after my arm is under I then move my hand out to the track!

So what change should I focus on that would have the most impact on my stroke (besides my horrid kick!! That's an obvious one)
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  #2  
Old 01-25-2015
Danny Danny is offline
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Wow, Talvi! That video is telling a lot more than the snapshots! I'll just touch on two of my impressions. First, here is an exercise to try standing in front of a full length mirror: Raise your arms over your head, straighten them and clasp your fingers together in a streamline position. I am guessing, based on the video, that you can't get your arms to align vertically with your body so that your head is positioned neatly in between them. You don't have the shoulder flexibility. Neither do I. Is this true? If so, then this is a major difference between you and Shinji. If you try to spear too high, you will have to banana your back due to a lack of shoulder flexibility. I may be wrong but that is my conjecture.

The next observation is that, when you breath to the right, your left spearing arm isn't straight when extended. It's bent at the elbow. That results in a loss of grip on the water in the catch. This is a complicated problem to fix, and I will leave it to others to advise you on it. I'll just note that I too have worked on this same problem and I think that, after much time and effort, I have solved it. Good luck!
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  #3  
Old 01-25-2015
CoachDavidShen CoachDavidShen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talvi View Post
Having found that YouTube could help decipher the files, here's the whole horrible edited content from my recent videos (not great quality, 70 secs worth):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjeK...ature=youtu.be


Here are links to the source videos (good quality, easier to "read", pain to access?):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYY5fI69yqQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PkP2xBkWbU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TD3j3Fl6aR4

My spear is confusing. After my hand enters my elbow is bent but not at 90' to the water so that after my arm is under I then move my hand out to the track!

So what change should I focus on that would have the most impact on my stroke (besides my horrid kick!! That's an obvious one)
hey Talvi, you actually look pretty good!

As Danny states, when you spear on breath, the lead arm is bent at the elbow. this is happening on either side when you breathe. and also as Danny states, it is most likely a shoulder mobility issue that you cannot extend your arms straight overhead without arching your back. or, you have to bend at the elbow to get your arm overhead to compensate.

the solution for someone who has less mobility is to spear lower to the point at which you can straighten your arm.

you may want to practice swimming without breathing to make sure you are spearing to the correct depth on the breathing side, focus on memorizing the feeling of the placement/position of the arm, and then try a breath and see if you can keep the arm in the same place instead of dropping the elbow and doing a curve up.

you can also go back to swimming slower and practicing this, and also go back to breathing drills with a focus on the lead arm position.

when you breathe, you are also curving your body/spine as you go for air. go back to streamline drills and focus on rotating around your spine as an axis. try some of the sweet spot drills, either with arms extended or at sides, and rotate cleanly around your spine to air, and then back down again. once you memorize the feeling of this, then try swimming with the same feeling and action. likely it will seem like your head is going to be deeper in the water than before. you may also try turning to air without taking a breath, just to see what happens. another favorite focal point is to only expose one google eye to air while the other one remains under water, when you take a breath. you can try that as well.

your spine is arched when you swim. this could be affecting your ability to rotate effectively in streamline. you may want to look into some mobility work with your hip flexors: psoas, rectus femoris (top of quad down to knee). they may be yanking your spine down, as you attempt to keep a straight body while swimming.

let me know if you want detail on any of this. i know you've been around the forums for a while and know a lot of the drills. but if you don't, please do shout!
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  #4  
Old 01-25-2015
kurb kurb is offline
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Some quick comments

1. Spearing arm off track and flatish on entry (you know that).
2. Keep your elbow (with relaxed dangling forearm) parrallel to your track from the moment of recovery
3. Rotate your forearm slightly outward (Dave Cameron recommendation), ie palm toward side walls, to prevent your elbows from collapsing first. Do that on dry land and see how in one position your elbow collapses, and in the other it does not.
4. Are you entering your hand down just in front head ? and then straight towards your target. Is your target the right target? Watch your entry and spear, see what are you doing
5. Inside, are you relaxed or are you in a hurry
6. Is your rotation too steep? Do the minimum. Run your recovery arm fingertips on the surface of the water to get your reference
7.Timing, now it seems the other way round from the pics - stroke leading your spear sometimes? First practice All-Together-Now (from entry, kick, VW beetle hold). This is one reference. Then when to initiate relative to your rotation (currently you are kicking from steep rotation). This is your second reference.
8. Your plank looks nice and straight from the bottom. From the side, are you leaning down in the front to get some downward sensation. Can you tell the difference between leaning and not-leaning. Not saying what you're doing or not doing here, but it's important that your vessel is correctly setup and ready for propulsion
9. You're breathing every stroke, and it's hard to get a read on it, seems to be moving more than it should You should be able to do several strokes without breathing and with a neutral head. Is there a difference in propulsion with and without breathing?

