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Old 08-01-2012
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,244

I'm very glad that you picked up on the floppy rubber feet aspect, as it's by far the most important one pertaining to this clip.

You know, and it's easy to understand, the ligaments structures found in the ankle/foot is built to be extremely resistant. When you stretch say, your pec muscles, you're actually stretching muscles, ie flexible tissue.

We say *stretch your ankles stretch your ankles*, easier said than done really. Because there are very little muscles involved down there. You're actually stretching ligaments, ie some of the most resistant tissue structure in the body.

Therefore, floppy relaxation rubber aspect is the most important element of the two, as it allows you to at least exploit your limited flexibility. In other words, if you're not being flexible, at least be 100% relaxed so that you exploit your limited range of motion.

It doesn't mean that it's impossible to improve the flexibility, but it will improve by 1 millimeter at the time. As we grow older, it becomes more and more difficult to make gains there, but it's worth continuing working on it, like home, every day, 3-5min whilst doing something else.

Note that in the past, in order to prepare someone to improve his performances dramatically, I ended up injuring him on both feet (the top of the foot/ankle) by wanting *too much*. So care must be taken here...
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Old 08-02-2012
Rincewind Rincewind is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 340

Honestly after seeing no improvement in my ankle flexibility, I gave up and started wearing fins for all the balance drills.
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Old 08-02-2012
terry terry is offline
Head Coach
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,305
terry has disabled reputation

Newbie Welcome to TI and the Forum.
After all the truly generous advice on kicking, I hope not to 'throw cold water' on the topic, but when teaching I recommend to virtually all students who are at a level similar to what you describe to do everything possible to minimize their kicking. There are a couple reasons why I do this
1) The order of skills we always follow in teaching is Balance--> Streamline --> Propulsion. Kicking is a propulsion skill; it's early in your learning process to be focusing on it.
2) The tendency of most newbie swimmers is to OVER-Kick because survival swimming is still fresh in their memory. As teachers, we know we need to overly counter that tendency.
3) The default kick we want TI swimmers to learn--because it's most efficient for relaxed, graceful, tireless distance swimming, which is the goal for most of our students -- is the 2-Beat Kick (2BK).

The process for learning the 2BK is
(i) Calm your 'busy' legs.
(ii) Actively streamline your legs.
(iii) Learn to coordinate them with body-roll/weight shift in an effortless 2BK.

PS: In Superman Glide, just glide. If you lose momentum or your legs drift down, stand up and push into glide again.
Terry Laughlin
Head Coach & Chief Executive Optimist

May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story
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Old 08-02-2012
newbie2012 newbie2012 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 32

Hi Terry,

Thanks a lot for your answer, makes a lot of sense and is very helpful.

In fact I was trying the follow up from SG when you start some kicking, and realized that I'm alternating between 2 bad kicks, either too much/fast, either too stiff a leg.

I've noticed that relaxing as much as I could resulted in a nice floatability where kicking was much easier to do.

I understand I should relax my feet much more and do just some gentle kick-body roll.

What I also noticed is that head position was very important, I think I was either getting the head too deep underwater, either I was bending my neck/head too much downward, when trying to keep my neck/head straight, by looking a bit forward the body seemed to float much easier, effortlessly.

Is this the position that I should be looking for ? In the videos you guys seem to look straight downward, I was trying to reproduce that but I was probably doing something wrong.

When looking slightly forward - in fact straighting my neck and probably pointing my head in the "laser beam" position, I was seeing/feeling the water somewhere just above my forehead hair line, not by much, but it would be hard to have a definite measure. In your videos you guys seem to have the head slightly deeper underwater, but maybe is just a feeling because I can't see myself when I swim :)

How can I check myself in terms of head/neck position, what's the best way, by chin-chest distance, directing eyes-head at a certain angle, or just by feeling, doing just the SG glide until I'm sure of finding easily the sweet spot where you float relaxed and effortlessly ?

Thanks again for your help !
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