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  #21  
Old 08-16-2017
Danny Danny is offline
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Originally Posted by WFEGb View Post
Hello Danny,

a question sometimes came in my mind, when I read about your seperated shoulder and resulting balance difficulties. So FWIW:

What happens, when you focus in a symmetric stroke, limiting your younger :-) side's movements to the same amount as (older :-)) seperated shoulder allows as harmless motion? It won't make you faster, but I can imagine it might flatten out some balance-issues.

Best regards,
Werner
Hi Werner, good question. I believe that what would happen is that my stroke length on my good side would become shorter, that is, the same length as on my bad side. All of these things are coupled together. One might argue that having an asymmetric stroke length should also produce alignment issues. In some sense, I believe I can compensate for that by varying my rotation on each side as well. My belief at this point is that, if I concentrate on maintaining head position at alignment, the rest will take care of itself, but this is all work in progress.
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  #22  
Old 08-16-2017
Danny Danny is offline
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Originally Posted by Zenturtle View Post
These points are also valid in the quest to reduce drag and improve propulsion.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKzNHXpBzQc
Hi ZT, when I watch the guy in this video, what strikes me is a piece of advice that Terry gave about kicking. You should try to kick so that your quads are completely relaxed and it feels like you are doing the work with your stomach muscles. This is one of those focuses that automatically guarantees that you have good balance, I think, because the first sign that your balance is off is that your quads are tightening up. When I look at this guys kicking, I can see how tight his quads are (I'm not sure how!) and I can also see how lousy his balance is. So the short version of the advice is to relax your quads, but you have to have good balance to be able to do that.
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  #23  
Old 08-16-2017
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Originally Posted by Danny View Post
Hi Stuart,

Thanks for your input. I have been doing battle with all of these issues for years now, and I am still far from perfect. The way I have been diagnosing my spinal and head alignment is by skating. The key place where the alignment breaks down in my case is not in the skating itself, but rather in the rotation to breath, so I have been practicing rotating to breath while skating because it lets me focus exclusively on alignment issues while I do it. What i noticed today, and not for the first time, is that my old separated shoulder on the right forces me to recover differently on the right side from on the left if I want to maintain alignment during recovery. In fact, I don't even need to recover (which I don't do when skating). During skating rotation, my right shoulder must follow a different path when I rotate right with my right arm on my hip than when I rotate left with my left arm on my hip, if I am to maintain the head alignment that I want. So this was a key insight to me, which carries over immediately during full stroke. If the shoulder follows a different path then so will the entire arm. When I do the correct shoulder movement, my spearing on the right side occurs at an earlier stage in the recovery than on my left. I have noticed this tendency for years, and have tried to correct for it, but now I think that I should embrace it, because it is what i need for proper alignment. So today I swam 300 m intervals this way. My SPL was lower, I was more relaxed and even my times got faster!

As always, one such practice does not constitute a breakthrough, but I am looking forward to getting in the water again to see how well this trend holds up.

Regards,

Danny
Hi Danny,

Discovering correct and incorrect positions in skate is excellent - and a great way to trim things up, i.e. bending spine, narrow track, hand above armpit, etc. Swimmers that come into the squad I ask them to execute their version of skate. This gives me a clear idea of what opportunities they have since most freestyle errors show up and are magnified in a skate position.

Re: Shoulder injury and different recovery on left vs right. This is also common where range of motion issues exist. I've had swimmers with nearly a frozen shoulder and could not move (or raise) elbow past the ear, sometimes only to the shoulder (quite limited). I have an old blown up rotator (not from swimming, but got crushed too many times playing hockey) and have different range on injured right side than on the left, but it hasn't affected my recovery since I'm able to swing full range with humerus (upper arm bone) between the frontal and scapular planes.

Check your range with this "swing vs lift elbow" demo and let me (us) know how high you can swing arms and hands above the head, both left and right: https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=sQoQYvQkuk8

Stu
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  #24  
Old 08-17-2017
Danny Danny is offline
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Hi Stuart, I couldn't get your link to work (it directed me to Google) but I think we've come full circle, since you and I had this same discussion some years ago. In the meantime, I've been to physical therapy and discovered that by keeping my shoulders back and not slumping my range of motion on the bad side is considerably better than it used to be. That said, there are still some differences. I see these differences most clearly when skating. In a standing position on dry land, if I stretch both my arms straight over my head, the arm on my good side can go somewhat in back of my head, but my bad side remains in front of my head. I used to think that spearing deeper meant aiming the arm lower. Now I realize that it is my bad shoulder itself that must go deeper than on my good side. So this is not really a recovery issue, but rather a spearing issue.