Hope this helps
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  #5  
Old 01-25-2015
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Good pickups so far. I'd go back a step and look at your dryland flexibility. It's not *only* shoulder flexibility but how flexible are your pecs? Pec minor and lats taht are tight will pull the shoulders forward and make it difficult to "open the axilla" without significant strain...it can be done but will then usually be accompanied by a lot of cervical strain as well.

You do a nice job if initiating a catch once your spear is "finished" so you ahve some mobility in terms of internally rotating...so that's not a limitation. I htink it's more about finding a good starting point for the spear.

Can you hold a broomstick overhead with both arms straight, squat with it, and have it remain above your head with elbows straight? Or does ot come far forward and/or have bent elbows?

This is a basic mobility assessment that David Shen could speak more about and is also discussed in Marc Evan's new book, Triathletes in Motion.
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Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Level 3 USAT Coach
USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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  #6  
Old 01-25-2015
CoachDavidShen CoachDavidShen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
Can you hold a broomstick overhead with both arms straight, squat with it, and have it remain above your head with elbows straight? Or does ot come far forward and/or have bent elbows?

This is a basic mobility assessment that David Shen could speak more about and is also discussed in Marc Evan's new book, Triathletes in Motion.
i learned this assessment as part of the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) certification. It tests for a variety of things, mobility and motor control in: shoulder, torso stabilization, thoracic spine, hip, upper/lower leg, ankle. A trained eye can spot a lot of potential problems and solutions to try. the FMS system then has a series of corrective exercises that are targeted to the results of the scoring of the assessment.

this is probably heresy to the FMS guys who have distilled the total assessment of an athlete down to 7 tests, but i generally like to split this test into two parts, the upper body and lower body. so i have people stand and raise their arms in front, from their sides to over their head and back down again, and have them squat down as low as they can go and then come back up again.

it allows me to see specific problems better to be addressed in either body half, and then can move to the more difficult problem of performing a good overhead squat.
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  #7  
Old 01-25-2015
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny View Post
Wow, Talvi! That video is telling a lot more than the snapshots! I'll just touch on two of my impressions. First, here is an exercise to try standing in front of a full length mirror: Raise your arms over your head, straighten them and clasp your fingers together in a streamline position. I am guessing, based on the video, that you can't get your arms to align vertically with your body so that your head is positioned neatly in between them. You don't have the shoulder flexibility. Neither do I. Is this true? If so, then this is a major difference between you and Shinji. If you try to spear too high, you will have to banana your back due to a lack of shoulder flexibility. I may be wrong but that is my conjecture.

The next observation is that, when you breath to the right, your left spearing arm isn't straight when extended. It's bent at the elbow. That results in a loss of grip on the water in the catch. This is a complicated problem to fix, and I will leave it to others to advise you on it. I'll just note that I too have worked on this same problem and I think that, after much time and effort, I have solved it. Good luck!
I want to address only one point with an illustration from my recent own experience (there is so much good stuff going on from very knowledgable people, the discussion needs to stay clear). In 1991 and 1992 I was somehow afflicted with first right then left supraspinatus tendinitis/rotator cuff syndrome. I was in considerable pain for 18-24 months, and when the pain finally resolved I was left with residual restricted shoulder mobility. I had always accepted this as my permanent lot in life. But in the last 17 years I have found that persistent stretching in various martial arts has increased my shoulder range somewhat. Now that I have started TI learning in the past 2.5 years, it seems that the repeated gentle shoulder usage has further increased my range, even if to a minor degree, so it seems that it was not permanent, after all.

The latest phase of further stretching has been triggered by advice from Sheila Taormina's book "Swim Speed Secrets". I will leave aside what I didn't find helpful in the book, but I find, for me, a piece of excellent advice she gives is to aim for the best streamline you can possibly achieve, and the best push-off on every turn off the wall, even if, as a wannabe triathlete, you might think that this would be a useless skill to pursue.

