Total Immersion Forums  

Go Back   Total Immersion Forums > Freestyle
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-28-2009
jti jti is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 6
jti
Default Shoulder Problem

Introduction:
As others, I’m also appreciative that the TI method with detailed steps is available. I’ve taken various freestyle swim lessons over time, and was dissatisfied with my progress. About six months ago, I started working with the TI freestyle materials, and I’ve progressed through the steps through Whole Stroke, however aggravating both shoulders in the process. I’ve now stopped swimming to allow healing, and continue to try and identify the source of my problem(s).

I was hoping to follow the many who I understand have succeeded by using the detailed materials available; however, now find myself trying to understand minute details to correct my problem. As I try to clearly describe here my problem, I appreciate all the effort by TI in packaging the material in the books and dvd.

Problem (as best as I can define it):
It seems that the movement pattern of my hand/arm does not move feely through the shoulder.

In drills or whole stroke when moving the body over the anchor the anchor arm does not freely move in the shoulder. When breathing, the shoulder seems to be aggravated more.

I believe the following are NOT part of the problem:
· The hand is always lower than the elbow, which is lower than the shoulder.
· Entry is with a very relaxed hand/arm, and the arm extension is long but short of locking the elbow.
· There is no intentional pressure on the hand/arm when moving from extended to anchor position.
· There is no intentional pressure on the arm in anchor position -- with a focus of building no pressure on it. From the material and posts in the forum I’m still not clear on how much pressure I should feel on the anchor; however, I’ve had a strong focus on generating all forward movement through rotation and spearing the next arm.
· I believe I have a very laser like extended body position from toes through head, which puts a significant amount of the head in the water.

Following are questions attempting to identify my problem; however, I would appreciate all comments since I may be looking at the incorrect movements, or maybe there still is a way I can resolve my problem without focusing on such detail.

1. For a good freestyle stroke, is there effort required to rotate the shoulders in addition to the shoulder rotation that comes from the kick/hip rotation?

My shoulder rotation results from the kick and then hip rotation. A close look at the dvd seems to show additional effort to also rotate the shoulders in addition to what comes from the kick/hip rotation. In trying this, it seemed to allow a freer shoulder as the body moves over the anchor.

2. Is there a need to release tension in the shoulder at end of recovery and before establishing the anchor?

At the end of recovery -- entering the water with a very relaxed hand/arm and extending the arm (without locking the elbow), there seems to be some tension in the shoulder. By pulling the arm very slightly back into the shoulder (maybe this is just raising the shoulder), it seems to allow the body to more fluidly move over the anchoring arm. Performing the stroke correctly, should this effort to release tension be required? If not, are there recommendations to improve the setting of the anchor such that there is no tension in the shoulder after spearing?

3. Is it valuable to return the head to look at the bottom of the pool before the recovering hand enters the water?

Sometimes in the video it seems Terry does and sometimes does not have the head looking directly at the bottom before his recovery hand enters. For me, it seems to help release tension in the shoulders to have the head move first to look at the bottom before the hand enters the water.

4. First ½ of stroke – entry and spear:
In the dvd, as the hand enters the water, the thumb and therefore the hand/arm seem to be significantly angled. Thus, the body, arm, hand, etc now are as if they were on a flat surface that would be angled to the bottom of the pool as the hand enters the water.

As the body flattens in the water, for a very short time, the body, arm, and hand are all parallel to the bottom of the pool.

I tried this and found it definitely reduced stress on my arms/shoulders during the entry; however, I do not know if doing this is correct since I may be compensating for something else.

5. 2nd ½ of stroke – catch and finish:
As the same arm/hand is now extended in the water and the body starts to roll to the opposite side, I have found that it releases tension on the arm/shoulder to allow this arm to rotate with the body as in the drills when rotating for air (instead of having the palm and lower arm point towards the bottom of the pool).

However, I interpret from the material and some of the posts in the forum that allowing the extended arm to rotate along with the body is NOT correct. If I understand correctly, the anchor arm should not rotate with the body so that energy from the body rotation would be stored in the body and will then be released to assist in achieving forward movement when rotating to the other side.

