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  #41  
Old 02-25-2011
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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I tried to follow this...

I am not aware of my scapulas while swimming, and I am not sure if I should and I am not sure if I even want to ;-)
Is the point here about details of swimming technique or about preventing injury?


Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
...
#4) Terry, if you had bigger MOOBS your upper arm would rest against the edge...or if you were a woman who had a C or a D cup.
I don't get this point at all. My biceps don't even come close to my moobs and wouldn't if it were boobs. X cup, ok...
The only point in the stroke where this could happen is at the end of the pull if the pulling arm is turned under the body (a bit of the old fashined S-style pull) or closer to the body than in the beginning. But then there is no question of resting, it would be merely a short touch. When in the stroke cycle is this resting to happen??


Slightly confused...
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  #42  
Old 02-25-2011
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haschu33 View Post
I tried to follow this...

I am not aware of my scapulas while swimming, and I am not sure if I should and I am not sure if I even want to ;-)
Is the point here about details of swimming technique or about preventing injury?




I don't get this point at all. My biceps don't even come close to my moobs and wouldn't if it were boobs. X cup, ok...
The only point in the stroke where this could happen is at the end of the pull if the pulling arm is turned under the body (a bit of the old fashined S-style pull) or closer to the body than in the beginning. But then there is no question of resting, it would be merely a short touch. When in the stroke cycle is this resting to happen??


Slightly confused...
Perhaps you don't need to be aware of it at all. I am aware of it due to a history of painful muscle spasms in my neck & upper back, requiring months of near weekly trigger point massage and traction techniques to loosen up when they get bad. I also have a bad habit of "hunching" my shoulders when I get tense, which makes the knots in my trapezius turn into golf ball sized sources of pain...and eventually leading to painful migraine/tension headaches.

So I tend to be aware of my movements whether I'm swimming or not...but TI has allowed me to enjoy being aware of what my shoulder blades are doing during the stroke. At one point, focusing too much on what was happening in the front part of my stroke caused me to carry tension in my trapezius muscles constantly during the stroke cycle...and I ended my swims feeling neck pain that should not have been present. That's when I began to consciously focus on a stretch or relaxation in my trapezius muscle as I finished my stroke. This is accomplished with depression of the scapula (movement towards the feet). But I'm not so much focused on that as I am on relaxation of the trapezius...they are opposing movements.

Terry has commented on his previous rotator cuff traumatic injury and RadSwim has commented on his rotator cuff impingment problems...this probably explains why the 3 of us have been most vocal in this now horribly derailed thread, lol.

If one has no issues with shoulder pain, neck pain, headaches, migraines or trauma to the shoulder girdle...perhaps there is no need to pay specific attention to the way the shoulder blade moves.

As far as the "resting" moment above...in full swim, there is no resting moment, the arms are in continuous movement. The resting that I am referring to would be in skating position for example. if you are in left side skate, your right arm would be resting along your side...but rather than direction down the side (where a seam might join the front and back half of your body), it is slightly forward of that position...in the deep pocket or recovery position. Also the position of rehearsal when practicing the initial stages of the marionette elbow.

At this point, I've created enough confusion on everyone's part that I'm beginning to doubt myself. I know that in my lessons, when I have someone who is making "chicken wings" with their elbows during recovery, suggesting the "bicep against boob" focus does wonders and generally fixes the problem without causing any overcompensation.

I think I'll just go buy Mike bottom's style sticks and be done with it.

I've attached a pic of me swimming with the best capture I can get of the moment I'm talking about. Again...it's a position used only for drills & rehearsals that dissappears with full stroke swimming.
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File Type: jpg B2B-Side-Front.jpg (34.1 KB, 40 views)
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Last edited by CoachSuzanne : 02-25-2011 at 07:03 AM.
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  #43  
Old 02-25-2011
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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Thanks, Doc. Yes, while skating the not-spearing arm would rest in that position, I get that.

