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  #21  
Old 10-15-2015
Danny Danny is offline
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Hi Stuart,

Your last mail makes the progression you have in mind a lot clearer. I had been approaching things from the other end, always trying to keep my elbow up. Not sure how much shoulder tension I have, but I wouldn't be surprised to discover that I have too much. Where I do definitely notice shoulder tension is when my spearing arm is fully extended up front. To avoid this I try to focus on spearing as deep as I need to in order to relax those shoulder muscles.

I will try the sequence you mentioned, starting first with a straight arm. Key in the progression you mention below is that, at some point as the forearm starts to bend, the humerus will need to rotate in the shoulder. For me personally, the big difference between these two recovery styles (elbow-up and straight arm) is the rotation angle of the humerus in the shoulder as the arm comes out in the back. I must admit that the straight arm approach seems less stressful on my shoulder as the recovering arm comes out of the water. So I suspect that it is this part of the recovery that is trickiest.

I'll let you know how it feels, when I get a chance to try it in the water.

Thanks!
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  #22  
Old 10-15-2015
Danny Danny is offline
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Hi Stuart,

I have to retract everything that I said in my last post, because I just discovered something important. On going back to look more carefully at these two swimmers, I noticed something that is a potential show stopper for me. Both Shelley and Nathan (as near as I can tell) exit their hand in the rear with the humerus rotated in their shoulder exactly as it needs to be for an elbow up recovery. So for them, the question of keeping the arm straight or bent simply comes down to what one does with the forearm. For me, this is not the case. On the side of my good shoulder, I too can do this, but on the side of my bad shoulder I can't. If I want to keep my arm straight during my recovery with my humerus rotated into this position, my shoulder will lock up. So for reference, let's go back to the exercise you gave me a while back. Stand at a 45 degree angle to the mirror, looking at my nose reflection and swing my arm in circles. The path I can trace depends completely on the angle of my humerus in my shoulder. If I rotate it the way that Shelley and Nathan have it, as I swing my arm upward in the exercise, I really can't get my arm above the height of my shoulder. On the other hand, if I rotate my humerus so that my elbow is pointed inward toward my body, instead of outward, at the low point in the exercise, then I can swing up to 10 or 11 o'clock as before. So this seems to be the key point for me.

So again, the motions that these two swimmers are executing in their recovery won't work for my bad shoulder. It all seems to depend on the angle of my humerus in my shoulder as my arm comes out of the water in the back.
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  #23  
Old 10-15-2015
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Ahh got it - I have a good picture of where you are at with right arm. Rotating humerus 90 degs where palm is facing hip is not all that bad or wrong for that matter. As long as you can swing recovery elbow away from body and not pick up over the torso- you are in good shape.

You have some right recovery motion tests (dryland and freestyle) to find which position the humerus needs to be in order to swing wide and lead with elbow as far in front of shoulder as possible - even if that means range reaches only to the nose. But I think you may find a compromise that allows both swinging elbow wide and leading elbow (past nose) to front or top of head.

Keep us posted of the discoveries and compromises you make to get as much shoulder range as possible since I'm certain there are many ready this post with similar shoulder issues as you (and me).

Stuart
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  #24  
Old 10-15-2015
Ken B Ken B is offline
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You are right Stuart, I have been following this post too. About 6 years ago a neighbour and very good swimmer persuaded me that I should reach further. Within a month I had badly damaged my supraspinatus tendons. Steroids and surgery followed. I have found that as long as I swing my elbows out and well in front of my scapula plane I am perfectly comfortable. I think of my elbows as travelling in a straight line forward and back. From the side the locus of the elbow would appear to be a long teardrop shape because of body rotation.
I have wondered whether Terry has modified his dryland arm rotation exercise.
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  #25  
Old 10-16-2015
Danny Danny is offline
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Hi Stuart,

This discussion and the accompanying dry land tests have provided me with a lot of new information about where my limitations are and where in the stroke they become an issue. A lot to digest here and this is still work in progress, but the information I have gotten was precisely what I was hoping to get when I started this thread. Thanks for your help, and good luck with your shoulder issues!

Danny
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