Depending on where in the dvd I watch (and which other TI videos on YouTube), it appears that the anchor arm is rotating with the body or not rotating. I have been focusing on not allowing my anchor arm to rotate with the body. In lesson 6 of the dvd, it appears in some places the hand/arm rotate more than I have been doing.

6. Does the anchor hand pass to the outside of the body or closer to the centerline of the body, or does it make a difference?

From written material and the dvd it seems to be more down the middle of the body; however, with the rotation of the body at the same time it is difficult to see even from a front view. In some of the TI videos posted on YouTube it may be the hand moves more down the side of the body; however, it is difficult to determine. In a reference from CoachBrian ("Good Traction With Hand and Forearm" ) forum post (http://fdscoaching.com/Newsletter7article.html), I see the hand definitely down the outside of the body, and I think this is closer to how my hand moves.


Other:
In trying to analyze my freestyle stroke problems I’ve also identified other questions on the following topics that I will post separately.
· Stretching
· TI’s freestyle emphasis compared to competitive swimming in general

Thanks to all who take the time to read this and offer their suggestions. I’ve had a long time desire to swim efficiently, and with the help of TI I hope to finally be able to do so.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-28-2009
atreides atreides is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 293
atreides
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jti View Post
Introduction:

2. Is there a need to release tension in the shoulder at end of recovery and before establishing the anchor?

At the end of recovery -- entering the water with a very relaxed hand/arm and extending the arm (without locking the elbow), there seems to be some tension in the shoulder. By pulling the arm very slightly back into the shoulder (maybe this is just raising the shoulder), it seems to allow the body to more fluidly move over the anchoring arm. Performing the stroke correctly, should this effort to release tension be required? If not, are there recommendations to improve the setting of the anchor such that there is no tension in the shoulder after spearing?

.
I have a sore right shoulder that has gotten progressively better with changes in my technique. I was aware that I was really ripping my right arm pull in order to generate momentum so that I could breathe comfortably. But that wasn't the reason it got sore. It got sore because:

1. I needed to spear outside my body line (1:00) because of long arms. Spearing at 12:00 impinged on my shoulder muscles when I anchored and pulled.

2. I have poor core drive engagement and was pulling mostly with my arms. This is deadly when you are trying to maintain a high elbows. TL just responded to me on the "How to execute hip drive" thread this morning. You should be moving your hand to catch just slightly before you rotate to the opposite side. I was rotating and then catching, anchoring and pulling. so most of the work was done by my arms . I still don't understand whether you should hold your anchor and let your body roll over your hands or whether you should apply feather light pressure all the way through the pull phase. Anyway since I have consciously tried to unload my arms using core power, my right shoulder has gotten progressively better.

I'm not sure I would stop swimming to heal up unless you have torn up something. Rather I would use the pain to determine when I spear a the wrong angle. I can tell right away when I spear to far in. The next cycle I aim outward and that usually fixes it. Hope this helps.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-29-2009
CoachEricDeSanto CoachEricDeSanto is offline
TI Coach
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 384
CoachEricDeSanto
Default

Jti,
First, congrats on the detailed post. You have obviously studied things intently. Have you seen yourself on video, or did you get this info about your stroke from sensing what you are doing? I ask because I have had very few students who see themselves on video and say that they look exactly like what they expected.

Second, with the detailed eye that you are studying with, please realize that all the videos that you are watching are of humans and our technique is always a work in progress.

As for your stroke, for the most part, anything that releases tension on your shoulder will most likely be correct.

As for your questions:
1. For a good freestyle stroke, is there effort required to rotate the shoulders in addition to the shoulder rotation that comes from the kick/hip rotation? You body is connected as a unit. You are not trying to rotate your shoulder farther than your hips. But you are putting in just enough tone to transmit all the energy from your legs into your arms.

