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
  #41  
Old 11-10-2009
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Posts: 787
haschu33
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by vol View Post
haschu33, thank you very much for the insightful suggestion about cause and effect! I might never have thought in that direction otherwise!
My pleasure - that's what this forum is about, I think. I got a lot of help already.

To extend this a little more.

Your description with the "(" is marvelous - that is exactly what happens to me when I am breathing on my left and I tried to find the cause.
The point I discovered is that I not only lift my head, but I lift my upper body as well, although is only a very little amount, it is a little more than a tension only. But it is enough to cause my lead hand to go down - it is the only real lever at that moment that can help this movement. I have no idea what my legs are doing at that moment but the only thing they can do is going down, I believe.

So for me the one and single cause for all this is the upwards movement of the head followed by the upper body. So I concentrate on eliminating this movement and expect everything else to fall in it's place. There might be differences due to one-handedness, I have differences in the two sides of my body, and I am sure that my poor breathing to the left has to do with that - I just can't figure out why this happens.

The way I deal with it is nodding drill, first of all. I noticed that even when I just move my head to the left without breathing my lead arm already goes down slightly. I don't know if I am lifting the head already or the movement is an anticipation of the lifting that usually follows here. But the nodding drill is excellent for that. I think CoachDave once mentioned to use fins, propel yourself through the pool, keep the one arm in skating position and turn the head and rest it in the bow wave to get a feeling for that. I wanted to try that also.

We'll see. I was in the pool yesterday, went into the non-swimmer with about 2-3 feet water depth, and did nodding drills for half an hour (it is only six or seven meters long and I get easily through it without breathing). The good thing is that 'real' swimmers never go into those 'kid's' pools so without kids I am always alone in there.
Those drills really help. And apart from the concept and clear identification of what effective swimming is about I think it is the variety of drills that make TI invaluable.

Good luck! I'll keep reporting.

BTW I wanted to read what you mentioned, but your link is a little unspecific, it just brought me to the TI forum. And I didn't find anything through the search.
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 11-10-2009
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Rio, Wisconsin
Posts: 564
westyswoods
Default

Vol & haschu33

I went to the pool yesterday and took a step back. Did only drill superman glide, skating and moved to almost one hour of nodding with no breath. My routine is to put cones on the bottom along lane line. Moving them as I increase distance with glides to begin. Through this thread and all the help, it was the first time in two years that I can say I felt like I was able to catch without pulling. Or as Terry says a light arm. There was just a lightness to the movement. Mind you this did not occur ever time but it was there, something different.

In going back over the videos mentioned earlier I found exactly the same as you both alluded to, not only was my head lifting but my whole upper body was coming out of the water, reminded me of the shark in Jaws, and my legs were forming a counter balance way out of line.

My nodding drills foucused on just that with no attempt to get to air. Except on a couple occassions when I lost focus and instinctively went for air. Each time I felt my head lift and my spearing hand drop. Not as bad though. I was able to do about 15yds before having to stop for air but it was so much easier. My stroke count was 6-7 this is with push off but I was not focusing on glide. I still have a very slow tempo though. I will continue this for some time eventually trying to incorporate breathing. Easy freestyle gives a couple of good examples of transition, skating to incorporation of breathing to whole stroke. Looks easy ha.

Now the next piece of the puzzle I need help with is timing and bow wave. I have viewed video enough to know I can not figure out the exact timing of breath cycle.

I want to post the video I spoke of earlier (ugly) but shows every thing discussed, just need to get it edited down to specific parts. I am sure it will help may who struggle with same.

Thanks To All
Westy
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 11-10-2009
vol vol is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 175
vol
Default

haschu33, sorry about the link--I tried again and it seems the web site uses frames, so it always just shows the general totalimmersion page. You can go back to Page 11 of the "Freestyle" forum, the topic was "Patient Lead Hand", started by rwilkes on 05-19-2009. You can see 5 stars on the index page (I gave it :)).

About the "(" shape: the reason I don't think that in my case it is due to breathing side is that, if I breathe on the left side, I still had "(" shape, rather than ")". And the same if I hold my breath and do not raise my head at all.

Moreover, as I mentioned above, if I do not kick (lock my legs together as if using pull buoy), and do not raise head/breathe, the same thing happens; it's as if there is a rubber string between left hand and right leg, so that when on my left side, left hand goes down, and right leg deviates to the right side. The left side of my lower back feels very weak and does not hold the left side in that effortless way as my right side of lower back.

I have stopped counting my laps to better focus on this problem. Hope there will be a breakthrough.
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 11-10-2009
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Posts: 787
haschu33
Default

Hi vol,

If your "(" is not related to breathing then I think the core balance drill will help. Core balance is this drill where you put both hands at your thighs (as as if putting them in the pockets) and then you flutter kick. I found it very uncomfortable in the beginning because you don't have your arms strectched out in front which is bad for balance and I had to kick quite strongly to keep the position. I found it fairly easy to do that being flat on the water, and it is fairly easy to do it with a rotation of 90 degrees. But this drill means doing it with a 'just enough' rotation, and that is a very unstable position and you can only keep your position through usage of the core muscles, there is no other aid in keeping the position. It is more difficult than doing the skating drill because in skating you have your lead arm and that helps a lot with balance. I did this drill until I was comfortable with it, and I still do it every time I am in the pool.
I had remarkable differences on the both sides, when my right shoulder was down it felt natural and easy, when the left was down it was completely awkward: I did this so many times that it feels quite easy now on both sides.