I put my initial reservations aside, and have been really diligent in locking my hands (one palm clasping back of other hand) ahead of my head and squeezing my elbows as hard as I can to the side of my heads on every turn-push-off. This hurts if you squeeze hard, but stretches the shoulder joint out a bit, and raises the scapulae (shoulder-blades), forcing the connecting muscles to stretch out to allow this to happen. I believe that in the 2 weeks I have been doing this, it has been getting somewhat easier, and I will continue to follow this course, hoping that it will help me along the eventual path of achieving that elusive EVF catch. It's an easy enough thing to continue to do, once you have made it a habit.

(An associated side effect has been the development of some sense of feel for streamline that I hope can be translated into useful action or insight somewhere else along the line.)

Last edited by sclim : 01-25-2015 at 09:05 PM.
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  #8  
Old 01-25-2015
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachDavidShen View Post
i learned this assessment as part of the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) certification. It tests for a variety of things, mobility and motor control in: shoulder, torso stabilization, thoracic spine, hip, upper/lower leg, ankle. A trained eye can spot a lot of potential problems and solutions to try. the FMS system then has a series of corrective exercises that are targeted to the results of the scoring of the assessment.

this is probably heresy to the FMS guys who have distilled the total assessment of an athlete down to 7 tests, but i generally like to split this test into two parts, the upper body and lower body. so i have people stand and raise their arms in front, from their sides to over their head and back down again, and have them squat down as low as they can go and then come back up again.

it allows me to see specific problems better to be addressed in either body half, and then can move to the more difficult problem of performing a good overhead squat.
You should check out Marc Evans book, as he does something kind of similar, he calls it loaded & unloaded. In the unloaded hands are on hips. In the loaded hte arms are raised overhead, so not only does it add the upper body but also adds weight to the hips & lower body.
__________________
Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Level 3 USAT Coach
USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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  #9  
Old 01-25-2015
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sclim View Post

The latest phase of further stretching has been triggered by advice from Sheila Taormina's book "Swim Speed Secrets". I will leave aside what I didn't find helpful in the book, but I find, for me, a piece of excellent advice she gives is to aim for the best streamline you can possibly achieve, and the best push-off on every turn off the wall, even if, as a wannabe triathlete, you might think that this would be a useless skill to pursue.

I put my initial reservations aside, and have been really diligent in locking my hands ahead of my head and squeezing my elbows as hard as I can to the side of my heads on every turn-push-off. This hurts if you squeeze hard, but stretches the shoulder joint out a bit, and raises the scapulae (shoulder-blades), forcing the connecting muscles to stretch out to allow this to happen. I believe that in the 2 weeks I have been doing this, it has been getting somewhat easier, and I will continue to follow this course, hoping that it will help me along the eventual path of achieving that elusive EVF catch. It's an easy enough thing to continue to do, once you have made it a habit.

(An associated side effect has been the development of some sense of feel for streamline that I hope can be translated into useful action or insight somewhere else along the line.)
I agree this is a good practice and I do it myself out of habit...however in some folks they have a poor streamline and a habit of never coming out of hte "hands to the midline" position and/or their flexibility in that position is so ppor they may be better off to have hands separated and allow the shoulder blades to stretch forward (towards the far wall of the pool) to get length and owrrk about getting narrowness later.

In any case, practicing the movements on dryland in a mirror is vital so you know what you're actuall doing in the water too!
__________________
Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Level 3 USAT Coach
USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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  #10  
Old 01-25-2015
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
I agree this is a good practice and I do it myself out of habit...however in some folks they have a poor streamline and a habit of never coming out of hte "hands to the midline" position and/or their flexibility in that position is so ppor they may be better off to have hands separated and allow the shoulder blades to stretch forward (towards the far wall of the pool) to get length and owrrk about getting narrowness later.
I still have a poor streamline, but I think it's getting better with this drill. But I have not confused this drill with any idea to get my hands to the midline when they should be separated -- you have made this point to me directly in the past, and I gratefully have taken this to heart. Is there anything wrong, do you think, if I practice the streamline drill at push-off, and then try to apply the same scapular mobility while I am stretching my hands forward during the spear and stretch while maintaining wide parallel tracks? Sort of trying to get the best of both worlds?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
In any case, practicing the movements on dryland in a mirror is vital so you know what you're actuall doing in the water too!
Good tip. Will do.
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