One approach to obvious asymmetries in our body is to start doing corrective exercises, strengthen muscles and enlarge ranges of motion. But this asymmetry is due to a difference in my shoulders that can be seen simply when I stand facing someone, and it is permanent. "Swimming like Shinji" is not an option for me. But skating has helped me to understand how this is impacting my alignment and this in turn is helping me to develop an asymmetric swimming style that (hopefully) is as streamlined as possible, even during shoulder rotation.

Of course, I welcome advice from anyone that has also dealt with these issues, since now, years later, I am still experimenting and trying to find my optimal swimming style.
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  #25  
Old 08-17-2017
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This link should work, I grabbed the wrong URL sorry: https://youtu.be/sQoQYvQkuk8

Using the 'swing' rehearsal, how high can you reach with the left and right hand and arm. Also the 'swing' rehearsal is an excellent movement to warm up the rotator and get blood in the shoulder before swimming.
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  #26  
Old 08-23-2017
Talvi Talvi is offline
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As ZT wrote, from the videos I look ok and yet something is wrong. Don't I know it! I've got down to 1:49/100 at 17spl but only over intervals of 50m then something changes and it drops to at best 1:58/100 18spl by 150m. Still progress so hope springs etc.

The promise of achieving 1:30/100 by "improving balance and posture" is a bit of a tease in my experience (5yrs and counting). Legally correct maybe but becoming president is also "just about" getting along with people better. The devil is in the details.

FWIW my 2c at this point for achieving the "support and stability" Terry set as Base Camp 1 in the TI SCW notes, is to get the legs up high (and keep them there).

Charles (where he?) said you can initiate rotation without kick (and I think doing that helps my timing) so tomorrow I aim to start out with a pointy-glide, to get that feeling of support, and then rotate with catch and pull to find air. I think that's helped me before get to that relaxed and at home on the water sensation. In the stroke I'll use the SCW trick of touching legs, together with Shinji's advice to keep the recovering leg staright and pointy. I think this might get me back to the downhill swim feeling.

Softly softly catchee monkey.


fwiw

ps
Danny, soemthing I just came across, again from Charles, is that the spear takes the shoulder forward whereas the pull takes it back. Considering the shoulders as if they were yoked toether, the recovery brings the shoulder forward and encourages the lead shoulder to come back. This is the moment of the catch so a neat focus it seemed to me. Again just fwiw.
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Last edited by Talvi : 08-23-2017 at 03:33 PM.
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  #27  
Old 08-23-2017
Danny Danny is offline
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Originally Posted by Talvi View Post
Danny, soemthing I just came across, again from Charles, is that the spear takes the shoulder forward whereas the pull takes it back. Considering the shoulders as if they were yoked toether, the recovery brings the shoulder forward and encourages the lead shoulder to come back. This is the moment of the catch so a neat focus it seemed to me. Again just fwiw.
Hi Talvi, this focus has been my latest obsession, and I feel that it has helped me to make some significant progress. It seems like a single focus but, of course, it turns out to be several different focuses for me.
(1) The biggest interplay of the shoulders comes with the rotation, and it is here that there is a good chance that the way you are moving your shoulders is messing up your head and spinal alignment, especially when you roll to breath. The cure for this is to practice just skating and rolling to breath. I should say that rolling to breath while skating is quite different from full stroke, but it is a wonderful way to see what your shoulder movement on both sides does to your head alignment. As I roll to breath when skating, my low shoulder goes forward and my high shoulder goes back. The timing and coordination of this is critical. By practicing this while skating I was able to finally understand precisely what I want to be doing with my shoulders at this part of the stroke. Of course, for me, the path they follow on each side is quite different in order to keep my head alignment.
(2) The shoulder interplay is also critical to getting a good catch, especially if you have poor shoulder mobility as I do. The key here is catch-up swimming. I have to wait until my spearing shoulder is below my head before starting my stroke on the other side. Ideally the catch is forming as the spearing shoulder moves forward, but it was very non-intuitive for me to leave my catch hand so far forward for so long. One can argue that catch-up swimming like this limits your stroke rate and, to a certain extent this is true. However, you can speed up your stroke rate by speeding up your recovery, even while waiting patiently up front with your catch. What I lose in stroke rate I seem to make up for in DPS and also in the ease of swimming. Here again, the catch and the shoulder motion should be occurring simulaneously to get the best stroke leverage from your shoulders.

