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  #1  
Old 11-25-2008
Jamwhite Jamwhite is offline
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Default Why does freestyle follow tracks?

I have been doing four stroke swimming a good lately and I have started reverting back a little bit to my old freestyle technique which is to freestyle pull in a keyhole-ish pattern.

In all three other strokes, there is an outsweep and an insweep. In backstroke, I am referring to what is called arm wrestling the water in the Backstroke video as the outsweep.

So why does freestyle follow tracks instead? When I was originally taught in swim practice, we did a maneuver where you would pull out just a little bit, then pull down along the center line which is very close to the keyhole pull in fly and breast.

Why are tracks better than using a keyhole maneuver?
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  #2  
Old 11-25-2008
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Personally, I like the "keyhole" pattern, which seems to happen naturally when the body rolls. If the arm stays in one place and your body turns 45 degrees, the arm ends up near the midline of the body. It also seems to help 'eject' the arm for a more energetic, wider recovery.

That being said, my crawl sucked the other night. But I think that was due to playing with two new focal points. (Breaststroke was better though. hehe)
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Old 11-26-2008
daveblt daveblt is offline
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Freestyle follows tracks for lateral symmetry and to keep you moving forward from when your hand enters the water to the time it exits.Your hand enters the water and pulls straight back ,exits then starts again and the job is as good as done .


Dave
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Old 11-26-2008
wavelengths wavelengths is offline
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"If the arm stays in one place and your body turns 45 degrees, the arm ends up near the midline of the body. It also seems to help 'eject' the arm for a more energetic, wider recovery."


It also pulls you out of balance.

Staying on track means that in the switch drills or in whole stroke your whole body - spine, legs and arm - is always in a clean, balanced line, as it is in Skating. If the arm veers to the centre, you're no longer balanced.
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Old 11-26-2008
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Default A Few Thousand Words

Quote:
Originally Posted by wavelengths View Post
"If the arm stays in one place and your body turns 45 degrees, the arm ends up near the midline of the body. It also seems to help 'eject' the arm for a more energetic, wider recovery."

It also pulls you out of balance.

Staying on track means that in the switch drills or in whole stroke your whole body - spine, legs and arm - is always in a clean, balanced line, as it is in Skating. If the arm veers to the centre, you're no longer balanced.
Perhaps the inward and outward movements cancel each other out? In any case, here are some pictures from the O2 video captured during the Z-switch drill. In pic 1, the arm is just about straight. In pic 2, as the body rolls, the forearm slides in a bit as is no longer vertical, but maintains a near 90 degree angle in relation to the upper arm. In pic 3, the forearm is in a vertical position.

Of course, the angles are not precise, but it's clear that the forearm doesn't maintain a constant, perfectly vertical orientation. AH! But I *do* see that the hand seems to progress to the rear in a line! Hmm....
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Z-switch_1.jpg (30.0 KB, 27 views)
File Type: jpg Z-switch_2.jpg (30.8 KB, 148 views)
File Type: jpg Z-switch_3.jpg (29.5 KB, 18 views)
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  #6  
Old 11-26-2008
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Default Thorpe Similar

Compare to Ian Thorpe's 2nd and 3rd arm angles. Notice the same inward movement of the arm as the body rolls.
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File Type: jpg Thorpe_angle1.jpg (25.0 KB, 144 views)
File Type: jpg Thorpe_angle2.jpg (24.7 KB, 119 views)
File Type: jpg Thorpe_angle3.jpg (21.6 KB, 17 views)
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  #7  
Old 11-26-2008
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamwhite View Post
Why are tracks better than using a keyhole maneuver?
"Tracks" refers to what you do when your recovering arm is entering the water, and is in contrast to the monorail swimming some people try to do, in which they imagine that they can slide their recovering arm into the same slot that was previously occupied by their leading arm. (This is impossible in practice because there is a distance between the shoulders, so what really happens is that their recovering arm crosses the center line of their body as it slides into the water, causing them to zigzag first to the left and then to the right as they swim.)

The "keyhole maneuver" you refer has to do with the stroking arm. Some years ago, people analyzing recordings of elite swimmers noticed that their stroking arm seemed to follow an S shape, so they decided that this must be a key to fast swimming, and started teaching developing swimmers that they should try to do it. The problem was that the elite swimmers, in general, weren't trying to do it. In their minds, they were simply stroking straight back, and it was their core body rotation which made it look like an S.
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Old 11-26-2008
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachBobM View Post
n their minds, they were simply stroking straight back, and it was their core body rotation which made it look like an S.
Now *that* makes sense. I recently had the experience of doing something without thinking, but with intention, then /trying/ to do it consciously. Trying too hard wacked it out because the sensations were deceptive; I was over-correcting. Maybe smaller corrections or more going-with-the-flow would have helped.

Yeah, the path of entry and extension I agree would be good to be wide. Recovery in a straight line, I'm not so sure.

Last edited by shuumai : 11-26-2008 at 07:10 PM.
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