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  #1  
Old 09-12-2017
vhrk
 
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Default How to activate Hip Drive

Hello friends,

I started swimming the TI way about 2 months back using the Easy Freestyle DVD. In that, Terry keeps mentioning a 'hip drive' for body rotation. My question is, how do I know if I am using my hips to cause rotation? What are the critical sensations one should feel while doing so? I am asking because I am not sure whether I am using my hips at all.

Does kicking without bending your knees activate the core? I tried doing this but it feels awkward and makes me tired after a while.
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  #2  
Old 09-12-2017
novaswimmer novaswimmer is offline
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Originally Posted by vhrk View Post
Hello friends,

I started swimming the TI way about 2 months back using the Easy Freestyle DVD. In that, Terry keeps mentioning a 'hip drive' for body rotation. My question is, how do I know if I am using my hips to cause rotation? What are the critical sensations one should feel while doing so? I am asking because I am not sure whether I am using my hips at all.

Does kicking without bending your knees activate the core? I tried doing this but it feels awkward and makes me tired after a while.
Newbie here, but I'll follow this thread. Anxious to see what the more learned experts say.

It's not the hips alone that 'cause' the rotation. I would say there are at least four contributors to rotation .... 1) the opposite leg kicking downward, 2) consequent shift in hips (which should be fairly locked to spine and shoulders), 3) then the spearing arm as it propels forward and down into spear position (the 'throw' of the arm/hand, if you will), and 4) the pull of the underwater arm as it sweeps back (or some like to say 'anchors' in the water). My sensations tell me the main way to get the hips to shift in the water is to apply pressure against the water such that the body rotates in the rotational long axis of the body. Hips should be fairly linked to shoulders. The downward kick gives the hips a big assist in rotation; hips linked to shoulders, etc. It's all connected!

So it's the combination, connection and subtle synchronization of all four movements (and probably more!) that contribute to rotation, in my opinion. I'm still experimenting with the relative timing of all four elements -- which one or ones I should initiate and which should follow. Theoretically, the down kick assists hips to rotate, which are tied to the shoulders and that movement allows the throwing of the spearing arm forward -- like a pitcher moves hips to assist the throw of the ball. But it all happens nearly simultaneously that I'm not sure which really comes first.

In TI drills, initially practice 'skate', then the spear-switch, multi spear-switch, and zipper switch drills to get a feel for the whole body synchronization and consequent hip movement. Also, study the 2-beat kick and its synchronization with the other limbs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QM4nnKKFOXE

If you want to see non-TI videos that help demonstrate this, you might look at these:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyoXCIeSewY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UA43URExGCw

Now, I'll stand back and listen to what the experts say. LOL!

Last edited by novaswimmer : 09-12-2017 at 06:53 PM.
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  #3  
Old 09-12-2017
Janos Janos is offline
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If you drill with the assumption that hip rotation is inextricably linked to your catch arm, then you will make progress.
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  #4  
Old 09-15-2017
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vhrk View Post
I started swimming the TI way about 2 months back using the Easy Freestyle DVD. In that, Terry keeps mentioning a 'hip drive' for body rotation. My question is, how do I know if I am using my hips to cause rotation? What are the critical sensations one should feel while doing so? I am asking because I am not sure whether I am using my hips at all.
Can you rotate your body without using your arms? A couple of ways of doing this are:

1) Rotate from your Core Balance position to your head-lead Sweet Spot (Interrupted Breathing position) and back.

2) Do Vertical Kicking with quarter turns: Go into water that is over your head, fold your arms across your chest, and keep your head above water by kicking. Periodically do a quarter turn, first in one direction and then in the other.

Quote:
Does kicking without bending your knees activate the core? I tried doing this but it feels awkward and makes me tired after a while.
You want to kick from your hips, not from your knees, but if you've been in the habit of kicking from your knees in the past, you may have developed the wrong muscles. As you continue practicing your new narrow, hip-driven kick, the muscles you need for this kick will become stronger and stronger and you will be able to do it longer without getting tired.


