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  #1  
Old 02-15-2012
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Default Arm Free Freestyle

Was watching Natalie Coughlin awesome form in this video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkt31KITQro&t=3m8s

here she is doing some freestyle without arms (kicking and rotating and breathing but no arms)

Is this an extremely exacting skill? It looks pretty hard. And she is moving fast.
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  #2  
Old 02-16-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyinnorway View Post
Was watching Natalie Coughlin awesome form in this video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkt31KITQro&t=3m8s

here she is doing some freestyle without arms (kicking and rotating and breathing but no arms)

Is this an extremely exacting skill? It looks pretty hard. And she is moving fast.
This is in lesson 1 or 2 of the perpetual motion freestyle. It's an excellent drill, but isn't necessarily harder than doing similar with one arm extended (in skating).

Some students get incredibly confused with skating and trying to roll to sweet spot...for those students I simply remove the arms by doing this drill (at much lower speeds) and it really speeds up the overall learning process. With other students I skip it completely.
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  #3  
Old 02-16-2012
tomoy tomoy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyinnorway View Post
And she is moving fast.
I would hope so, as an 11-time Olympian medalist - and US hopeful for 2012. Unrelated, but I think her underwater dolphin kick is the best in the world (of women competitive swimmers).

I've watched those vid's and remember thinking, yeah right... with my kick, I'd be panting and dead in the water after 50M. As awesome as she is, I like watching Terry swim. Keeps it real. Sorry to go off-topic... right, similarities to the skating drill.....

:-P
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  #4  
Old 02-16-2012
jtravis jtravis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
This is in lesson 1 or 2 of the perpetual motion freestyle. It's an excellent drill, but isn't necessarily harder than doing similar with one arm extended (in skating).

Some students get incredibly confused with skating and trying to roll to sweet spot...for those students I simply remove the arms by doing this drill (at much lower speeds) and it really speeds up the overall learning process. With other students I skip it completely.
It wouldn't speed anything up for me, since my kick propels me not at all. :( If I lived within a day's drive of Coach Suzanne, I would be begging her to try to fix my kick (or help me figure out how to live without a kick--that's my current approach).

That video is absolutely mind-boggling to me.

Jennifer
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  #5  
Old 02-16-2012
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyinnorway View Post
... It looks pretty hard. And she is moving fast.
It's pretty hard for me, but I do that regularly. That is partly because years back I hurt one of my knees quite badly while skiing so when I run it doesn't like it and freestyle kicking is about the only way to keep the leg muscles fit without hurting the knee.

She is definitely faster without arms than I am at my fastest using all my limbs :-((
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  #6  
Old 02-16-2012
terry terry is offline
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The drill Natalie demonstrates at the start is a fundamentally sound drill, but the vast majority of swimmers would benefit most by doing it differently. Where swim teams do it, they think of it as an alignment drill, but in reality for most it becomes a kicking drill.

When you kick as strongly as Natalie is shown doing, the kick can cover up--or compensate for--alignment, rotation and stability errors.

* If your goal is to swim 100m fast, then you might want to do it as Natalie does.
* If your goal is to swim an efficient and enjoyable 1500m, you'd gain more by doing it with a rather gentle flutter. (It's probably beyond the skill level of most people to do it with a 2BK.)

With a gentle kick, you'll have to rely far more on spinal stabilizer muscles to stay aligned and keep your laser beam moving forward as you rotate around your head-spine line.

You'll also have to exercise more care to keep your rotation controlled and symmetrical. (Did anyone notice that Natalie rotates about 30 degrees more to her right than her left?)
This drill is most valuable when you rotate barely off your stomach in both directions -- I.E. both shoulders should just clear the surface.
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Last edited by terry : 02-16-2012 at 11:35 AM.
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  #7  
Old 02-16-2012
harrysurf harrysurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtravis View Post
It wouldn't speed anything up for me, since my kick propels me not at all. :( If I lived within a day's drive of Coach Suzanne, I would be begging her to try to fix my kick (or help me figure out how to live without a kick--that's my current approach).