I think this is maybe the best drill for core muscles, from there to skating and then to zen switches - will do the trick.

I think it is easier to go back to this drill than just trying to keep the left arm stretched. I still believe - even if it is not breathing and I don't know the cause - that the unstable left arm is a symptom of something and if you identify and eliminate the cause it will immediately help with the arm.

And if the cause is in the core muscles, you will clearly notice this in the core balance drill.

I know, the ear... but one day...
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 11-11-2009
vol vol is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 175
vol
Default

I continued to try to solve the "puzzle" today...to my frustration. haschu33, your cause and effect suggestion is making more sense to me (thanks again for posting that--if that were only in your mind, I would never have a way to know it ;)). I have discovered today that when I don't swim well (to be sure, sometimes I do swim well...), not only left hand drops, but also, while I mean to use 2 beat kick, I kick once on my right side (when right hand stretch forward and left hand pulls), but I kick TWICE on my left side. I now remembered that I had noticed this once some months before (then somehow it either disappeared or I forgot about it), but this time, thanks to your suggestion, it suddenly occurred to me that this kicking twice on the left side must be an unconscious way to maintain balance. I tried to refrain from kicking twice, but the result is that my body kind of collapsed, left hand dropping and a listless "(" shape, and I felt as if various ligaments (especially around the waist) stretching improperly very uncomfortable (though can't say painful).

So somehow, for still unknown cause, it's hard for me to maintain balance on my left side. So my legs kick twice to compensate for this in order not to over-rotate or deviate or become shapeless ;).

I did the core balance drill that you suggested. It does show the left side is worse (and I would deviated to the right side), although, since it doesn't use 2bk, the leg problem is not obvious in this drill.

Anyway, both the core balance drill and the attempt to find out the "problem" really exhausted me today. As I repeated the "bad" strokes over and over again in order to find the problem, it was very tiring and uncomfortable. ;)

Those of you whose problem with one side is simply caused by breathing, you are luckier than me: it's easier to work on the breathing movement than correcting the problems caused by lifelong habit of right-handedness (muscles that one is not used to use).

Finally, I have a question for you, haschu33. You said

Quote:
Originally Posted by haschu33 View Post
I had remarkable differences on the both sides, when my right shoulder was down it felt natural and easy, when the left was down it was completely awkward: I did this so many times that it feels quite easy now on both sides.
Did mere repetitions of the drill make the difference (improvement), or you need to do something more for the weak/bad side?

Sorry for the long post. That's my "achievement" from todays 1-hour "swim" ;).

(why's that sometimes we can post smilies and sometimes they are not there? I wish to lighten the mood here :D)
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 11-11-2009
CoachBobW's Avatar
CoachBobW CoachBobW is offline
Coach
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 24
CoachBobW
Default Balance

Balance is the key in two respects
1. If you are swimming uphill, even a little bit, you hips and subsequently, your chin will be drawn lower. Even if it's an inch lower, that's still underwater, so, out of necessity, you will use the lead arm to press down and lift yourself up to where the air is available.
2. In addition to the nose up/nose down (airplane analogy) balance of being level, you have to contend with the degree of roll (wings up, wings down) balance. If you are unstable there, you will use the leading arm to try and support yourself or correct the instability. Over-rotators oftentimes use the leading arm to pull themselves and keep from over rotating onto their backs.
A wild and wide kick is another solution to the out of control roll.
Bob Wiskera, Dallas
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 11-11-2009
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Posts: 787
haschu33
Default

