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  #1  
Old 05-07-2016
shankar_ shankar_ is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2009
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shankar_
Default Balance in freestyle

Hello,
I'm hoping to receive advice with respect to the below challenges I'm encountering:
1. I breathe only on my right side. I have tried unsuccessfully to breathe on my left. I just don't seem to find the right balance, and feeling of comfortable positioning on the left. I end up lifting my head awkwardly, and don't find any sense of flow or gliding, unlike what I find on my right side.
And upon taking such an uncomfortable breath, i.e. whenever it succeeds awkwardly, I sink quite a bit upon re-entering the water after gulping the air.
(When it doesn't succeed, despite the awkwardness, I gulp water).

2. When I try the pull buoy too, I struggle with balance. When I try to catch a breath on my right side (my normal "strong" side), I seem to topple over all the way.

Could it be that I'm turning too much for my breath ?
Without any pull-buoy or fins, etc., I swim about 1000 yards on most days, breathing exclusively on my right.
I'm fairly slow, and take about 40 minutes for 1000 yards.
Overall, it feels like I need some remedial attention to improve flaws in my technique.

Anything anyone may advice based on the above? What may I practice to improve my technique.
PS: I did the TI weekend class several years ago, so I have some vague recollections of what I learned there.

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 05-07-2016
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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If you topple over with a pull buoy you are not aligned.
Probably your legs bend a bit down relative to your head torso spine line.
Try to straigten so the pull buoy is closer to the surface of the water.
Then you should be stable.
If your rotation angle is too big the above described unbalance is magnified.
Also compare with the pull buoy between the knees.
If you are aligned there shouldnt be a massive difference. If you topple over even more you are sure your legs are not inline.

Your asymetric breathing also has a link with being not aligned.
Fix your alignment with the pullboy on different places of your rotational axis so that all the pull buoy positions feel OKand then try to breath on both sides on all pull buoy positions. That will keep you busy for a while.
If thats posible you know you are aligned and thats a big thing to achieve.
The nice thing is that getting aligned usually also has a positive effect on your balance without the pull buoy.
Swimming with a pull buoy is only half swimming, so when you get aligned get rid of it.

Last edited by Zenturtle : 05-07-2016 at 10:31 PM.
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  #3  
Old 05-07-2016
shankar_ shankar_ is offline
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shankar_
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenturtle View Post
If you topple over with a pull buoy you are not aligned.
Probably your legs bend a bit down relative to your head torso spine line.
Try to straigten so the pull buoy is closer to the surface of the water.
Then you should be stable.
Thanks a lot for the reply.
I didn't fully understand "legs bend down relative to your head..".
That means I'm inclined?
i.e. the line from head to toes is not horizontal, but inclined at some angle?
Or
Am I perhaps not even straight, regardless of whether horizontal or not?
i.e. I'm perhaps at some awkward positioning where the head-to-toe is not a straight line, but awkwardly "bent" in some way that I have somehow settled into?

I'll definitely try the buoy at various locations. By that you mean, different positions from: very close to groin, through thigh, knee, all the way down to ankles?
Would you please clarify?
Thanks a lot again!
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  #4  
Old 05-07-2016
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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By a bend i mean that there is a more or less straight line and horizontal from head to hips. Then the hips are a bit tilted and there is a line from hips to toes that is angled down a bit to the bottom of the pool looking from the side.
If you add buoyancy on that dowmward inclined line and rotate around the horizontal axis you get a torque around that horizintal head hip axle.
The float want to go up and takes the rest of the body along.
If the bodyline is straight the position of the float cant produce a rotation torque because its always on that axis independent of the rotation angle of that axis around its centerline.
Imagine having your legs angled 90 degrees down pointing to the bottom of the pool and add a big float to your feet.
If you rotate a bit the float will raise to the surface, taking your body along and rotate your main body 90 degrees takin your feet to the surface and you will be looking to the side of the pool instead of the bottom, of the pool.
yes vary the position of the buoy between feet and groin.
It will feel very awkward if you first try this.
If you have a buoy that has a big float part at the watersurface side, that type of pull buoy is more stable. making it all a bit easier.

Last edited by Zenturtle : 05-07-2016 at 11:09 PM.
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  #5  
Old 05-08-2016
shankar_ shankar_ is offline
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shankar_
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenturtle View Post
By a bend i mean that there is a more or less straight line and horizontal from head to hips. Then the hips are a bit tilted and there is a line from hips to toes that is angled down a bit to the bottom of the pool looking from the side.
Thanks for the clear elaboration.
Just one question: Will trying to consciously arch my back while 'horizontal' in the water help correcting such a "bend"?
Or any other deliberate way I may try to correct for this, while swimming?