2. Is there a need to release tension in the shoulder at end of recovery and before establishing the anchor? Your shoulder should be relaxed and it will be shrugged up to the ear. But I am beginning to think, if you feel noticeable tension, that you may be rotating too far. Try this, lay on the floor on your stomach with one arm extended in front of the shoulder. Now slowly roll off your stomach into skate. You will probably gradually feel tension increase as you rotate more. For me, my skate is about 45 degree angle of rotation. As soon as I pass about 60 degrees, my shoulders start popping of joint.

3. Is it valuable to return the head to look at the bottom of the pool before the recovering hand enters the water? A while back, someone posted on this site (I am sorry I forgot who it was) that paying attention to rotating the head down first dropped about 20 seconds from their 500 time. Bringing the head down early will increase the force of the switch with almost no energy used. The cost is less air. So there is a balance you have to strike depending on the length of your race, your speed, etc.

3. Your observations about rolling the palm with the body are correct. It will ease pressure on your shoulder. This is the one case where it is not beneficial to relieve pressure on the shoulder in this way. If the palm rolls to face the wall, you will lose some of the grip on the water as you set the catch. But, most people can easily hold palm down to about 45 degrees of body roll without strain on their shoulders. So I, again see this as evidence that you may be rolling too far.

6. Does the anchor hand pass to the outside of the body or closer to the centerline of the body, or does it make a difference? With the wide track concept, the hand should never be closer to the center line than the shoulder.

I hope this helps.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-31-2009
jti jti is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 6
jti
Default

Atreides and CoachEricD, my thanks for your ideas and recommendations.

Atreides, It is possible that part of my problem is a spear more towards 12:00 instead of in front of the shoulder (or slightly outside the shoulder?). I don’t know enough to judge if “core drive engagement” is part of my problem. I know I can roll the hips and sometimes precede them with a synchronized kick; however, I have not achieved a smooth roll with all body parts in synch! I tried to continue swimming while the shoulders heeled; however, not seeing improvement, I decided to just rest them and search for help.

CoachEricD, thanks for YOUR detailed post. Re: your question about seeing myself on video. Yes I have, and was as you described, surprised that some of my movements were not as I expected. When I decided to stop swimming I had no current video to post so used what I had been feeling to try and analyze the stroke and ultimately write the questions.

Your comments help a lot, and after reading them I’m sure you are correct about over rotation being at least one of my problems. At a future date I hope to be able to post a video that you and others may be able to help address more of my problems.

While I have the opportunity here I would like to ask further about your answer to my Question #2: “Is there a need to release tension in the shoulder at end of recovery and before establishing the anchor?.”

In your answer you included the following: “Your shoulder should be relaxed and it will be shrugged up to the ear. ”

Thanks for referencing this in your answer. I’ve struggled with what that position really is and have looked for it in the dvd. Originally I thought that I was supposed to actually feel the shoulder against the ear; however, after much focus on this point I concluded that the shoulder should be close to but not touching. Is this correct?

So the last question: When starting the recovery, I have started with the focus on leading with the elbow; however, now with so much thought about the shoulder, is it more correct to consider leading first with the shoulder and then the elbow?

I look forward to returning to the water and incorporating your feedback into my stroke.

Again, thanks to both of you for your assistance.













Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachEricD View Post
Jti,
First, congrats on the detailed post. You have obviously studied things intently. Have you seen yourself on video, or did you get this info about your stroke from sensing what you are doing? I ask because I have had very few students who see themselves on video and say that they look exactly like what they expected.

Second, with the detailed eye that you are studying with, please realize that all the videos that you are watching are of humans and our technique is always a work in progress.

As for your stroke, for the most part, anything that releases tension on your shoulder will most likely be correct.

As for your questions:
1. For a good freestyle stroke, is there effort required to rotate the shoulders in addition to the shoulder rotation that comes from the kick/hip rotation? You body is connected as a unit. You are not trying to rotate your shoulder farther than your hips. But you are putting in just enough tone to transmit all the energy from your legs into your arms.

2. Is there a need to release tension in the shoulder at end of recovery and before establishing the anchor? Your shoulder should be relaxed and it will be shrugged up to the ear. But I am beginning to think, if you feel noticeable tension, that you may be rotating too far. Try this, lay on the floor on your stomach with one arm extended in front of the shoulder. Now slowly roll off your stomach into skate. You will probably gradually feel tension increase as you rotate more. For me, my skate is about 45 degree angle of rotation. As soon as I pass about 60 degrees, my shoulders start popping of joint.

