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  #21  
Old 02-22-2011
flppr flppr is offline
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When you pull the navel toward the spine, the low back lordosis automatically, passively flattens a bit. There's no need to tilt the pelvis.
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  #22  
Old 02-22-2011
cynthiam cynthiam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boken View Post
I've recently been trying a more engaged lower abdominal and a flatter pelvis and it seems to be doing very well. In Superman glide I think I have more points touching the surface if I try to lightly draw the pubic bone up (towards my navel, think Michael Jackson mid-grab). I thought that it would make my legs sink because I have relatively tight hip flexors and moving the pelvis like this requires the angle of the femur to extend further back to maintain a straight position; but this has not been the case. When I remember to do it whole stroke I see noticeable time/stroke count improvements.
Interesting that this topic comes up now. Recently I've been doing a lot of superman glides & flutters. On the glides, I too have noticed that if I arch my back slightly my legs stay up. I have not wanted to do this much because I also have tight hip flexors and a tilted pelvis already.

So I'm heartened to read this from boken. I will try it next time I'm in the pool. I do notice that it's easier to swim when I'm stretched long and focusing on my laser lead, so this makes sense to me.
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  #23  
Old 02-22-2011
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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I always do some SGs in the beginning of each swim session and besides the 'relaxing in the water' effect I mainly use it to lengthen my lower back. I do not suck in my guts or bring my navel to the spine, I basically keep my belly relaxed, although there is a tonus in the abs more or less naturally when I swim.
Lengtheneing the back means flattening it. For me there is no question, if I arche my back I get back pain after a while. I don't think that arching the back or not has a major influence whether the legs float or not.

BTW Ian Thorpe e.g. has a remarkable arch in his lower back. I think there are individual differences.
For me using a flat, or long lower back does also make most sense in terms of streamlining.
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  #24  
Old 02-22-2011
IbnSaeed IbnSaeed is offline
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Originally Posted by haschu33 View Post
I always do some SGs in the beginning of each swim session and besides the 'relaxing in the water' effect I mainly use it to lengthen my lower back. I do not suck in my guts or bring my navel to the spine, I basically keep my belly relaxed, although there is a tonus in the abs more or less naturally when I swim.
I also do not suck in my gut or bring my navel to the spine, rather keep the complete body relaxed and this tends to work for me. My body becomes streamlined without any effort.

But i would like to try out the sucking the gut thingy to see how it effects my body posture
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  #25  
Old 02-22-2011
terry terry is offline
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The best contribution I can make to this discussion is to share my own experience with improving alignment. I've had a very different experience in the water than on land.
When I try to flatten my lower back on land, either standing or prone, I sense myself using considerable muscle tension. I really need to 'work' my abdominals, sucking belly-button toward spine.

I think these exercises, along with others like Plank and Pilates, are worth doing for improved tone in postural muscles.

However the feeling I've gotten in the water is very different. Perhaps because gravity is 90% less, I feel far less conscious of 'working' my abs. I think I've gotten better results simply from striving to feel extended-and-aligned in key drills like Skate and SpearSwitch.

Those drills do activate core muscle. The intention to extend and align my body, from fingertips to toes, almost certainly raises the level of activation. But it's resulting from an intention or Focal Point that is less local than simply pulling in the abs.

To get an even higher level of activation in core muscles do any drill that involves periods where neither arm is forward. The head-lead balance/rotation drills and the single-arm drills with the non-stroking arm at your side are all unmatched in activating and educating spinal stabilizer muscles, which I consider the most neglected, yet most critical, muscles in swimming. These are deeper than the muscles you use to suck in your navel and the sense of using them is more subtle.
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  #26  
Old 02-24-2011
borate borate is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
... I think I've gotten better results simply from striving to feel extended-and-aligned in key drills like Skate and SpearSwitch.
Those drills do activate core muscle. The intention to extend and align my body, from fingertips to toes, almost certainly raises the level of activation.
But it's resulting from an intention or Focal Point that is less local than simply pulling in the abs.
That may be the best visualization of aquatic posture. Earlier in the thread I noted: " A slight pelvic tilt (bottom pushed out) achieves better positioning for me as well."

After considerable pool experimentation I find that this backwards tilt moves my hips closer towards the surface, but tends to sink the legs.
Some non-TI clips advocate that approach. Here's an example of one that's aimed specifically at reducing drag. (He's silly, but makes some good points.)

