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  #1  
Old 06-09-2017
Danny Danny is offline
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Danny
Default to kayak or not to kayak

Lately I have been trying to follow a stroke similar to what I saw Sam doing in Bill Boomer's video posted by Coach Stuart
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e24vIP-3b3w

The way I see what the swimmer Sam is doing is that his shoulder motion is pretty tightly coupled, so that he reaches a full extension up front at the same time that his other hand is reaching full extension in the back. I have tried to do the same in freestyle, where my front hand reaches full extension at the same time that my back hand is starting to come out or the water.

Recently I started trying a different approach, and I would be interested in feedback from others on this. Instead of trying to keep my shoulders tightly coupled (kayaking) I focus on throwing my recovering arm forward into full extension as quickly as possible, and just try to leave the other arm in catch position. What this does is that it rotates me quickly, so that my shoulder on the catch side is up, which makes the sweep back more efficient. The other thing I notice is that, when I do this, I can now leisurely extend my catch into a sweep where I can actually feel the grip on the water and control it somewhat because I can sense it so clearly. When I was kayaking, I didn't have that ability to sense the amount of pressure I was exerting on the water, let alone whether I was pushing it down or back.

I am still playing with this, and need to practice it in order to better understand it. After swimming 6X300 yd this morning, my times were not drastically different, but my sense of ease seemed quite a bit better and I had the feeling that my stroke was not nearly as rushed as before.

Any thoughts? This seems like a choice between kayaking are breaking the recovery up into two parts. In the first part, you throw your recovering hand forward to full extension as quickly as possible and in the second part you complete the stroke in a relaxed fashion on the other side.
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  #2  
Old 06-09-2017
Danny Danny is offline
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I just took a long at Shinji's stroke underwater and he seems to be following the uncoupled approach. That is, he goes into full extension up front before his hand on the other side finishes the stroke. The remainder of the stroke is accompanied by body rotation, but the spearing shoulder is already fully extended.
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  #3  
Old 06-11-2017
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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I am not a fan of that voodoo talk from boomer that doesnt make much sense in a physical sense for an hydromechanical engineer.

He is just throwing his body over his anchor point and when the body falls, when its over the top of the anchor point, it falls to the other side of the anchor point (easy rotation feeling) and has gained speed form the fall and the preceding acceleration from the low side anchor relative to the forward accelerating bodyparts.
Its the same effect what happens in loping, but to a lesser extent, and done on both sides.

You can load the catch with bodyweight
-from a pushing water down stroke on the other side, which lifts the body up, the following fall is cought in the catch.
- from the other side kick in combination with a corkscrew movement toward the catching arm
- from the weight of the recovering arm.
- from catching the inertia of the rolling body in the catch.

You describe it well Danny, because you have put energy in the stroke before you have to go to catch, the body has gained speed before the catch, so you have more time to setup your catch and feel a bit for the water at the front without pressure on the arm.
In a sense you spread the powerinput over the cycle, making the power application less spiky, which often results in a smoother stroke (looking at the underwater part) if you dont overdo it.

A bit like the advantage of the double-push technique in skating, talked about long ago.
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmFZxNEuJH8, Double push is an inline speed skating technique. Its major advantage over the previously practised "classic" technique is that it allows the skater to do useful work during the part of the stride that was "wasted", and therefore to go faster. Opinions differ on its usefulness for non-elite skaters as it requires much practice before a skater is faster using doublepush than without.)