I have a tendency to hunch my back as well, it actually got a lot better through my swimming. And I tend to get the same problems in the trapezius, they are usually nicely tense. So I got into the habit of keeping my shoulders relaxed. While swimming I don't have any such problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
...
At this point, I've created enough confusion on everyone's part that I'm beginning to doubt myself. ...
Don't worry, there are times in life where doubting oneself is the only sane solution ;-) but this is clearly not the case here.

Aren't you the one who is called 'goddess' ?
Wondering if it's blasphemy when I still call you 'Doc'...

Where do you find the time to write so many,lengthy and detailed posts? Ok, Goddess... ;-)


Hang on in there...
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  #44  
Old 02-25-2011
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Hi all

Terry, these terms may be Greek to you but in fact most of them are Latin. (;-).

Medical folk, isn't it true that the singular of biceps is biceps and not bicep, although the bicep version seems to be gaining ground as Latin disappears from schools?

I've been reading about the muscles of the back, chest, neck and shoulders and as a layman I have to say that there are too many of them, some of them hidden under other more visible muscles, and I haven't even got to the facial muscles yet, which probably also play a part in relaxed swimming.

In my own case the ones I seem to need to concentrate on relaxing are the muscles at the back of the neck. In fact these seem to tense up even when I'm not swimming. Having the computer monitor at a slightly too high or low angle, for instance, seems to cause tensing.

Isn't it great how a discussion of strokes per length turns into a discourse on anatomy?

I certainly am not complaining and I'm glad we have so many experts here.
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  #45  
Old 02-25-2011
mjm mjm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RadSwim View Post
I just review KPN's article "Shoulder SHIFT for a Faster Freestyle" -- a bit different than you summarized above -- "don't raise the shoulder blades" is not her message.
Rad: the flat back KPN mentions is at the 2:37 mark of this video and her belief that the high elbow recovery pinches the shoulder:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUWAZ...eature=related
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  #46  
Old 02-25-2011
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjm View Post
Rad: the flat back KPN mentions is at the 2:37 mark of this video and her belief that the high elbow recovery pinches the shoulder:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUWAZ...eature=related
While I can't overtly disagree with much of what she says, she is oversimplifying things. Of course...she's fast...and a masters swimmer, so she's obviously doing something right that I believe is more than just good genetics.

The high elbow recover that she demonstrates is exactly what I've been trying to describe as being incorrect. it's not the "high elbow" that's causing a problem, you can't swim without internal rotation of the shoulder at some point in your stroke (the high elbow is caused by internal rotation of the shoulder).

The whole biceps to boob/moob rehearsal that I've been (unsuccessfully) trying to describe corrects the "uncomfortable" position that she is describing. The problem is caused by doing the recovery shown in that video with a flat back. Body rotation is key to recovering the arm in a healthy way while minimizing energy. And with TI, we don't continue to "finish" the stroke and get stuck in the back as she demonstrates. We finish earlier, rotate a bit more than she advocates (but not on your side) and recover with a leading elbow which DOES allow resting and recovery of the arm.

The wide swing that she shows is going to create a longer lever arm which will create more activation of the posterior rotator cuff muscles. If you swim flatter, as she is demonstrating, then yes, you have to swing wide with the arm rather than teh "high elbow" in order to avoid discomfort.

In both this video as well as that article referenced earlier, she recommends to avoid swimming "on your side". TI is in agreement with that. However she seems to only recommned swimming flatish as an alternative and doesn't really discuss how to find your optimal rotation.

IN my mind, optimal rotation is guided in part by how much you need to rotate to get the recovery arm moving foward without hyperextending the shoulder (moving the upper arm behind you). We are back to square one on this.

