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  #1  
Old 10-13-2015
Danny Danny is offline
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Default dry land exercises for arm stroke dynamics

These days I'm playing around a lot with the timing of my arm stroke and my hip rotation, using my shoulder motion instead of just my arms, patient catch, and not over-rotating the elbow during recovery. There's a lot of different focal points there, so I find myself trying to repeat on dry land the motions that feel correct in the water, and I'm having trouble. It seems that I can do a lot of these things as a series of static poses, but I can't seem to get the right dynamics standing in front of a mirror. Not sure why, maybe because of the different direction of gravity, maybe because I can't rotate my feet when I'm standing on them...Anyway, does anyone know of some dry-land drills that allow you to actually study the dynamics of full stroke free-style? Does anyone have links to film showing someone doing something like this?
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Old 10-13-2015
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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To become aware of the difference between hip and shoulder drive I do dryland windmilling.
Keep spine straight and head motionless. Every main bodypart except the arms is rotating around a vertical axis
Rotate the straight opposite arms and drive them from the body as much as possible. the shoulder istself has to be fairly relaxed.
When holding the hips and shoulders in line while rotating the body and arms you will feel leg muscles on top of the hip after a while.
Exactly the same muscles you feel when you do dryland straight leg kicking.
Another mode is keeping the hips more stable and rotating the upperbody from this more stable base.
This loosens and strenghtens the whole upperbody shouldercomplex and the diagonal drive between upperbody and hips.
This mode allows much higher rotating frequencies, just like in upperbody high rev swimming.
It isnt exacly TI swimming but the main idea of moving body parts from the core and keeping aligned at the same time gets a big boost.

Another one is doing standing up freestyle like above, no straight arm, but with proper high elbow bending, more normal catchup timing etc, one or 2 arm with the rotating body again, but with a 1kg weight in the hand.
If you have sticky points in your movement, it will become painfully obvious.
Especially helpfull for getting a rounded end of stroke to recovery transition.

These exercises have to be executed at high strokerates or going from slow and relaxed to fast.
The momentum of the fall of the arm trhrough gravity has to be used to get them up again.
Push them a bit down and let them swimg up again like a swimg.

Last edited by Zenturtle : 10-13-2015 at 06:19 AM.
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  #3  
Old 10-13-2015
Danny Danny is offline
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ZT, thanks for the info. I wouldn't risk doing them at high stroke rates because, if I miss the timing just a little, my bad shoulder really hurts, and doing it too fast would be dangerous.But you did explain how the different direction of gravity matters in executing the motion, which helps.

Yesterday evening I realized an obvious fact that had gotten by me. When standing on my feet, I can't rotate them, so if I want to practice rotation I will have to rotate the shoulders instead. This is a small change in perspective, but it was a little difficult at first to get used to. I was trying to keep my hands on straight tracks, which won't work. Instead, you see real S-curves with your hands, but when I do this it is much smoother.

Do you have any links of people doing exercises like this?
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Old 10-13-2015
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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I do them at 100-150 strokes/min but with your shoulders thats probably not ideal...
For people without shoulder issues it nicely frees up the shoulder and upperbody.
Made them up for myself, so never seen them done on youtube this way.
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Old 10-13-2015
Danny Danny is offline
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I just tried doing this in front of the mirror and found that, once I have formed a good vertical forearm and start executing the sweep, I also execute a pelvic motion with my helps that is a lot like an abdominal crunch. I guess that's not so surprising, since you need those abs to pull your arm through the water, but it's interesting to see it happen in the mirror. It seems to be linked to the timing of the recovery. The abs are connected to the shoulders, and I think this happens only if you are sweeping with your shoulders and not just your arms. This is the kind of stuff I'm trying to sort out.
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Old 10-13-2015
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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The interesting part is where you start to find out how to rotate the arms not only from the shoulderjoint, but with help from whole body and upperbody rotation.
whatever your style of swimming, this certainly has something in commen with proper whole body swimming propulsion.

it llooks something like this, but this girl has little core stability and stiff shoulders. In swimming you want exactly the opposite. Maybe I can find a better example on youtube.
You want the circles perpendicular to the mirror plane and the body rotation around the straight spine to facilitate this. Rotating the arms on wide tracks, not crossing the midline.
Shoulders are hitting the ears if shoulders are loose.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hse-A2Mg8cw

Last edited by Zenturtle : 10-13-2015 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 10-13-2015
Danny Danny is offline
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ZT, I like the little girl rotating her arms and this is pretty much what I am trying to do except for two things. I want to do what she is doing, but keep my arm rotated in my shoulder so that my elbow is up. I also want a bent arm recovery. These are the main things I see missing in her motion.

As I already said, if I try to keep that elbow up and rotate at her speed, my bad shoulder hurts, but I can do it slowly to try to understand the connections between the body and the shoulders. Keeping the elbow up seems to impose all sorts of new anatomical limitations on the motion, and this is what I am trying to understand. Can you do it at her speed with your elbow up?