These four can be mixed in certain proportions. To use all four it takes a certain strokerate because the action and reaction phenomena take some time in the cycle and have to be matched.
If you push the body up, it takes some time before it falls, and you have to wait untill the fall has ended to start a following action.
You cannot use the weight of the recovering arm in full catchup timing.
The weight has to hang above the catching arm, so is not yet in the water.
kayaktiming (180 degrees between arms) or standard front quadrant (90 degrees between arms at entry)are timings that can use this technique the best. I think 90 degrees timing works best. 180 degrees gives a very bouncy stroke and is worse for balance.
If you have hypermobile shoulders and can catch high elbow way upfront, you also can use it at 45 degrees between arms, but by then there is less weight left.

here the weight is hanging right above his anchor point. Balancing on top of the hill. A moment later his weight will hang before the anchor point, and it will fall forward and sideways.(the anchor point will move to the side, making the distance arm between weight and anchorpoint greater, which increases the rolling torque)
The extra speed from this fall can be used to set up the next catch.


Last edited by Zenturtle : 06-11-2017 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 06-11-2017
Danny Danny is offline
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Hi ZT, thanks for your feedback. I think what I described is the two extremes: tight coupling of the shoulders (kayaking) and extreme catch-up. Of course there is a continuum of choices in between. I have been back in the water to play around with this a little more and, not surprisingly, the initial impression seems much more complicated after playing with it. As you say above, each approach has pros and cons, and the choice of where to lie on this spectrum depends on the individual. I still haven't decided what choice works best for me and this may even vary from day to day.
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  #5  
Old 06-12-2017
fooboo fooboo is offline
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Hey, Zenturtle!
I assume we are on opposite sides of the topic. I pretty much like what Boomer
shows and I do use his advises. Recovery connected to the hip. late catch,
almost over-rotation...
The picture gives us a look of early vertical catch. It hurts the shoulder. I did
use EVF. Now I wait a long, long time, and make vertical forearm only when
I am going to the other flank. That way I use not shoulder and arm muscles,
but whole upper and glute muscles.
What's a diff between you and me? I think almost everything. I do not pull,
almost do not push, just jump over. I catch the water with vertical forearm
and do feel how dense it is and lean on that water. I use the stance to go,
with whole body over that spot.
My thought is that people around think I almost don't do anything during my
swim. I see newbies how try to over-swim me. I am sure they see nothing I
do to go. They see lazy recovery, low rate and me faster than they wind
milling 5 times or more.
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  #6  
Old 06-12-2017
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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interesting. I dont think there is that much difference. I dont use windmill timing, but are more at the catchup edge moving more toward a loaded catch, 90 degrees to windmill timing.
In an avarage pool its not so difficult to be the fastest. people have also said to me` how can you swim so fast and do so little`, but in a competetive swimteam I would be in the medium/slow lane.
But you are definitely more on the extreme side where you have rolled before the low arm comes back as far as I understand?
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  #7  
Old 06-12-2017
fooboo fooboo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenturtle View Post
But you are definitely more on the extreme side where you have rolled before the low arm comes back as far as I understand?
Hm! I keep leading arm extended far longer. I drop hand and start to hold
the water. How I rotate, I bend an elbow, holding more and more water,
doing that. At the moment elbow is at 90 degrees, I anchor it and keep at
place. It is stable spot. I jump over that stable spot. To enable vertical
forearm, I inner rotate whole arm. Quite important!
I never despise people, who swim differently than I do. Terry's rant from
few days ago described perfectly my way of swimming. I like to do that, to
experiment...
However you swim, you are swim comrad!
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  #8  
Old 06-12-2017
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
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Hi all just a few thoughts fwiw:

- it's worth noting that the swimmer in Boomer's video is drilling, not swimming. I'm pretty sure he doesn't swim like that. Shelly Ripple showed the same drills (see the famous Richard Quick's video) but when it came to swimming she removed all that exaggerated hip rotation and changed the timing of the stroke as well. I have never seen a competent swimmer rotating hips to vertical or close to that. If they did, it was for drilling, not real swimming.

- as long as one swims at a relatively slow pace, any technique will do. Some time ago Werner posted a video of a german competent swimmer showing how he could easily swim at 1:30/100m with any kind of technique (and any kind of flaws too) including kicking only. A 14yo girl with a kickboard could outswim many swimmers here without even using the arms. Catching early, catching late, more rotation, less rotation, deep spear, shallow spear, pull more, pull less, at slow paces you can get away with anything and believe it is right. Water is more forgiving at these paces.

