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Old 05-12-2016
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 26
Default Superman Glide Challenge

All my pool swims start with a superman glide for the first lap or two. Coaches Mandy and Stuart ingrained the practice as part of their TI clinic and classes. It's a great way to begin each practice mindfully, relax and focus on streamlining with balance.

Inspired by Shinji's and other amazing videos, six months ago I took the "Superman Glide Challenge" - complete a length in 2 or less push-offs including the wall (25 yards). When I started, it took 3.5 pushes to make it across. I quickly dropped to 3 pushes. For the past 2 months, I've been 2 yards short of the double push goal in an outdoor pool.

Of course, once I make it across in two pushes, the new goal will be to make it across in a single push.

My questions to the forum:

1. What suggestions can you share to get those extra few yards?
2. Who else would like to step up to the Superman Glide Challenge and occasionally update the thread with your progress and tips?
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Old 05-12-2016
tiswimjapan tiswimjapan is offline
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 44

Originally Posted by MTBROAD View Post

My questions to the forum:

1. What suggestions can you share to get those extra few yards?
2. Who else would like to step up to the Superman Glide Challenge and occasionally update the thread with your progress and tips?
Keep exhaling very tiny amount of the air.
For me, the drill is meant for controlling balance dynamically, so I prefer pushing off the bottom.
Shinji Takeuchi
TI Japan Head Coach
the YouTube Swimmer
Shinji's Swim Video:
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Old 05-12-2016
jenson1a jenson1a is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Southwest Florida
Posts: 671

I would be up to the challenge. However I swim in a pool that is only 70 feet long and in the middle of the pool, it is too deep for me to push off from the bottom. However in the widest part of the pool, the length is about 45 feet and is 3 feet deep. I can do this in about 2.5 pushoffs.

My problem (I think) is not so much balance but running out of air. Will take Shinji's tip about exhaling tiny amt of air.

Good way to start a practice session

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Old 05-12-2016
CoachDavidShen CoachDavidShen is offline
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 604

I believe there is SG for drilling and there is your challenge of the ultimate SG. Depending on your situation, that could mean slight alterations of what you might do in SG in order to hit your target of minimal restarts to get to the other end of the pool. These are not necessarily things you'd want to do for swimming. Some ideas/thoughts below:

1. Learn to push off as strongly as you can off the bottom of the pool, and push off evenly versus using one leg more than the other. The more starting momentum you have, of course you will move farther.

2. The pool itself may introduce drag. Finding a lane that is deep and away from the walls is better. Deep unfortunately means that you can't push off again. But perhaps you could do this in a pool that is shallow for all of it instead of only at one side.

3. As you slow down, you will tend to drop the hips, unless you are blessed with natural horizontal buoyancy. I would recommend doing this only after maximizing your SG with totally straight body line, but you may find that if you arch your feet and hands up, you can maintain horizontalness on the surface for just a little while longer. This is one of those things that i would consider an optimization of your SG challenge and not something you'd want to imprint for normal swimming. Be aware of that when you get to a point of trying this.

Long SGs are all about staying horizontal so you have minimal drag, and doing it while slowing down. Holding your breath for longer is good and holding air in versus blowing a lot of it out will help with buoyancy. More velocity generated on push offs will give you more momentum and you will travel farther before you slow down.
David Shen
Total Immersion Coach
Menlo Park, CA
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Old 05-12-2016
daveblt daveblt is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 820

I try to keep horizontal as long as possible and keep my legs up by maintaining slight pressure on the upper backside of the legs ,glutes and lower spine to help pull them up.At the same time keeping your legs together .

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Old 05-12-2016
Danny Danny is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,442

One comment here about pool currents. My pool has wall vents that blow out water which circulates and sets up currents. In some lanes I often notice that I need a larger SPL going in one direction than in the other direction, and that is a good indication of currents. If you want to prolong your SG, you should know where the currents are and what direction they flow in!
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