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Old 05-28-2009
sabali33 sabali33 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Accra, Ghana
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Default without drills I experience pain in swimming the freestyle stroke

Hello fellow TIs
I have just started the TI swimming two weeks ago. It is real. I see change in my freestyle technique. I also use less energy and swim at my comfort. However, without observing the freestyle drills described in the easy Freestyle book, I feel pain in my shoulders after swimming even a shorter distance. My shoulder becomes tensed. With drills there is no such pain. so because of this I swim drills as warm up. Please help me out. Is it going to change or that is just the experience of all TI swimmers?
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Old 05-28-2009
madvet madvet is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 230
Default Details?

It doesn't sound normal.

Have you had shoulder problems before? What was the problem?

It sounds like you have swum before, did you have shoulder pain then?

Can you describe the pain, where is it? Doing what kind of movement? Is it a sharp pain or a dull ache? During swimming or after?

If this is severe, you ought to get it checked out by a physician or a physical therapist.
John Carey
Madison, Wisconsin
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Old 05-29-2009
daveblt daveblt is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 820

Unless it's technique , setting rhythms in your shoulders. try to use your core to set rhythms before your shoulders.

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Old 06-02-2009
splashingpat splashingpat is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 589
Default address swimmers shoulders....and PREVENTION OF!

my swimming coach....didn't want to address this issue!
he'd shrugged his shoulders! ( i don't know)

funny I never experienced shoulder issues with BREAST STROKE!
Thoughts or any Thinkin' going on!!!!
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Old 06-02-2009
Rhoda Rhoda is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 402

Things to watch out for include:
- crossing over your body centerline when your hand is entering the water. Make sure you're going in straight from the shoulder to avoid pinching anything.
- entering your hand thumb-down. Also impinges. (I was shocked to see I was still doing this when they videotaped me on the Swimtrek tour a few weeks ago. Apparently, it's a really hard habit to break.)
- entering too far ahead of your body and pushing the entire arm down on the surface of the water.
Two weeks is not a lot of time, and it does take time to re-make your swim stroke.
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Old 06-04-2009
sabali33 sabali33 is offline
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Location: Accra, Ghana
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Default Thank you all for responding to my post

Thank you all for responding to my post. I think it is getting better now. thus I do not experience that pain anymore.

But can anyone help explain how the different between observing the SpearSwitch and just the freestyle stroke? I realize that in practice the two are the same. Can anyone help?
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Old 07-05-2009
elskbrev elskbrev is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 65


Maybe just a difference in terminology, but I think you mean the z-switch (ZS), which is closer to whole stroke freestyle than "spear" switch (SS). Spear switch is done entirely underwater; in ZS, you bring your arm out of the water with the high elbow and spear into the water just right.

I have spent weeks and weeks just on drills leading up to ZS, and just discovered last week how to do rhythmic breathing in ZS / whole stroke. Along the way, I read and reviewed over and over, the TI books and dvd's, and explored the forum for advice. Each time through, I picked up some fine point or insight I had missed before; something that explained what I wasn't getting.

All I can say is take your time. For me, TI is "swimming as a martial art," learned by perfecting progressive drills one at a time, always cycling back, reviewing what was learned in prior sessions. I need to anyway, since TI is so dependent on balance and I find that even a 3# weight fluctuation can change my balance, so each day I start with a warm up of all the TI drills in sequence, so I know at the outset what I'm working with.

I was actually surprised and exhilarated to find that rhythmic breathing just clicked for me the first time I finally tried it, considering all the time I put in on the lead-up drills--I was beginning to think for a while that I would never swim. But maybe it was that patient time spent "perfecting" details that made all the difference.

I hope you resolve your shoulder problem. Maybe going back to drill basics will help, though it might seem remedial to someone who already knows how to swim. Or, perhaps, you could find someone who knows TI to watch you swim and figure out where your form might be off. Personally I can be a visual learner, so it helps for me to watch video of other TI swimmers and just do what they do when I'm in the water. If you don't have the Easy Freestyle dvd, it may be worth getting. If not, you can find many video's of TI swimmers on youtube, many of which I found referenced in this forum.

Take care,
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Old 07-08-2009
ayesr ayesr is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 92
Default Sabali33's Shoulder Pain

Doing the freestyle arm stroke from flat shoulders maybe causing your shoulder pain.

Could rotation be the problem?

Are you able to activate your hip-drive at this point?

How about your two-beat kick?

All these various aspects will produce the needed rotation for you to be able to do your spear arm entry at just the right shoulder angle to hopefully eliminate your shoulder problem.

Suggest you read thru the other forum threads on hip rotation, hip-drive, 2BK, and other related threads, to get a glimpse of the freestyle from a holistic viewpoint.

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