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  #1  
Old 10-19-2010
dshen dshen is offline
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dshen
Default Weight Shift/Body Rotation/Spear vs. Tempo

Yesterday I focused on my weight shift and transferring that to forward momentum. Generally, over the last few months in working with Coach Shinji, I think I feel pretty good when I perform that part of the stroke and am always amazed at how much forward momentum I can generate with just this movement.

However, yesterday, I was playing around with trying to maintain that same feeling in the weight shift while increasing tempo, because in previous swim sessions I have noticed that as my tempo increases, I do not seem to get the same exact feeling or result as when my tempo is slower.

To describe my feeling:

As my recovering arm moves to high elbow position next to my head, I let it drop and, as Coach Terry describes, use the release of potential energy dropping down into the water to give momentum to my body rotation into the spear. The arm enters the water, rotating my body, and then shifts forward into the spear, and the opposite leg kicks to "send my spear on its way" (another great Terry-ism!).

The opposite arm catches and strokes back during this movement, and my body shoots forward with a nice pulse of speed.

At slow tempos, this feels very good and I get a noticeable forward pulse with this movement.

As my tempo increases, I find that it is getting harder for me to let the potential energy release of a relaxed dropping arm propel me alone. Instead, I find that the speed of the dropping arm and ensuing body rotation seems to be limited due to water resistance to my body rotation and gravity accelerating the arm downward from such a short distance. At higher tempos, I have to use more muscle to keep the arm moving, and to keep up with the tempo.

Yesterday I played with this a lot. I find that up to about 1.2s tempo, I have time to let the arm drop and feel a good gravity driven rotation and forward momentum. As I drop below 1.2s, I find that I have to start using more muscle energy to accelerate the drop.

So I started experimenting with giving the drop more time to do its thing. I tried shortening my stroke back so that there was more time for the arm to recover to the high elbow position before the drop. I also tried moving my arm faster through recovery so that it would get to position faster, also giving more time for the drop to happen. Both of these worked better for tempos faster than 1.2s but as I got closer to 1.0s tempo I started to feel less the gravity/relaxed hand drop but a more muscle driven one to augment the speed of the drop in order to keep up with the tempo cycle.

I was wondering if there were any similar experiences that anyone would care to share, and any thoughts on how the arm drop/body rotation behaves at faster tempos, and how we can maintain the gravity assist as we get faster.

BTW, I should note that in playing with all this, it definitely helped me maintain a constant SPL per 25y a lot easier. The body/gravity assisted arm drop/spear forward is a great forward momentum generator!
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  #2  
Old 10-19-2010
don h don h is offline
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don h
Default responding to dshen

hi,

i've been experimenting with using "gravity" to rotate my high side down to a position where my body is approximately flat, at which point i kick down, in my two beat kick. the force from the kick (really a flick) blends with the "gravity" to complete the downward rotation of the high side.

i am personally skeptical about the idea that the foot flick i do offers anything significant in the way of propulsion, or in the way of driving the spearing arm forward. however, i found the drill recently referred to by, i believe, coach ryan, and others, to be very helpful in teaching how to ensure that the footflick is in fact rotating the body. (this is the drill where you do superman glide, and practice flicking each foot, to rotate the body).

my sense of how "weightshift" and the kick (flick) aid propulsion is that by providing the "force" needed for rotation, they relieve the hands and arms of any part of the task of rotation. the hands and and arms freed up to perform the single task of propulsion, by pulling straight back, holding water so so, etc.

about the issue of faster tempo: i am wondering if rotating a lot less might be part of the solution. if you rotate your high side less high, it has less distance to travel, and less time to take, to get to a position where the body is flat and you can kick and complete the rotation. i don't know if this is the answer. i'm going to go to the pool and try it out.

it must be very exciting training with shinji.

don h
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  #3  
Old 10-19-2010
aerogramma aerogramma is offline
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aerogramma
Default

thanks dshen and don h for the very interesting discussion.
there's no TI coaching available where I live so it's always interesting to hear what TI coaches do in training session.

(Incidentally if you'd care to share any drills to practice a 'gravity dropping arm/propel forward' movement it'd be most appreciated).

I do feel like don that the 2b kick is not giving me any propulsion per se, but is indeed essential to set a whole virtuos motion (weight shift etc.) in place.
A bit like a whip.

I will try to pay more attention to the dropping arm factor on my next session.

val
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  #4  
Old 10-20-2010
dshen dshen is offline
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A quick note about the kick in 2BK: it is mostly to help give some authority and extra oomph in the body rotation. The kick helps give just that much more speed in the rotation, which shoots the spearing hand forward as well as help give more force in the stroking hand moving back.

I have found the timing of the kick to be critical. As my hand drops down into the water and starts angling and moving forward to spear, that is when the kick should happen, not before or after. As Terry puts it, you should think of the kick (or toe flick) as sending the hand on its way forward.

If I kick before the hand enters the water, or even when it just enters the water, the forward momentum effect is much lessened. I can clearly see this when I focus on kicking the right way (above) and when my timing is off as my SPL for a given 25y is less by 1 stroke.

You should give this a try and compare the difference between swimming your way now and then focusing on kicking at the moment I describe above, after the hand has entered the water and is angling/moving forward into spear.
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  #5  
Old 10-20-2010
dshen dshen is offline
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dshen
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by don h View Post
hi,

about the issue of faster tempo: i am wondering if rotating a lot less might be part of the solution. if you rotate your high side less high, it has less distance to travel, and less time to take, to get to a position where the body is flat and you can kick and complete the rotation. i don't know if this is the answer. i'm going to go to the pool and try it out.

don h
I have played with this also and find that when the body is rotated less, if anything to keep up with the tempo and to combat tiredness and a lessening ability to turn quickly due to less energy, then the gravity assist also feels less because the body rotates less also.