So is all of this helping me? At this point, I would say that I am swimming about the same times as before I started doing all of this, but my SPL has dropped by 2 or 3 and my ease in swimming has improved considerably. The key to swimming faster should be a faster recovery and time will tell how well I can maintain this stroke at faster stroke rates.
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  #28  
Old 08-24-2017
Streak Streak is offline
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Talvi I firmly believe that while technique is important, fitness has a big role to play too.

While TI says not to practice struggle and never to waste lengths without specific FP's in mind, once you have managed to achieve the major technique improvements that give you the quantum leap improvements in speed, the laws of diminishing returns come into play.

In my case I have watched my times improve nicely over the last couple of years.
I say to myself, if I can consistently do a 100 yards at 1:35 at 17 SPL then my TI technique must be at a point where I am doing many things right. So what do I need to do to be able to maintain these times over longer distances? Getting fitter by doing 6x100 repeats on say 1:50 (about 15 second rest) and when that becomes easier then reducing the interval to 1:45 (about 10 second rest) etc. would really help. Of course I also need to be mindful of the kaisen principle and continually look for ways to improve such that I start doing the above with less effort.

Last week (on my 58th birthday) I even managed to do a couple of sub 1:30 100's but certainly not repeatable without some good rest between 100's. So I know now (as predicted by ZT) that I can do 1:30 100's so it's time to look what I need to do to maintain this over longer distances. My goal being to improve on my mile time which is currently just under 28 minutes (1:42 per 100 pace).

Keep up the great work.

Joel
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Last edited by Streak : 08-24-2017 at 02:56 AM.
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  #29  
Old 08-27-2017
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Originally Posted by Danny View Post
...(2) The shoulder interplay is also critical to getting a good catch, especially if you have poor shoulder mobility as I do. The key here is catch-up swimming. I have to wait until my spearing shoulder is below my head before starting my stroke on the other side. Ideally the catch is forming as the spearing shoulder moves forward, but it was very non-intuitive for me to leave my catch hand so far forward for so long. One can argue that catch-up swimming like this limits your stroke rate and, to a certain extent this is true. However, you can speed up your stroke rate by speeding up your recovery, even while waiting patiently up front with your catch. What I lose in stroke rate I seem to make up for in DPS and also in the ease of swimming. Here again, the catch and the shoulder motion should be occurring simulaneously to get the best stroke leverage from your shoulders..
I found the opposite LoL My "lesson" was that by leaving the catch late it became hurried and initiated either a slipping or wasted energy (as the energy is put into forcing rotation rather than holding the position to vault over). I agree about the recovery timing though. Feeling the push and recovery as one movement and then decelerating past the head as required seems right to me. It's what I always see in the famous Shinju video - I likened his entry to the way a cat places its front paw on wet grass in the morning!

Streak: rub it in why don't you? Seriously though congrats on those times! I meanwhile remain mired.
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A psychological disorder is: "Any personal construction which is used repeatedly in spite of consistent invalidation."
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"The water is your friend.....you don't have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move."
~ Aleksandr Popov
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  #30  
Old 08-28-2017
Danny Danny is offline
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Originally Posted by Talvi View Post
I found the opposite LoL My "lesson" was that by leaving the catch late it became hurried and initiated either a slipping or wasted energy (as the energy is put into forcing rotation rather than holding the position to vault over). I agree about the recovery timing though. Feeling the push and recovery as one movement and then decelerating past the head as required seems right to me. It's what I always see in the famous Shinju video - I likened his entry to the way a cat places its front paw on wet grass in the morning!

Streak: rub it in why don't you? Seriously though congrats on those times! I meanwhile remain mired.
There may be some confusion here about what we mean by the catch, when it starts and when it ends. I find it helpful to focus on the position of my elbow on my spearing hand. The elbow and the upper arm stay in place until my recovering shoulder is below my head, but this does not mean that the hand is not moving. In fact, as the recovering shoulder goes down, the shoulder on the other side will rotate in order to keep the elbow from moving with respect to the rest of my body. As it rotates, my elbow goes into an "up" position, which allows my forearm to start to become vertical. While all of this is going on, I want minimal pressure on that hand. Once my recovering shoulder is below my head, my shoulder on the other side is rotated enough so that my forearm has a good catch on the water and now I can start to move that elbow and the entire arm backwards in concert with the shoulder on that side. The main point here is that the rate at which my catch is occurring on one side is tightly coupled to the position of the recovering shoulder on the other side.
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