Tooo many words, not enough caffiene today
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Fresh Freestyle

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  #47  
Old 02-25-2011
mjm mjm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
IN my mind, optimal rotation is guided in part by how much you need to rotate to get the recovery arm moving foward without hyperextending the shoulder (moving the upper arm behind you). We are back to square one on this.
KPN might be mostly on the same page as you, though if you watch her swim her shoulders and hips rotate about 45 degrees. However, the terms, again, are confusing: "shoulder shift, lean, or stretch", with a "rotation" instead of a "roll". Crossing over the middle would appear to cause "roll" and underswitch drills would encourage a "shoulder shift, lean, or stretch".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-u0akR23yo&NR=1
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  #48  
Old 02-25-2011
borate borate is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
She (KP-N) recommends to avoid swimming "on your side". TI is in agreement with that.
However she seems to only recommend swimming flatish as an alternative and doesn't really discuss how to find your optimal rotation.
In several of her demos she doesn't swim flat, but rotates normally.

It may be just my eye, but here observe whether Natalie Coughlin swims with a recovery technique that is similar to KP-N's.
That this obviously works well for them doesn't necessarily mean that it is the best practice for the masses...

Last edited by borate : 02-28-2011 at 05:22 PM.
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  #49  
Old 03-02-2011
Georgina Georgina is offline
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Phew, what a complicated topic this has become with anatomical terms flying around. I would like to make a few observations.
Firstly, based on my own experience as a coach I have observed that swimmers who come on a TI workshop and have a history of shoulder injury or discomfort that during the workshop that pain is not reproduced. Further swimmers who are able to continue with good TI technique go on to not experience any further discomfort. This has been true of swimmers with both traumatic and swimming related problems. Those that do experience pain going forward in their swimming practice who I have worked with on follow-up sessions have in every case not yet been performing the technique correctly. Most cases the elbow is going behind towards the spine (medially) instead of moving away (laterally).
Whilst it may seem logical to know the exact workings of the shoulder in order to improve and to activate various muscles consciously in order to achieve this. This seems counter intuitive to me as a TI coach and the way TI works in training the brain and muscle systems. If I want someone to kick less I don’t say ‘stop kicking’, I say ‘relax your legs’. If I want someone to lower their head into the water I don’t say ‘put your head down’, I say ‘allow the water to support your head’. In the same way I feel telling the swimmer to consciously draw the scapular or other shoulder and arm muscles into certain positions will not have the desired effect at best and may make is worse.
In teaching the recovery process the most effective way I have found is the following;
Step 1 – ask the swimmer to try and erase from their memory how they think the recovery arm should work.
Step 2 – tell the swimmer to think about swinging the elbow away from the body using the muscles (non specific) in their shoulders. I am deliberately non-specific as to what muscles to use. At the same time to relax the muscles in the lower arm and hand.
Step 3 – I demonstrate what this looks like on land first, explaining how the arm will hang if the muscles are deactivated and drag in the water thus allowing the elbow to lead.
Step 4 – I highlight the importance of relaxing the neck muscles and allowing the water to hold their heads. (neck muscles are most often attached to the scapula and will have a direct impact on the ease at which the swimming will be able to swim their elbow away from their body).
By going through the above process the swimmer generally develops the recovery process with good form.
Although in theory the muscles in our shoulder are muscles that we consciously activate the realty is many cannot be isolated and moved in conscious effort or messages from the brain. Ie they are not involuntary like for example, our heart muscles or digestive system. Luckily the body and brain is clever and by telling the elbow to move away from the body the brain knows exactly which muscles to activate and to deactivate.
The key to good, pain free recovery and catch as with all TI swimming is thinking about relaxation, smooth and rhythmical movements above everything else.
Hope this helps.
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  #50  
Old 03-02-2011
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Great post Georgie.

Do you find that telling your swimmers to recover the elbow "away" from the spine instead of "towards" them helps most people? What percentage of learners struggle with the change?

For me, I find that about 50% of my swimmers "get" the recovery idea fairly quickly. Another 30-40% Are able to do the right motion on land and in "rehearsal" in the water but fail to transition that to swimming, and a final 10% don't seem to get it unless I'm physically touching them and guiding recovery.
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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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