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  #1  
Old 12-22-2008
don h don h is offline
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don h
Default shinji asked how i cut strokes to 7

over the last month or so i reduced my stroke count (in super slow swimming), first, from 13 to 10, then, in the space of three days, from 10 to 7. a few days ago, shinji asked what contributed to stroke reduction in my case.

first, a couple of clarifications. i am pushing off from the side of the pool, not the bottom of the pool (as shinji does in his 12.5m superman glide on youtube). no kicking during the glide from pushoff, feet together with toes pointed. hand on top of hand during glide from pushoff (not straight ahead as in superman glide). "first pull" after pushoff (i happen to use my right hand for this) is not counted as a stroke. no kick on "first pull." beginning with "stroke number 1," i do 2bt kick. so there are seven kicks, one per stroke. i am getting about 11 yds. from pushoff and "first pull" combined. this leaves approximately 14 yds., or 42 ft, for seven strokes, about 6 ft. per stroke.

i believe the reduction from 13 to 10 can be attributed largely to (1) and (2) below, and the reduction from 10 to 7 can definitely be attributed to (3):

(1) i learned a faster gliding/skating position by experimenting with "first pull" after pushoff;
(2) i improved "rotational balance" (discussed below) in order to
(a) glide farther, and
(b) "set" myself more consistently each time to prepare for a kick that has more propulsion; and
(3) i had a blast experimenting with front quadrant swimming, both conceptually and in the water, to learn better "horizontal balance."

(1) "first pull" after pushoff. good swimmers swim parallel to the surface, from head to toe; and they maintain this fast position through "horizontal balance." as a more average swimmer, i started using the opportunity of the glide after pushoff, and the glide after "first pull," as a means to experience this fast position before it "dissipated" into something "uphill" after i started swimming. i started putting my lead hand straight ahead during "first pull" and the glide after "first pull," and gradually found myself rolling to about the same degree each time. this glide position was noticeably fast, and a lot of fun. this is now my position when swimming, slow or fast. at least on one side. i need to go through the same process of experimentation by doing "first pull" with the other hand.

(2) better "rotational balance." i interpret this term to mean rolling each time to optimal skating/gliding position (not too much, not too little)--and holding that position, without moving anything. without moving your hands, without kicking, without flaring your leg out wide, without wiggling your toes (just kidding about the toes). in addition to gliding better, i believe, from watching movies of terry and shinji, that if you can attain a moment when everything is "still" and in good position right before the kick, you will get more out of it.

(3) front quadrant swimming. hang an elbow in the air, about even with your ear. do this when you "recover" after "first pull," and when you recover after each stroke. you will glide forever, because, with your elbow hanging, it, your hand, arm, and that part of your shoulder and back which is out of the water are now heavy enough to tip you into a horizontal and fast position. these things are now heavy and actually weigh the same number of pounds they weigh on land. they weigh the same as on land, because they are no longer under the surface displacing water. after your glide, give these things back to the water. as you give them back to the water, be philosophical about it. terry says in his second dvd that it is easy to put your hand in the mailslot, but you must take care with the forearm. let's go one further. give them back to the water in ascending order of heaviness. first, the hand, then the forearm, then the upper arm, then shoulder and back. what happens next? no reason to worry, because shoulder and back on the other side of your body have already started to rise out of the water, and you may now take back from the water. let's go one further. if you do the under water finish like shinji told you to, you may take back in descending order of heaviness. first, shoulder and back, then upper arm, forearm, and hand. whoah, dear reader. this is starting to sound like church.

and that is how i, a burned out 60 yr old poverty lawyer, swam the pool in seven strokes.
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  #2  
Old 02-02-2009
ELLIOTT ELLIOTT is offline
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ELLIOTT
Default Spl

Hi, Don H,

I'm impressed. When you talk about quadrant swimming,hanging the arm at the ear,etc., does this mean that in order to achieve a longish glide in this position, you need to accelerate your recovery hand as it leaves the water to give you more time when it reaches your ear to effect the glide?
Hope to try your ideas when I get back into the pool after cast is removved from my broken ankle!

All the best, Archie
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  #3  
Old 02-02-2009
madvet madvet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by don h View Post
. ."

....you may take back in descending order of heaviness. first, shoulder and back, then upper arm, forearm, and hand. ....
and that is how i, a burned out 60 yr old poverty lawyer, swam the pool in seven strokes.

Great description and rationale. I think more than 90% of swimmers take the hand out first on recovery. Most think "what's the difference??" Your explanation helps to show the difference. Thanks.
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Madison, Wisconsin
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  #4  
Old 02-02-2009
daveblt daveblt is offline
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At 7 strokes I was wondering how long are you hanging the elbow in the air ? I guess what I'm trying to get at, is the 7 strokes actually more of a drill or swimming ?


Dave
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  #5  
Old 02-03-2009
don h don h is offline
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don h
Default it's a drill

dave,

its a drill. the swimming is very slow. i'm hanging the recovery arm by the ear for several seconds. i have moved on to conditioning, and other things to focus on. However, the "drill" is fun, and i think i learned from it. the last few times i did it i got 6 strokes. nice hearing from you, and thank you for your
interest.

don
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  #6  
Old 11-15-2009
vol vol is offline
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vol
Default

I just read this old thread and it's a very good one. There are quite a few things that I also experienced but didn't know how to put into words, which don h described nicely. I especially find his experience with and descriptions of the "first pull" very interesting, as I myself have always found the first pull important but easily go wrong, yet I don't seem to have seen much discussion about it elsewhere.

Thanks don h for sharing! (Perhaps you now can swim in 5 or even 4 strokes??)
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  #7  
Old 01-04-2010
flppr flppr is offline
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post a video!
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  #8  
Old 01-04-2010
vol vol is offline
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vol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flppr View Post
post a video!
If only you could lend me your underwater video camera ;)

Is everyone swimming these days? I'm getting rusty having not swum since before the new year due to pool closing :(
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  #9  
Old 01-04-2010
flppr flppr is offline
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sure, just come on over to san diego, and i'll film you myself. swam yesterday, outdoors. sunny and 72 degrees:-)))
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  #10  
Old 01-04-2010
vol vol is offline
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vol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flppr View Post
sure, just come on over to san diego, and i'll film you myself. swam yesterday, outdoors. sunny and 72 degrees:-)))
How I envy you ;)
I finally got to swim today, and contrary to what I had expected (thought I would start very slow and may not swim very long), I swam very well, perhaps the best ever, not tired at all. Perhaps it's not a bad idea to sometimes skip a few days. It may help forgetting some bad habits. Anyone has similar experience?

Last edited by vol : 01-04-2010 at 08:58 PM.
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