- to have a clearer picture of how good or bad we are at swimming, rather than comparing ourselves to other people in the pool we should better compare ourselves to our age group master swimmers. I don't necessary mean racing here, just take a look at the results of your peers at any local master meet and compare them to yours. Swimming is a sport which allows it. If you don't do it you're swimming blind.

- (a bit off topic but it comes to my mind whenever I hear about Nirvana swimming) what do you guys think about waterpolo players who can swim 100m in 1 minute and 1500m in 20 minutes with that short non elegant stroke and flat body? Do you think they could hit these times if they really fought the water?

Salvo
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  #9  
Old 06-12-2017
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Hi Danny,

I do agree with Salvo in part in that Sam is in demo mode, rehearsing the movement, and a feeling of a "throw from pelvis", not about the timing of high/low side arms. In the full series Sam moving from drill to free there is a high and low side arm connection, not a coupling or windmill like timing. And as you noticed with the high side arm dropping in rotates your body, not the low side arm pulling into rotation. This is seen with Sam in drill mode as he vaults over the low side arm in drill - body doesn't rotate until the high side arm drops in. That rotation happens from the weight and momentum of high side arm driven forward, spine lengthens, core remains tone, vessel balanced; analogous to being pulled from lead arm rather than pushing water back with low side arm. Gravity and momentum are a wonderful thing when you work with it not against it.

Restart drill is not for the novice, but for those experienced swimmers that have been under the perception pushing water back and finishing at hip. The idea is to launch the high side arm from the pelvis with a relaxed shoulder allowing its weight and momentum to swing forward from the hip and not from the shoulder. This is something that is not easily felt and can be easily misunderstood based on ones own filters or accepted norms.

However, once you feel it and begin to get in right, you can easily send your body forward the length from fingertips (of extended arm) to toes with a *single* arm throw. Sam does this very well. I have discovered what works much better than restart drill (for both novice and elite swimmers) is single arm fly launching high side arm from hip with rotation. This releases the shoulder tension, allows limb to be soft and fluid, connects high side arm to hip/pelvis, and arm naturally pops out of the surface under its own momentum. Swimmer now has the feeling of the high side arm releasing forward and accelerating, not pushing water back and decelerating at the hip.

Have fun with it!

Stuart
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  #10  
Old 06-12-2017
Danny Danny is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s.sciame View Post

- as long as one swims at a relatively slow pace, any technique will do. Some time ago Werner posted a video of a german competent swimmer showing how he could easily swim at 1:30/100m with any kind of technique (and any kind of flaws too) including kicking only. A 14yo girl with a kickboard could outswim many swimmers here without even using the arms. Catching early, catching late, more rotation, less rotation, deep spear, shallow spear, pull more, pull less, at slow paces you can get away with anything and believe it is right. Water is more forgiving at these paces.


Salvo
Hi Salvo, on the face of it, it is hard to disagree with your statement above, but I am still not sure what it means for me personally. My stamina and conditioning have deteriorated significantly as I have aged, and I don't really know what a "relatively slow pace" means for me. What I can say is that my sprinting times swimming have deteriorated much more than my distance times, and my running has deteriorated more over distance than my swimming. The question for me (which is still not really well defined, because we can't do an experiment to answer it) is what would happen if you took an elite swimmer and put him in my body? How much faster than me would he swim? If we could do this experiment, then I could know how much more I can get from technique, even without improving my conditioning. Without being able to do this experiment, I can only speculate on the extent to which technique vs conditioning is holding me back. I certainly have technique problems I am aware of and working on, but I do not believe that it is technique that is preventing me from swimming at a 1:30 pace. I continue to work on technique, because I don't see much promise in the idea of dramatically improving my conditioning. If and when I reach a 1:30/100m pace, I'll let you know!
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