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  #1  
Old 05-28-2018
jboosted92
 
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Default Finding Float

Try to keep this short....

Working on finding better "Float" As i freestyle my laps (I started where exhausted at 25 meters and now, if i take my time, doing 3-4 laps slow, feels like a decent job) . Ive vastely improved my ability to keep my hips up and a good center of gravity... had a "small" aha moment while runnning through various drills to improve "Float"

1. if i leave my arms at my side, i can stay at the surface comfortably with very little effort (breath hold or front snorkel)

as soon as a "reach" or put both arms out, my entire balance goes to shit... so in some ways my "Shoulders/back" are craeting drag, and im liking "pushing " through the water...

i then tested on my back...same thing....arms at side , great horiztonal float and effort..

any drills ? tips? thx! I believe this "push" may be making my efforts harder going through the water, and thus breathing/working to hard.
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  #2  
Old 05-28-2018
sojomojo sojomojo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jboosted92 View Post

as soon as a "reach" or put both arms out, my entire balance goes to shit...
This article by Coach David Shen was a significant “a-ha” moment for me when it came to getting my hips / legs up and my body in balance.

http://www.totalimmersion.net/blog/t...-in-freestyle/
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  #3  
Old 05-29-2018
novaswimmer novaswimmer is offline
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In that Shen article, he writes this paragraph:

"The depth angle at which you spear your hand/arm into the water can greatly affect your balance. Spearing deeper will tip more weight onto the front of your body and bring your hips up like nothing else. Spearing higher is possible, but there is a higher risk of your hips dropping unless you have good control of body balance independent of spear angle."


So, I wonder if there is a misconception about exactly how the deeper spear can help to create better fore-aft body balance by bringing up the legs.

I thought I had read once that the deeper spear is supposed to help move the weight more forward, thereby bringing up the legs (the whole concept behind front-quadrant swimming). But this makes no sense to me.

Wouldn't you say the actual mechanism is more likely:
1) the angle of the arm, during forward motion of the swimmer, presents an angled plane that the 'on-coming' water pushes against (like some of those fishing lures you see with the plexiglass plane in the front), forcing the upper body to rotate downward slightly -- pivoting at the center of buoyancy -- thereby bringing up the legs.
and/or
2) in the lower position, there is less of a tendency to push the arm downward toward the bottom of the pool than there would be in a more horizontal spear. The problem of a downward push (rather than a backward push as you'd see in Early Vertical Forearm), essentially causes the head and upper body to rise and consequently legs sink, creating drag.
But, the idea that a lower spear angle actually puts more weight forward than a more horizontal spearing position just doesn't make sense from a physics point-of-view. The most weight-forward stance would be achieved by a perfectly horizontal spearing arm, where you place as much body weight ahead of your fore-aft pivot point as possible.

Last edited by novaswimmer : 05-31-2018 at 11:47 PM.
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  #4  
Old 05-29-2018
CoachStuartMcDougal's Avatar
CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jboosted92 View Post

as soon as a "reach" or put both arms out, my entire balance goes to shit... so in some ways my "Shoulders/back" are craeting drag, and im liking "pushing " through the water...
Hi jboosted:

As novaswimmer and sojo pointed out with Coach Shen's excellent blob on details of low side arm position. Think of your body as a scale where the center is at the lungs, if one end drifts above center (of lungs) the other end will begin to drop and/or arch the back. In superman, practice both positions, 1. arms/hands extended on surface of water then 2. lower hands below the lungs roughly 12" deep. Feel which position where you body is level and stable.

Stu
mindbodyandswim.com
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  #5  
Old 05-30-2018
John@NewPaltz
 
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@novaswimmer: Thank you! I agree 100% to the fact that the lower arm cannot bring more weight to the front. If you tried to be as physically correct as possible, the opposite is actually true: The closer your arm gets to a horizontal position, the further away your hand will be from the center of buoyancy (both in terms of compensating the weight of the legs and because the shoulder as the pivot point is a couple inches away from the center of buoyancy).

I excessively discussed your point 1) a couple weeks ago with a motorboat enthusiast I'm working with. It is basically the trim tab theory from Terrys "Ultra-Efficient Freestyle": By spearing deeper you intentionally create additional drag in front of your lungs, which pushes down on your shoulders and helps lifting your hips/legs, reducing net-drag. Now, to be 100% honest, we concluded that hydrodynamics are too complicated for us to definitely disprove the theory. However, we both are not really buying the idea behind it. One main reason is the fact, that the actual purpose of trim tabs on a motorboat is to lower the required speed to get into planing mode. As long as you're in a "wet" ride, aka displacement ride, you will not save fuel through trim tabs. You might have better sight, because the trim tabs are pushing down the front of your boat, but in terms of efficiency, best case you're getting the same fuel economy as without trim tabs.
Well, it's even more complicated: Trim tabs are advertised as saving you fuel and that's not a lie. However, they're saving fuel, because you're getting into planing sooner which is much more fuel efficient than displacement. I believe that getting into planing mode as a swimmer is quite unrealistic.
To summarize, I'm undecided on your point 1)

Your point 2) is something obvious and I haven't thought about it before. So, thank you. If you're spearing in a perfectly horizontal way (and perfectly in the direction of swimming), then your first movement of the stroke must be downward (could also be sideways) creating a lift in your shoulder, which is not helpful (sideways isn't either).
One way to mitigate this effect is great shoulder flexibility and early vertical forearm. Another possibility is spearing deeper.

