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Old 04-20-2013
Danny Danny is offline
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Default experiments with a pull-buoy

Saturdays are the only time during the week when the pool is open for 90 minutes of free swim, instead of just an hour, so this is my one chance a week to try some experiments. So I got out a pull-buoy and tried two experiments suggested by Charles.

(1) I tried swimming some laps free-style with a pull-buoy between my legs to see if I felt that my hips were closer to the surface than otherwise. Not sure what the result of this experiment was. My biggest discovery was that I can't initiate a hip rotation without kicking, and my hip rotation was so out of sync with the pull buoy between my legs, that I had trouble noticing whether or not my hips were higher.
(2) I tried to initiate core rotation without using my arms or legs. Charles posted a video of this and said that he wants some of his swimmers to master a core rotation rate like this to match the pace at which they will swim freestyle. My first discovery was that I couldn't rotate at all, unless I sculled with my hands or used my feet. After playing around with this, I discovered that I can rotate without hands and feet, but only by rotating my shoulders with respect to my hips and torquing my body back and forth. When I swim freestyle, I have more the feeling that my shoulders and hips rotate in unison, instead of twisting with respect to each other.

So Charles, did I miss the point of these exercises? When I swim freestyle, should I be thinking of rotating my hips and shoulders together, or twisting them?


Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier View Post
Well my own take on inside-out swimming is kind of simple as I pushed it as far as it can possibly be pushed:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8n_rqKsqU_w

Most of my serious athletes have specific stroke rate targets to reach. All have to demonstrate their ability to rotate (in an isolated way) at that rate for distances that are long enough. This then tells me that their core can effectively move and behave well at that particular rate, with no help from the limbs. In this gesture demonstrated in the clip above, body *must* rotate before the hand performs the sculling motion.

Wearing a pull buoy automatically breaks this connection between legs and core. But yet, wearing a pull, for several swimmers, does not come in the way to their ability to rotate.
I just watched this video again, and the swimmer seems to rotate with hips and shoulders mostly in sync. I don't know how he does it, unless he is somehow using his hands to initiate it.???

Last edited by Danny : 04-20-2013 at 07:56 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-20-2013
dprevish dprevish is offline
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Default moving forward

Danny, wow, so he's moving forward with absolutely no catch or pull (arm propulsion). I've never tried this and doubt that I would move forward at all. Are you able to move forward?
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Old 04-20-2013
Danny Danny is offline
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I think the point of this exercise is not to move forward, but rather to show that you can rotate without using your arms or your legs. Because he is hardly moving forward, if at all, the swimmer needs a pull-buoy to hold his legs up.

I find this demonstration paradoxical, because, just as you need to anchor yourself somewhere in order to pull or push yourself forward in swimming, plain physics seems to say that you can't rotate without anchoring some part of your body to rotate against. So I am mystified by this.
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Old 04-20-2013
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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I'll come back with some support soon.

The Isolated Rotation is a mysterious drill, to perform as well as to teach.

It can be very frustrating. And that frustration comes from the fact that at first glance, it's very democratic. We all have the necessary tools to perform this drill the same way that the subject of the clip performs it. The same can not be said about the way he kicks (ankle flex) or the way he pulls (upper body conditioning). What stops people from achieving perfect Isolated Rotation?

This is still a mystery for me. I've improved my ability to teach this drill, but there's still plenty of room for improvement. I got better in direct coaching situations, but over the web it is very hard (at best) to help people with it.
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Old 04-20-2013
Danny Danny is offline
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Charles,

Can you at least answer this? How can a body rotate without some anchor to turn against? This seems like simple physics. I haven't studied your video carefully enough, but it seems to me that the swimmer must somehow find an anchor to turn against. It's just that I can't quite see it, unless he is somehow taking advantage of the motion of his arms.

I just watched it again, and I have a suggested explanation. Before each rotation, he is pushing water against the back of his hand. This is the only anchor mechanism I can see. Do you agree with this Charles?