Thanks for the tip about the pull bouy; the double-sized one, where one side is bigger.
I'm definitely going to try that whenever I can get a lane to myself.
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  #6  
Old 05-08-2016
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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didnt mean a double size pull buoy, only an asymetric one.

Finis made a new style pull buoy, that makes it easier to put it at ankle height or at different places along the line..
Without an ankle band it takes a lot of leg force to keep the float between the ankles.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GROntsgx6wM


Thi is a classic about the basic posture you want to hold in the water.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5V5PYspkknE
You dont want to bend your back much. Make yourself as long as possible.
Try to keep the lower back flat and focus on your upper back. Push your chest in the water.

Dont become too obsessive with these kind of drills doing it for hours..Try it for 10 minutes and let your body learn from the swim experience.
If your fresh try it again.Mix with normal swimming.

Last edited by Zenturtle : 05-08-2016 at 07:58 AM.
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  #7  
Old 05-08-2016
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar_ View Post
Hello,
I'm hoping to receive advice with respect to the below challenges I'm encountering:
1. I breathe only on my right side. I have tried unsuccessfully to breathe on my left. I just don't seem to find the right balance, and feeling of comfortable positioning on the left. I end up lifting my head awkwardly, and don't find any sense of flow or gliding, unlike what I find on my right side.
And upon taking such an uncomfortable breath, i.e. whenever it succeeds awkwardly, I sink quite a bit upon re-entering the water after gulping the air.
(When it doesn't succeed, despite the awkwardness, I gulp water).

2. When I try the pull buoy too, I struggle with balance. When I try to catch a breath on my right side (my normal "strong" side), I seem to topple over all the way.

Could it be that I'm turning too much for my breath ?
Without any pull-buoy or fins, etc., I swim about 1000 yards on most days, breathing exclusively on my right.

I'm fairly slow, and take about 40 minutes for 1000 yards.
Overall, it feels like I need some remedial attention to improve flaws in my technique.

Anything anyone may advice based on the above? What may I practice to improve my technique.

PS: I did the TI weekend class several years ago, so I have some vague recollections of what I learned there.

Thanks!
Hi Shankar,

I will offer a contrasting view and opinion of the pull buoy. The best thing to do with the PB is donate it to the pool. Unfortunately, like a used tire, they don't recycle.

Your experience with the toppling over with PB is common and you're right it's from over rotation, PB magnifying the lack of stability supporting body at the ends and not from the middle/core. Balancing from the core, stabilizing your vessel, pivoting body about the center of buoyancy (lungs) is a learned skill which the PB only mask. Worse, shutting off the legs trapping a PB between them, as well and binding the legs together is like turning your body into a wheelbarrow causing back to arch and core to go soft.

As you discovered lifting head to breathe, balance is thrown off, hips sink - drag profile increases. If you breathe every other stroke (on 2's) your hips never recover to the surface and swimming close to 45 degs. Your 40 min 1000y is not a lack of effort, it's only a lack of balance and core stability - much like swimming with a parachute. I suggest the swim snorkel until you find your balance and stabilize platform. Also, when doing superman and r/l skate drills, keep reps short (5-10 secs), feeling air on your hips. If you don't feel butt/hips crown surface, stop and repeat. It's not about how long you can be in a skate position, but rather the quality of the skate in a *balanced* position.

Lastly, although balance as priority hasn't changed, much has been learned and changed since you've taken a workshop. Get the Ultra Efficient Freestyle dvd/download for the most succinct progression, and it will always start with a progression of (re)learning to balance from the middle and core stability: http://www.totalimmersion.net/store

Stuart
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  #8  
Old 05-09-2016
shankar_ shankar_ is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2009
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shankar_
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachStuartMcDougal View Post
If you breathe every other stroke (on 2's) your hips never recover to the surface and swimming close to 45 degs.
Thanks Coach.
Yes, I breathe every other stroke on my right side.
I'll start to work deliberately on balance.
Thanks for the pointer about the new DVD.
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  #9  
Old 05-09-2016
shankar_ shankar_ is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 13
shankar_
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenturtle View Post
didnt mean a double size pull buoy, only an asymetric one.
Thanks a lot Zenturtle.
I really appreciate all the advice. Will try out a few things things and hope to improve!
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  #10  
Old 05-10-2016
Streak Streak is offline
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Sound advice so far.
I will add that if you don't swing you arm out wide and drag your finger tips along the water on recovery then you will tend to over rotate.
I was a big culprit of this until corrected by Stuart.
If you haven't yet seen it, here is Stuart pointing out this issue among others on my freestyle

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79Yp_lgN4mQ
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