Conversely, tilting the pelvis slightly forwards - minimizing arch and flattening the back - lowers my hips but causes my legs to rise slightly.

Anatomical differences may play a role...
Do women's bodies float more easily than men's in general, owing to adipose tissue distribution?

Perhaps speed is relevant...
Note Shinji in the glide demo image posted earlier in this thread. His bottom and shoulders are touching the surface.
He doesn't appear to be intentionally flattening the back and has a pronounced arch. Yet in the glide context added drag doesn't seem to be an issue.

Last edited by borate : 02-24-2011 at 04:31 AM.
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  #27  
Old 02-25-2011
boken boken is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cynthiam View Post
Interesting that this topic comes up now. Recently I've been doing a lot of superman glides & flutters. On the glides, I too have noticed that if I arch my back slightly my legs stay up. I have not wanted to do this much because I also have tight hip flexors and a tilted pelvis already.

So I'm heartened to read this from boken. I will try it next time I'm in the pool. I do notice that it's easier to swim when I'm stretched long and focusing on my laser lead, so this makes sense to me.
Sorry, I think we misunderstand each other... maybe not.. so just to be clear: When I was describing the lower ab activation, the pubic bone moves forward and up. This slightly straightens the lower back, not arch it. I don't arch my back when I swim. I just go for a hardly-noticeable-by-anybody-but-me pubic bone tilt upwards (towards the belly button). I thought my legs would sink if I did this but they do not. They rise even better, and so does the torso.
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  #28  
Old 02-25-2011
borate borate is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boken View Post
I just go for a hardly-noticeable-by-anybody-but-me pubic bone tilt upwards (towards the belly button). I thought my legs would sink if I did this but they do not. They rise even better, and so does the torso.
Gracious feedback from the coach in the video link of my previous post, who is a TI/Terry advocate, confirms that pelvic tilt may or may not be a key concern.
He and his associates are analyzing video of Olympic distance swimmers, and experimenting with both novices and experts in the pool to find out what truly works best.

He opined that it takes more active effort to achieve correct posture for static (or nearly static) drills than it does while moving forward, owing to water pressure.

So, in the spirit of kaizen, stay tuned...

Last edited by borate : 02-25-2011 at 03:28 PM.
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  #29  
Old 02-25-2011
IbnSaeed IbnSaeed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borate View Post
Gracious feedback from the coach in the video link of my previous post, who is a TI/Terry advocate, confirms that pelvic tilt may or may not be a key concern.
He and his associates are analyzing video of Olympic distance swimmers, and experimenting with both novices and experts in the pool to find out what truly works best.

He opined that it takes more active effort to achieve correct posture for static (or nearly static) drills than it does while moving forward, owing to water pressure.

So, in the spirit of kaizen, stay tuned...

Today i went to the pool, and did my regular superman gliders and static float drill.

What i noticed was that I was able to get my posture straight in a horizontal line with my shoulder and my butt cheeks showing above the water.

But 2 of my friends had a hard time doing that, they tried relaxing their bodies, stretching their bodies, changing the position of the arms on the Y axis, nothing seemed to get their bodies straight, there shoulders would be above water but the rest of the body would be sinking.


Then I remembered the way either terry or shinji started with the glide. Then i searched online and found it was shinji

Check his style
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwV7aik6doM

I told them to go into the water as if you were diving in but only just slightly and try to raise your hips above the water but do not arch the back, and as soon as you feel your hips are above, straighten your legs. This drill seemed to work with both of my friends and then onwards they were able to float straight for quite sometimes, and there was a huge improvement.
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  #30  
Old 02-25-2011
cynthiam cynthiam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boken View Post
Sorry, I think we misunderstand each other... maybe not.. so just to be clear: When I was describing the lower ab activation, the pubic bone moves forward and up. This slightly straightens the lower back, not arch it. I don't arch my back when I swim. I just go for a hardly-noticeable-by-anybody-but-me pubic bone tilt upwards (towards the belly button). I thought my legs would sink if I did this but they do not. They rise even better, and so does the torso.
Nah, I was unclear. I do understand what you wrote -- that pulling up the pubic bone (& thus flattening the lower back a bit) was helping your legs stay up. I had thought the same thing, that this position would encourage my legs to sink. So I'm glad to hear it doesn't.

I did try it last time at the pool. I found it too distracting to *focus* on it, but I found I did it naturally when I was stretched out and focusing on being long and torpedo-like.
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