That video is absolutely mind-boggling to me.

Jennifer
Hi there,

I thought the same for a long time. Every time I tried a kicking drill I simply did not move up the pool and if I tried kicking while swimming I was exhausted in one length. My stroke was arms only... until I had one TI lesson.

A few simple balance exercises, combined with some kicking technique drills had me actually moving up the pool at an acceptable pace. It was a real breakthrough and a great day for me - thank you Todd and Total Immersion :-)

Its taken a while, but am now at the point where I can usefully kick while swimming and feel its helping my efficiency rather than exhausting me.

I've had swimming lessons from Olympic swimmers that ignored the essentials of balance and streamlining and only really looked at how to grab more water and pull harder. Swimming speed improved a little but energy expenditure went way up - overall progress was slow and exhausting.

If you can find a local TI coach I'd really recommend a lesson.

Harry

Last edited by harrysurf : 02-16-2012 at 12:19 PM.
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  #8  
Old 02-16-2012
CoachBillL CoachBillL is offline
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Default Laser-lead rotation

I've done this drill a fair amount myself since Terry's "speed camp" in Florida; he repeatedly pointed out my strong tendency to over-rotate, especially to the right side (probably my only point of resemblance to Natalie Coughlin.) I use the drill in repeated alternation with whole-stroke: rotate "just enough" left, then right, kicking very easily, and alternate as far as I can go on a breath, about half a length; then stroke easily, paying close attention to rotation, breathing alternate sides; repeat. I usually try it out with beginning students -- often with guys, it's just too challenging, and we skip it. (For people with a big, wide kick, the "tale wags the dog" -- the legs destabilize the torso -- so you have to tame the kick first.)
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  #9  
Old 02-16-2012
CoachToddE CoachToddE is offline
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I have used this drill with my swim teams from youth to High School and it has always as Terry states turned into a kicking drill as much as I have tried to explain it was for learning to control the rotation. Natalie in my opinion takes a fairly high level skill and makes it look extremely easy especially with the fast powerful kick she is applying. I did notice that she does over rotate to almost 90 degrees on the right side versus the left as Terry pointed out, maybe due to that is her dominate breathing side.
Put fins on (or try without fins if you have a strong kick, which I don’t) and try this drill with the perceived same effort as Natalie is doing and you will feel yourself starting to compensate for the things Terry has pointed out. Especially notice how still she is able to keep her upper body and head while kicking this strongly. I know, I can remember (when I used to do this drill) that is what I felt was happening to me. After transitioning to a more relaxed kick as we teach I felt that I was better able to control those points and actually feel what my body was doing and reacting in the water versus just blasting through the water. I occasionally will go back and do this drill now and find that I am better at keeping my rotation even and upper body still because of the relaxation and feeling for balance that I have achieve through Total Immersion Swimming.
I agree with Coach Suzanne in that I have had clients that find the rolling just enough drill to be very challenging and difficult because of the lack of a steady kick and core muscles. But when skating is introduced they are able to hold the rotation at the correct angle with a greater degree of success. This is a skill that can be learned much later in your TI journey if you so choose.
Todd
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  #10  
Old 02-16-2012
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CoachBobW CoachBobW is offline
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You're quite right, this is an exacting skill. Consider cycling. It's very difficult to balance standing on the pedals at the stop light. However, with some momentum balance becomes easier.
I wouldn't consider it 'cheating' to use fins for this drill. They could help provide the momentum that many can't generate with a kick alone.
Just remember that too powerful of a kick, generating too much speed can mask poor balance.
Use what I like to call the 'baby bear approach'. Experiment and search for: Not too much, not too little, just right in between.

Is this an extremely exacting skill? It looks pretty hard. And she is moving fast.[/quote]
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