Last edited by Danny : 04-20-2013 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 04-21-2013
Ken B Ken B is offline
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Default rotation

Danny, I agree that physics says we must anchor against something. It seems to me that in this exercise we are turning against the inertia of our thighs and legs. We have to isolate the core rotation from the urge to include hips.
I have damaged shoulders right now so have lots of time to experiment with these novelties.

Ken
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Old 04-21-2013
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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This view here probably looks even more mysterious.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHSYQ6BaM2A
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Old 04-21-2013
dprevish dprevish is offline
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Default Purpose of this drill

Danny,

I know where you are coming from, seems like there should be an anchor. He is moving forward though, albeit very slowly, maybe getting it from the front and back of hands sculling close to his hips. Or is it that mystical core movement.
Certain drills from the P90x stuff I do were previously impossible for me to do such as one where you climb you leg. Forever the other leg would come off the ground every time. After a couple months I discovered that it's in the core and I somehow learned to do what seemed impossible at first, but don't ask me to describe how I learned.

Charles,

Just out of curiosity, when would you prescribe this drill to someone? Is it to develop the correct timing of the core drive perhaps?
I'm really confused by it, I might even try it in the pool this week (provided that no one is looking...)
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Old 04-21-2013
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken B View Post
Danny, I agree that physics says we must anchor against something. It seems to me that in this exercise we are turning against the inertia of our thighs and legs.
Bingo.

Without a *pseudo* pendulum effect, it's possible that this thing wouldn't work as well.

The anchor point, or at least some of it could be effort made by one side of the body *against* the energy of the other side. The momentum then may be fueled by gravity, ie the weight of this body side currently sinking. Because we can clearly see that hips move first, that the hands *finish* the job. They receive that energy from the body and transmits it against the water.

Since core is very smartly held together, that weight transfer is made possible, without breaking streamlined position, therefore very minimal energy can get turned into propulsion.

That would be my take at this time.

Some claim that core should be tight and strong to swim without breaking posture.

I think it's taking the problem (of keeping streamlined position) from a bad angle.

Obviously, at least at moderate speed, if we keep our core as tight and strong as possible, forces from outside are less likely to shaken up the core.

But I can perform the Isolated Rotation with quite minimal force. The core is very smart though. Muscles get activated/relaxed in a sequence that prevents the body from breaking the frontal axis, in a harmonious motion which features back of the stroke gentle sculling.

That's Isolated Rotation. Teaches to develop smart core, and harmonious gestures, which (given streamlined perfect position) allows to get very easy forward propulsion. A competent swimmer could easily swim 2min30/100m throwing no effort. That's not genetics, that's not deep body modification, that's nothing other than smart core and feel for water (sculling motions).

Very democratic, you can see it, almost touch it, but yet it will slip away from most hands...
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Old 04-21-2013
Danny Danny is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier View Post
Bingo.

Without a *pseudo* pendulum effect, it's possible that this thing wouldn't work as well.

The anchor point, or at least some of it could be effort made by one side of the body *against* the energy of the other side. The momentum then may be fueled by gravity, ie the weight of this body side currently sinking. Because we can clearly see that hips move first, that the hands *finish* the job. They receive that energy from the body and transmits it against the water.

Since core is very smartly held together, that weight transfer is made possible, without breaking streamlined position, therefore very minimal energy can get turned into propulsion.

That would be my take at this time.
When I was trying to do this exercise today, the closest I could come to it was by doing what I think you mean when you say the pseudo pendulum effect. That is, I was rotating my hips out of sync with my shoulders and using the twisting motion. I was, however, not sculling with the back of my hand as this swimmer is doing, and that may also play an important role. I am astounded that apparently quite a lot of forward propulsion emerges from all of this.

There is one further aspect that deserves mention here. The pull-buoy I was using contains two white cylinders, tied together. Both of them are buoyant and want to float on the surface, but when they are between your legs, one of them is below the other. As soon as you turn slightly, the buoyancy of the lower one starts torquing your hips, as it tries to get to the surface. The hard part is getting it back down when you try to turn back. I felt like I was spending most of my efforts in this exercise doing battle with the pull-buoy.
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