On the other hand, just discussing this and trying to articulate the issues is helping me to better understand the motion!
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Old 10-13-2015
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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Danny, I dont totally understand what you are trying to do but I gues you want to do a normal freestyle stroke instead of straight arm windmilling?
I see the straight arm windmilling more of a core strengtening and stabilising exercise combined with a sort of shoulder stretch.
If you do it the way the girl is doing it, the whole exercise is pretty useless.
There is almost zero body drive in her arm movementm she is crossing the centerline and there is to little body rotation.
Well, maybe after more time working at it it could get better.
It has to get a lot better if she wants to swim well. You can see the problems as she wants to swim backstroke. Impossible with this arm movement. If the movement cant be done on dryland, doing it in the water is certainly not going to happen.
Anyway, its good to be aware of your movement restrictions on dryland and trying to improve them. It only can get better.

Doing the high elbow recovery standing straight is harder than in the water with the weight of the arm working against raising it.
You can experiment with a side swinging recovery compared to a lifting the elbow up recovery in a dynamic way though.
The side swinging recovery is easier for making a smooth movement from hip to upwards etc.
The crunch assosiotion on starting the pull high in the air sounds familiar to me, right after that you rotate the body, and after that its time to swing the arm movement upwards again.
In theory the whole movement should use little energy. The arm falls with a little high elbow ¨push and swings upward again into extended position. Potentilal energy converted to kinetic to potential energy again.

It can be interesting to slowly move from a catchup timing to an opposite arm kayak timing.
Difficult to make a slowly morphing transition between these 2 extremes!

I can do catchup timing high elbow stuff at her speed or faster, but its easier with a bit of armspeed because the momentum carries the arm up again.

these boxing drills can also be used, but some are a bit further removed from the real swim moverment
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZgw75o11sg

And maybe this one is useful too....l ha ha
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAqEf7ZRmmI

Last edited by Zenturtle : 10-13-2015 at 08:18 PM.
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  #9  
Old 10-13-2015
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny View Post
ZT, I like the little girl rotating her arms and this is pretty much what I am trying to do except for two things. I want to do what she is doing, but keep my arm rotated in my shoulder so that my elbow is up. I also want a bent arm recovery. These are the main things I see missing in her motion.

As I already said, if I try to keep that elbow up and rotate at her speed, my bad shoulder hurts, but I can do it slowly to try to understand the connections between the body and the shoulders. Keeping the elbow up seems to impose all sorts of new anatomical limitations on the motion, and this is what I am trying to understand. Can you do it at her speed with your elbow up?

On the other hand, just discussing this and trying to articulate the issues is helping me to better understand the motion!
Hi Danny,

I avoid dryland drills that couple the arms together (windmilling). Dryland drills, or I prefer to call them "rehearsals", since you are rehearsing one part or movement in your stroke, then integrate the same motion and feeling in freestyle. There are dryland exercises that build core and supporting muscles, but have nothing to do with the motion and complexities in freestyle, medicine ball toss, etc. If you are looking at improving your recovery, rag doll forearm, leading with elbow, the "swing-skate" rehearsal is excellent: Swing rehearsal.

Rehearsals accomplish two things, 1. discover the correct movements(s) in a more familiar land based environment, and 2. discover the human tendency to move like we walk and run, i.e. wing elbow first behind (or above) torso, rather than swing wide.

Stuart
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Old 10-13-2015
Danny Danny is offline
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ZT, I don't know where or how you find this stuff, but it's great!

Thanks also for your willingness to indulge my exploration, even though you really don't know what I am trying to get at. In a nutshell, I am not at all interested in strength, since I don't perceive that as my limiting factor right now. My primary interest is to figure out a stroke pattern that my bad shoulder can execute and that minimizes the inefficiencies that will arise from its limitations. Since I have been discussing these things with you, I have learned some new stuff. Here it is, for whatever it's worth. (May be more interesting to people with shoulder limitations...)

First of all, the difference between executing the stroke on dry land instead of in the water is the direction of gravity. I am somewhat relieved to hear you say "Doing the high elbow recovery standing straight is harder than in the water with the weight of the arm working against raising it." because that means that this problem exists even for people with good shoulders.
Second, after trying different things, I have found a dryland stroke pattern that seems to work for me. I won't get to try it in the water until tomorrow, but it has some of the properties I thought I was feeling in the water last time I swam, so I think I'm on to something. The main idea is that, as soon as I go into recovery with the back hand, both of my shoulders start to rotate like a rigid paddle. This means that, as I am recovering, my front shoulder is moving downwards as I go into the catch. I am used to thinking that TI wants you to keep that front shoulder stationary until the recovering hand hits the water up front, but that won't work for me (on either side). Rotating both shoulders as I go into a catch lowers my catch arm and hand. This means that it is probably increasing my drag (in contrast to a EVF) but it also means that just by keeping my forward arm straight (and elbow up) during the recovery I may be able to get some propulsion from the shoulder motion.

Not sure how much of this makes sense to someone with good shoulders, but thanks for listening.
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