I'd like to add a third point:
3) Spearing deeper will create a sensation of swimming downhill and might help lifting the hips/legs by simply reducing the angle between arms and legs (making the angle smaller than 180 degrees). You're definitely reducing stress on your back muscles by not having to maintain a 180 degree position. If this is significant or negligible, I can't tell. It's just a third point.
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  #6  
Old 05-31-2018
novaswimmer novaswimmer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John@NewPaltz View Post
@novaswimmer: Thank you! I agree 100% to the fact that the lower arm cannot bring more weight to the front. If you tried to be as physically correct as possible, the opposite is actually true: The closer your arm gets to a horizontal position, the further away your hand will be from the center of buoyancy (both in terms of compensating the weight of the legs and because the shoulder as the pivot point is a couple inches away from the center of buoyancy).

I excessively discussed your point 1) a couple weeks ago with a motorboat enthusiast I'm working with. It is basically the trim tab theory from Terrys "Ultra-Efficient Freestyle": By spearing deeper you intentionally create additional drag in front of your lungs, which pushes down on your shoulders and helps lifting your hips/legs, reducing net-drag. Now, to be 100% honest, we concluded that hydrodynamics are too complicated for us to definitely disprove the theory. However, we both are not really buying the idea behind it. One main reason is the fact, that the actual purpose of trim tabs on a motorboat is to lower the required speed to get into planing mode. As long as you're in a "wet" ride, aka displacement ride, you will not save fuel through trim tabs. You might have better sight, because the trim tabs are pushing down the front of your boat, but in terms of efficiency, best case you're getting the same fuel economy as without trim tabs.
Well, it's even more complicated: Trim tabs are advertised as saving you fuel and that's not a lie. However, they're saving fuel, because you're getting into planing sooner which is much more fuel efficient than displacement. I believe that getting into planing mode as a swimmer is quite unrealistic.
To summarize, I'm undecided on your point 1)

Your point 2) is something obvious and I haven't thought about it before. So, thank you. If you're spearing in a perfectly horizontal way (and perfectly in the direction of swimming), then your first movement of the stroke must be downward (could also be sideways) creating a lift in your shoulder, which is not helpful (sideways isn't either).
One way to mitigate this effect is great shoulder flexibility and early vertical forearm. Another possibility is spearing deeper.

I'd like to add a third point:
3) Spearing deeper will create a sensation of swimming downhill and might help lifting the hips/legs by simply reducing the angle between arms and legs (making the angle smaller than 180 degrees). You're definitely reducing stress on your back muscles by not having to maintain a 180 degree position. If this is significant or negligible, I can't tell. It's just a third point.
Thanks for your response!

I don't really know much about trim tabs on a boat, but it looks like they are on the stern. Many fishing plugs have plexiglass or metal planes (or lips) on the fronts of them, and so, it seems to be a closer analogy. Although for fishing plugs, part of the reason for the lip is to make the entire lure dive down (since they normally float) and to wiggle back and forth -- which we certainly don't want to do! Of course, a lower-speared arm position is not going to create anywhere near the effect on our body position as these plexi lips on the lures do.



But thanks for your thoughts and confirmation!

I might add, that I personally do not find the lower spear position to be helping me. Maybe because it adds more drag than it helps to alleviate?

Last edited by novaswimmer : 05-31-2018 at 09:59 PM.
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  #7  
Old 06-02-2018
CoachDavidShen CoachDavidShen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jboosted92 View Post
Try to keep this short....

Working on finding better "Float" As i freestyle my laps (I started where exhausted at 25 meters and now, if i take my time, doing 3-4 laps slow, feels like a decent job) . Ive vastely improved my ability to keep my hips up and a good center of gravity... had a "small" aha moment while runnning through various drills to improve "Float"

1. if i leave my arms at my side, i can stay at the surface comfortably with very little effort (breath hold or front snorkel)

as soon as a "reach" or put both arms out, my entire balance goes to shit... so in some ways my "Shoulders/back" are craeting drag, and im liking "pushing " through the water...

i then tested on my back...same thing....arms at side , great horiztonal float and effort..

any drills ? tips? thx! I believe this "push" may be making my efforts harder going through the water, and thus breathing/working to hard.

First wow, that post was a long time ago! I forgot I even wrote that!

Many new insights from then. I was thinking about doing a video about some of the new insights, and very related to patient lead arm. Watch for that!

Second, related to new insights, try these:

Start off with arms at sides. Check balance and make sure it's good. Then slowly bring both hands up the centerline of your body. You can put move them slowly from your sides to the centerline and place one hand over the other. Then slowly move them up along your body, from belly button to mid chest, then slowly extend them forward into where you typically spear for Superman Glide. Are you still balanced? Did your hips drop?