Hi vol,

I was in the pool today - nothing seemed to work. Breathing doesn't get better, I was completely out of breath after each lap, no nice propulsion with every stroke, everything seemed to be really difficult.
Yes I was frustrated.
On the way home I thought about your post, and realized that frustration is mainly based on one thing: comparison. I compared with how it was yesterday, how it is supposed to be, how I want it to be, how others do it, how Terry looks like in freestyle, how Shinje looks like - an endless list.
So frustration is mainly a unproductive state of mind that derives from choosing the worst possible viewpoint to things.
I then thought that I did a few really nice strokes, that my balance is getting better, that I kept my 20 SPL although I went from SR 1.7 down through 1.3, ...
Actually I started to fell quite happy about my swim.
In this respect swimming teaches me a lot: about just acknowledging where I am without thinking too much about it and start to improve from there.
So I do understand your frustration here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vol View Post
Those of you whose problem with one side is simply caused by breathing, you are luckier than me: it's easier to work on the breathing movement than correcting the problems caused by lifelong habit of right-handedness (muscles that one is not used to use).
That again is a non-helpful thought. It is great to identify the errors, or where the room for optimization is! And there is no luckier or not. We are all one-handed, so big deal. And I don't think in the moment that it really is easier to work on breathing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vol View Post
Finally, I have a question for you...Did mere repetitions of the drill make the difference (improvement), or you need to do something more for the weak/bad side?
Yes, mere repetitions. I couldn't do anything else because I couldn't do full strokes.
The funny thing is that I didn't have that problem when I was in skating position. That was really strange. But I kept it quite simple at that point, I did every drill until I got my focus point with that drill. And the core balance one is brilliant for developing the core muscles, I think. Just make sure you are in the 'just enough' rotation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vol View Post
(why's that sometimes we can post smilies and sometimes they are not there? I wish to lighten the mood here :D)
I was wodering about that as well. It is the Forum software that interpretes the smilies or not. If I am edeiting and scroll down the page there is a little box, and it says: smileys are off. There is a link in the 'smilies', but no option to switch them 'on'. :confused: (<- this is supposed to be the 'confused' smiley...)
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 11-11-2009
Janos Janos is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Liverpool, England
Posts: 389
Janos
Default focus on the target

Hi Vol/Haschu,

The symptoms you are describing are essentially the 'dreaded dropped elbow'. When this happens you have wasted a stroke, so you have no chance of reducing your stroke count, and this will also have a negative effect on your next stroke, even though it is on your good side.

Your drills are correctly focused on balance etc, but the issue with the arms is in fact hip related. You must drive the spearing arm forward, past the catch hand, which then catches the water as your body rotates via hip drive as it moves forward. This is your opportunity to take a breath...as you rotate when BOTH hands are still in the water, let you chin follow your shoulder for air. To make sure your head is in alignment...train in an end lane, so when you take a breath, you are looking along the edge of the pool with one eye...when your recovery arm exits the water, and starts its forward trajectory, it is tipping you into a forward position, which makes it harder to get air at that point. So take your breath early and return to face down position before recovery arm gets too far forward. It is absolutely essential when doing this that you spear to the target....aim for the end of the pool, as far as you can reach..you will glide much further, and your low stroke count will be realised. Also you can forget about your leading arm sinking and your busy legs...it all comes from your hips. Remember that!! your arms will become lighter, and you will wonder what all the fuss is about!!

It is worth remembering, that when you are having problems with the symmetry of your stroke, it is worth looking at the flexibility of both of your shoulders and your neck, are there any restrictions? tight neck, stiff shoulder?

Also when drilling, make sure your lungs are full of air..don't breath your bouyancy away, and when you take a breath, try and take a diaphragmatic inhalation, this will fill your lungs with air, and make a huge difference when drilling, and swimming of course!

Kind Regards

Janos

p.s if the busy legs persist, you could consider it provisional training for your six beat kick! :-))
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 11-12-2009
vol vol is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 175
vol
Default

Thanks everyone for the very useful discussions (gave the thread 5 stars :)).

I didn't have a good swim today (again), but afterward reflections gave me some new clue.

The new "clue" that I have just found is that the reason (or part thereof) that I am not good on my left side is that, being right-handed, I am used to use force on my right side--right leg, right hip, right arm, etc. Comparing with swimming on either side, I found that while on my right side, I (correctly) use some force on my right hip to support the right side of the body, while the left hip is very much relaxed. Naturally, this implies that when I'm on my left side, I am supposed to use force on my left hip, with my right hip relaxed, right? Well, that is where the problem comes: I don't actually do so; on the contrary, it's still my right hip that is tensed up and left hip (which is supposed to support the left side now) still relaxed! As a result, instead of producing an integrated movement of the whole body, it produces totally uncoordinated, shapeless movements of individual parts of the body.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janos View Post
the 'dreaded dropped elbow'. When this happens you have wasted a stroke,
Indeed. My left arm usually pulls like an "in-scoop": the elbow would be almost at the midline.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janos View Post
the issue with the arms is in fact hip related.
So true! Thank you for pointing that out. This agrees with and confirms what I described above, about using the hip force.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janos View Post
It is absolutely essential when doing this that you spear to the target....aim for the end of the pool, as far as you can reach..you will glide much further, and your low stroke count will be realised. Also you can forget about your leading arm sinking and your busy legs...it all comes from your hips. Remember that!! your arms will become lighter, and you will wonder what all the fuss is about!!
Thanks. Indeed, I have experienced the importance of spearing to the target--end of the pool. And again, thanks for stressing that it all comes from the hips! Combining your and haschu's comments, the hips are the culprit of what the legs and arms are doing wrong!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janos View Post
when you are having problems with the symmetry of your stroke, it is worth looking at the flexibility of both of your shoulders and your neck, are there any restrictions? tight neck, stiff shoulder?
Perhaps my left hip needs to be more active. (sounds a little funny :D)

Last edited by vol : 11-14-2009 at 04:20 PM. Reason: right=left
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 09:34 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.