Bob
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  #5  
Old 09-18-2017
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello vhrk,

CoachBobM, Novaswimmer and Janos gave some good hints. I also think it's better to focus in the feeling that all your movements are driven by a stable core, Terry calls it the "Powerhouse".

And for health of your spine also, locked hips and shoulders with parallel rotation movements (swimming like a log) might be more helpful for a TI-stroke than trying to initiate stroke from hips directly.

Best regards,
Werner
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  #6  
Old 09-19-2017
Danny Danny is offline
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Originally Posted by WFEGb View Post
Hello vhrk,

CoachBobM, Novaswimmer and Janos gave some good hints. I also think it's better to focus in the feeling that all your movements are driven by a stable core, Terry calls it the "Powerhouse".

And for health of your spine also, locked hips and shoulders with parallel rotation movements (swimming like a log) might be more helpful for a TI-stroke than trying to initiate stroke from hips directly.

Best regards,
Werner
Hi Werner, I'm not sure I agree with you on this one. It's not clear at all to me how to swim like a log, nor is it clear at all to me how to rotate while locking hips and shoulders with parallel rotation movements. I think that rotation is initiated in part by hip motion and in part by shoulder motion, but there will always be some (perhaps very slight) time difference between the two. The skill is to develop the sense of when your shoulder and your hips are working together and when they are out of sync. I find that when you get the timing right you can really feel it, because all of a sudden the motion becomes very smooth and effortless, but this motion is like a partner dance between your hips and your shoulders. Good dancers work smoothly together, not because they are locked together, but rather because they are paying attention to each other and to the rhythm that both of them are following. For me, getting my hips and shoulders to work together involves a lot of the same skills.
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  #7  
Old 09-19-2017
sclim sclim is offline
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Originally Posted by Danny View Post
Hi Werner, I'm not sure I agree with you on this one. It's not clear at all to me how to swim like a log, nor is it clear at all to me how to rotate while locking hips and shoulders with parallel rotation movements. I think that rotation is initiated in part by hip motion and in part by shoulder motion, but there will always be some (perhaps very slight) time difference between the two. The skill is to develop the sense of when your shoulder and your hips are working together and when they are out of sync. I find that when you get the timing right you can really feel it, because all of a sudden the motion becomes very smooth and effortless, but this motion is like a partner dance between your hips and your shoulders. Good dancers work smoothly together, not because they are locked together, but rather because they are paying attention to each other and to the rhythm that both of them are following. For me, getting my hips and shoulders to work together involves a lot of the same skills.
Danny: I think what Werner is getting at is a more nuanced idea of "log rolling" body rotation, rather than having a totally rigid log-like i.e. dead-tree-like trunk. Obviously to roll without relying excessively on arms and kick is to require some firm core rotation whip action. But this is subtle and transient, even if it is strong (as you have acknowledged above, my bolding). I believe what he is suggesting is to avoid a very floppy core twist where the hips are aligned one way while the shoulders get to a different alignment (while the hips are still aligned the other way.) I don't think he is suggesting that we totally forbid some transient "axial whipping around" (my invented terminology).

Last edited by sclim : 09-19-2017 at 07:23 PM.
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  #8  
Old 09-20-2017
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello Sclim, hello Danny,

Sclim seems you're becoming my best apologist :-) Thanks!

Danny, holding a really rigid log will not be so easy, but if you're able to hold the (flat skate-)line the weight of the arm above surface will be fairly enough to initate and drive rotation. For really higher SRs you might need a little bit support from your kick. If you feel your tiny kick, supporting your rotation, with long and aligned legs is initiated from your belly muscles this could be felt as hip drive...

Also your tiny felt difference between hips and shoulders might come out not as different rotation movements, but may be caused by a flow of relaxed and most less needed muscel-action to hold your stable core.

If you really try to initiate a hip- (or shoulder-)driven stroke with seperated or isolated hips-shoulders it will become more complicated, because we are in water and not on fixed ground; and rotational movements of one of them causes the other just to rotate opposit, and this is what we definitely don't want. Otherwise you have to counter the rotational forces with your arm in front or your leg with kicking.