Play with the depth while in SG. Try raising them as high as possible. Where are your hips? Then move them low, maybe even as low as 90 deg, extending directly to the bottom of the pool. How are your hips now? Was there anywhere along the path from highest spear depth closest to surface, to lowest spear depth closest to floor, that you felt like your hips were highest?

Stand in the pool or on the ground. With your palms facing each other to the inside towards your torso, raise them slowly up in front of you. Be aware of the shape of your torso as you raise the arms and the tension in the shoulders. When you raise your arms to overhead, where do you feel your ribs shift, if at all? Where do you feel the tension begin to build in the shoulders? The point at which your ribs shift and/or when you begin to feel it's starting to get hard to raise your arms - either one whichever one comes first, is the angle of your arms when you spear. It is very related to your current mobility at your shoulders, as well as your ability to stabilize your torso with a movement of the arms. If you start to arch the back in order to get your arms to your desired depth, you will actually impart a force at your hips, forcing them down. If you feel tension to try to raise them to a desired depth, the same thing will occur and you'll be using excess energy in spearing.

For now, this will be your effective spearing depth. Two solutions to this are: 1) Improve your ability to hold your body shape with good posture. 2) Improve your shoulder mobility. Both of these will require way more discussion than this post.

Give these a try and report back!
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  #8  
Old 06-02-2018
sojomojo sojomojo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachDavidShen View Post

Play with the depth while in SG. Try raising them as high as possible. Where are your hips? Then move them low, maybe even as low as 90 deg, extending directly to the bottom of the pool. How are your hips now? Was there anywhere along the path from highest spear depth closest to surface, to lowest spear depth closest to floor, that you felt like your hips were highest?
When I started to learn how to swim, I thought there was something wrong with me because I could never get my hips / legs up. I thought I had to kick like crazy to get them up which only gassed me out. After reading your blog, I used the Superman Glide to figure out the perfect depth of my arms to get my hip / legs up. I practice SG with my arms at 1 o'clock angle, 2 o'clock, 3 o'clock, 4 o'clock. Somewhere between the 3 o'clock and 4 o'clock arm angle, I finally found the elusive balance and my hip / legs stayed up near the surface. It was an important "a-ha" moment when I realized that I didn't have to overkick or use a pull buoy or fins to get my hips / legs up.
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  #9  
Old 06-03-2018
CoachDavidShen CoachDavidShen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sojomojo View Post
When I started to learn how to swim, I thought there was something wrong with me because I could never get my hips / legs up. I thought I had to kick like crazy to get them up which only gassed me out. After reading your blog, I used the Superman Glide to figure out the perfect depth of my arms to get my hip / legs up. I practice SG with my arms at 1 o'clock angle, 2 o'clock, 3 o'clock, 4 o'clock. Somewhere between the 3 o'clock and 4 o'clock arm angle, I finally found the elusive balance and my hip / legs stayed up near the surface. It was an important "a-ha" moment when I realized that I didn't have to overkick or use a pull buoy or fins to get my hips / legs up.
Great to hear! And note that your depth is not permanent. You can actually work to get it higher. If the spear is higher, you can project more energy forward and thus increase your speed. However, when you need to exert force to lift it higher, generally negative things will happen to your balance if you do so.
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  #10  
Old 06-08-2018
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello David,

thanks for your great post! May I ask an additional question:
Quote:
Where do you feel the tension begin to build in the shoulders? The point at which your ribs shift and/or when you begin to feel it's starting to get hard to raise your arms - either one whichever one comes first, is the angle of your arms when you spear. It is very related to your current mobility at your shoulders, as well as your ability to stabilize your torso with a movement of the arms.
Thought our muscles work most effective when stretched a little bit (or even as long as possible). So shouldn't we go bit more into the beginning of stretch/tension?

@novaswimmer
smiled about the picture of the bait fishes. But their lips in front are designed to let them flop around... what we should try to avoid in FS. (In Germany such baists are called "Wobbler", like the term.) But you're right our speared arm should work in the way to stay inside our "tube" of front resistance and become Terry's trim tab. That's possible because the speared arm goes lower than the CF it will work as Terry said. Because our body is submerged the needed forces are quite small and even smaller if supported with a tiny kick. That's why the feeling for a stable skate is so important during the whole stroke. I often find students without any problems with a well balanced SG, but skate and holding it becomes diffcult in the moment a movement comes to it. (Caused by a "wobbling" front, arm "smooth" hips in a somewhat unstable core some of them are sinking 20-30cm at once.)

@jboosted92
think you should work on TI's foundation-drills (Torpedo (in addition 1-5 slow kicks in steps), SG (in addition 1-5 slow kicks in steps), Skate (in addition 1-5 slow kicks in steps)... then ) and offer yourself the time to feel what happens, as David suggested. Think (and feel) more about balance without force than forcing the balance. Don't use your snorkel to work harder but to have more time to feel what happens. Feel how tiniest movements are causing this or that, and enjoy your new(? or old) awareness.

Best regards,
Werner
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