3. Is it valuable to return the head to look at the bottom of the pool before the recovering hand enters the water? A while back, someone posted on this site (I am sorry I forgot who it was) that paying attention to rotating the head down first dropped about 20 seconds from their 500 time. Bringing the head down early will increase the force of the switch with almost no energy used. The cost is less air. So there is a balance you have to strike depending on the length of your race, your speed, etc.

3. Your observations about rolling the palm with the body are correct. It will ease pressure on your shoulder. This is the one case where it is not beneficial to relieve pressure on the shoulder in this way. If the palm rolls to face the wall, you will lose some of the grip on the water as you set the catch. But, most people can easily hold palm down to about 45 degrees of body roll without strain on their shoulders. So I, again see this as evidence that you may be rolling too far.

6. Does the anchor hand pass to the outside of the body or closer to the centerline of the body, or does it make a difference? With the wide track concept, the hand should never be closer to the center line than the shoulder.

I hope this helps.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-31-2009
atreides atreides is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 293
atreides
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jti View Post
Atreides and CoachEricD, my thanks for your ideas and recommendations.

Atreides, It is possible that part of my problem is a spear more towards 12:00 instead of in front of the shoulder (or slightly outside the shoulder?). I don’t know enough to judge if “core drive engagement” is part of my problem. I know I can roll the hips and sometimes precede them with a synchronized kick; however, I have not achieved a smooth roll with all body parts in synch! I tried to continue swimming while the shoulders heeled; however, not seeing improvement, I decided to just rest them and search for help.

.
On Friday, I consciously tried to rotate after or during my catch and the results were remakable. For the record I have done this before but when I suceeded, I thought that I had somehow "missed it" (the pull). Since I felt no pressure on the pull, I figured I wasted the pull.

What I did was pretty simple. When I speared I simply started my catch move and rotated my hips right afterwards. Once I started rotating my hips the catch and pull were frighteningly effortless.

My understanding is spearing right in front of shoulder is 12:00. Spearing toward your centerline would be 11:00 and spearing outside your shoulder line would be 1:00. I don't think that spearing at 12:00 would get me into trouble if I want to set my catch at my shoulder. But I have wanted to be more ambitious and try to set it in front of my shoulder which requires that you move your shoulder forward. That's why I going to a wider tracks to allow myself the room to anchor in front of my shoulder.

Another thing that made my shoulder sore was that I had a tendency to raise it in order to have this high spearing angle. A friend pointed out that my right arm came out of the water higher than my left arm. I first tried to raise my left arm more but it was easier to not raise my right arm as much. Once I did this the soreness started subsiding. I realized that just needed to get your hands over your ears (earhops anyone) to mailslot your entry and that these exobrbitant angles I see some swimmers take are unnecessary. In fact if you watch elite swimmers, they barely get their arms out of the water.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-31-2009
CoachEricDeSanto CoachEricDeSanto is offline
TI Coach
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 384
CoachEricDeSanto
Default

jti,
I like coach dave cameron's way have teaching the arm position. He simply asks, "Who wants to be a better swimmer?" And being a teacher, expects everyone to raise their hand with some energy. If you just raise your hand over your head while standing, you will naturally shrug your shoulder a little bit. The closeness to your ear depends on your flexibility and shoulder width.

Play with shrugging the shoulder as the first part of the recovery. For me it makes a huge difference. For some of my students, it makes everything fall apart. I have not yet figured why it affects people so differently.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-07-2009
jti jti is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 6
jti
Default Shoulder Problem

Atreides,
Congratulations on your progress. I look forward to being able to see the same after I return to the pool.

CoachEricD,
Thanks for this easy example of how much shoulder “shrug” I should be looking for. I hope to find myself in the group that sees a significant overall improvement in their stroke!

Again thanks to you both for your time and sharing your knowledge. I hope you may be available at a future time to review a video that I post.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 01:17 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.