I think I then feel like the recovering arm is moving from the back at end of the stroke and then forward to the high elbow/at head position and immediately moving into the water, and also less down but starting to be angled diagonally forward more. The "less down" angle means that I am not taking advantage of gravity as much....
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  #6  
Old 10-20-2010
aerogramma aerogramma is offline
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aerogramma
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dshen View Post

I have found the timing of the kick to be critical. As my hand drops down into the water and starts angling and moving forward to spear, that is when the kick should happen, not before or after. As Terry puts it, you should think of the kick (or toe flick) as sending the hand on its way forward.

If I kick before the hand enters the water, or even when it just enters the water, the forward momentum effect is much lessened. I can clearly see this when I focus on kicking the right way (above) and when my timing is off as my SPL for a given 25y is less by 1 stroke.

You should give this a try and compare the difference between swimming your way now and then focusing on kicking at the moment I describe above, after the hand has entered the water and is angling/moving forward into spear.


thanks for the excellent advice dshen

I too find the timing of 2bk critical, and I'm paying more and more attention to it.

I suspect to be not too distant from the sequence you describe so well above, but with the pointers you gave I will be able to better judge my timing next time.
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  #7  
Old 10-20-2010
rajsenthil rajsenthil is offline
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rajsenthil
Default Sync kick/flick with beep

Quote:
Originally Posted by dshen View Post
A quick note about the kick in 2BK: it is mostly to help give some authority and extra oomph in the body rotation. The kick helps give just that much more speed in the rotation, which shoots the spearing hand forward as well as help give more force in the stroking hand moving back.

I have found the timing of the kick to be critical. As my hand drops down into the water and starts angling and moving forward to spear, that is when the kick should happen, not before or after. As Terry puts it, you should think of the kick (or toe flick) as sending the hand on its way forward.
dshen, in one of the post Terry mentioned that he sync the kick/flick with the beep. I tried this and worked for me and could do 1.3 maintaining the spl. Before that I got struck in 1.5 for long time.
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  #8  
Old 10-20-2010
don h don h is offline
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don h
Default hi to dshen and aerogramme

i think the advice not to kick until the spearing hand has entered the water is very good, and i especially take it to heart since you are working with shinji.

i have the impression (but i'm going to review things) that by kicking when the body has rotated to "flat" i am ensuring that my lead hand has entered and is about to extend; and i am ensuring that my catch is fully "formed" with the other hand. terry has indicated that the kick should occur during, and should boost, the second half of the stroke.

i still wonder whether the kick is adding much to the surge of energy we sense as the lead arm extends. i think it really comes from the stroke of the hand and arm, which occurs at the same time as the kick. maybe i need to learn to get more propulson (not just rotation) out of my kick.

i did go to the pool and try rotating less. i need more assessment on this. i think dshen is suggesting that it takes gravity quite a bit of time to play its role in rotating the high side down. i agree. and this is the problem.

thank both of you for the exchange of ideas.

don h
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  #9  
Old 10-20-2010
Alex-SG Alex-SG is offline
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Alex-SG
Default Clarification on 2BK timing vs. rotation start

Quote:
Originally Posted by dshen View Post
I have found the timing of the kick to be critical. As my hand drops down into the water and starts angling and moving forward to spear, that is when the kick should happen, not before or after. As Terry puts it, you should think of the kick (or toe flick) as sending the hand on its way forward.
What you are saying is incredibly interesting. As we think of "Spearing arm", many of us probably think the kick is the button you press to throw the arm into the water at the top of the recovery.
In reality the hand has to reach the water on its own and the kick helps it move forward.

a. So if this is the case, what exactly happens from the recovery to the SPEARING part?

b. Does the hand enter the water simply as a result of gravity, before the hip/shoulder rotation even starts ?

c. Can we say that the 2BK is perfectly synchronized with the Catch/pull action and the rotation only starts after the 2BK?

d. If all of the above are correct, can we conclude that the 2BK foot is kicking at a 45degree angle (since we are skating at 45degrees and the rotation has not started yet) ?

Thanks to all for helping me see more clear... ALEX

Last edited by Alex-SG : 10-20-2010 at 05:45 PM.
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  #10  
Old 10-20-2010
borate borate is offline
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borate
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex-SG View Post
As we think of "Spearing arm", many of us probably think the kick is the button you press to throw the arm into the water at the top of the recovery.
In reality the hand has to reach the water on its own and the kick helps it move forward.
The kick occurs just after the hand enters. It should be downwards with reference to the body.
Speed appears to impact kick timing, as you may note by comparing the slow-mo and real-time segments here --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hC8ZZZhabp4

Here's how the fluid movement sequence looks to me, from the perspective of viewing the body from the feet...

Weight begins to shift (roll) as the left arm starts its propulsive phase - pulling directly back, fingers pointed to pool bottom.
The right arm immediately spears, with relaxed hand. Some swimmers pierce at the same time as the pull begins, or slightly before. (Speed plays a role.)

Momentarily after right-arm spear - almost coincidentally at faster speeds - the left foot kicks (or toe flicks) downward as the right hip drives down.
This torques the body clockwise, accentuating the weight shift.

As the pull completes, the lead arm is at full extension (170-180 degrees), body is streamlined, rotation is maximum, with left shoulder slightly out of the water.
Observe the shoulder rotation at this point: the right shoulder is forward, the left is rearward. (Flexibility varies with the swimmer.)



The lead arm patiently waits for the recovering hand, as described above, and the process is repeated for the other half of the stroke.

Last edited by borate : 10-22-2010 at 04:07 PM.
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