Best regards,
Werner
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  #9  
Old 09-21-2017
sclim sclim is offline
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Originally Posted by WFEGb View Post
Hello Sclim, hello Danny,

Sclim seems you're becoming my best apologist :-) Thanks!

Danny, holding a really rigid log will not be so easy, but if you're able to hold the (flat skate-)line the weight of the arm above surface will be fairly enough to initate and drive rotation. For really higher SRs you might need a little bit support from your kick. If you feel your tiny kick, supporting your rotation, with long and aligned legs is initiated from your belly muscles this could be felt as hip drive...

Also your tiny felt difference between hips and shoulders might come out not as different rotation movements, but may be caused by a flow of relaxed and most less needed muscel-action to hold your stable core.

If you really try to initiate a hip- (or shoulder-)driven stroke with seperated or isolated hips-shoulders it will become more complicated, because we are in water and not on fixed ground; and rotational movements of one of them causes the other just to rotate opposit, and this is what we definitely don't want. Otherwise you have to counter the rotational forces with your arm in front or your leg with kicking.

Best regards,
Werner
Actually, I somehow "get" your explanations very well, perhaps because I have been reading your coaching suggestions for a couple of years now, and I sort of understand your basic philosophy and way of thinking.

I may be injecting a little bit of my own understanding into the explanations, too, I guess. This would be my own understanding of physics, kinesthesia, and the various ways in how other people think.

I practice martial arts and am an instructor in it too. I sometimes struggle to understand exactly what is going on during certain kicks and manoeuvres. Often my understanding is different later on compared to my initial understanding. I suppose that suggests that the future might show that my current understanding is incomplete!

However, the point I was trying to make was that the transmission of inertial forces from linear peripheral limb momentum, to truncal linear and rotational forces can be very complex, and over-simplified explanations sometimes fail to fully explain what is going on when an expert performs a flowing, fluid and apparently simple and easy movement that the learner fails to replicate when merely applying the most obvious and simple explanation.

I believe this will also hold true in swimming, especially when the limb peripheral and girdle movements, while certainly not completely simple and easy to analyze, are still much more obvious to track than the subtle central core movements and forces, especially when there is so much continuous interplay between intrinsic inertial forces, transmitted inertial forces, and water purchase and drag forces (in all cases at the periphery, at the girdles and at the core) going on.

A simple example would be what is happening in a move that we call a (standing) spin kick, or spinning heel kick. In this move the practitioner steps forward initiating a half body turn. The new forward foot is planted and the back foot continues to spin around, leaving the ground (behind) and leading in the spinning arc with the heel, spinning around to the front where it hits the target with great force, at this point going sideways, and at right angles to the line that connects all the prior forward steps. It is easy to point out that this is on land, and there is a lot of linear and angular momentum driven from the foot purchase on the ground. But this view totally under-represents the inertial counter-play which occurs when the practitioner suddenly halts the rotation of the trunk and transfers the rotational inertia to the spinning foot, adding a twisting movement from the core, accelerating its rotation to a remarkable degree.

I don't want to get too hung up in that specific example of a land-based activity; but what I'm getting at is that although the purchase of the peripheral members (hands, arms, feet, legs) on water in swimming is not as dramatic as that on land, the additional internal inertial twisting and levering forces are very significant, even though sometimes hard to visualize. More and more I am understanding this better over the years as I read the accounts by various contributing forum posters as to what they perceive is happening (in balance, force, timing, pressure on skin on various parts of their body, etc.) when they swim, and what they perceive they are losing in form when certain perceived parameters are not kept up to specification, etc. A lot of the time I initially had totally no idea what they were talking about until I tried to do it myself and to pay attention to what they were paying attention to. It's amazing to me how different swimming practitioners can describe different things happening when essentially they are doing the same thing, i.e. swimming, with only very subtle differences in style, and, in some cases, no real difference, except what they are paying attention to. It's almost like the wave theory and particle theory of light, with different ways of analyzing, breaking down and documenting the physics of exactly the same phenomenon.

Last edited by sclim : 09-21-2017 at 09:18 PM.
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