Total Immersion Forums  

Go Back   Total Immersion Forums > Freestyle
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-13-2011
m_ridhwan m_ridhwan is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 5
m_ridhwan
Default Balance without kicking

Hello all. :D

I'm a new TI swimmer-wannabe and I recently purchased the Happy Laps DVD with a few other TI products. I'm not sure if I'm posting this thread in the right forum category (I'm sorry if I do!), but I think this place is the most accurate place to post this thread regarding my problem.

Before I start describing my problem, I guess it's better if I describe a bit of my own personal history in swimming as this is my first post in this forum. Prior to my discovery of Total Immersion way of swimming, I've been playing in the water, gained a bit of sense of comfort in the water and learned a bit of skill to flutter kick to propel myself in through water. Until today, my swimming passion has grown to the extent that I'm setting a goal to be an expert swimmer before I depart from this world! I've been watching various videos on Youtube on swimming (Total Immersion, GoSwim, Expert Village and various other coaches) to learn more. After a bit of exploring with the various 'sects of swimming', I've decided that Total Immersion is my choice to further my swimming ambition.

Right now, I'm doing the exercises in the Happy Laps DVD. However, me and my friend are stuck with Finding Your Balance exercise. I have imprinted the idea of 'If I'm still can't master this exercise, I can't move on to the next one!'. You see, our balance is like Mr. Som's in the DVD. Our feet sink very quickly when we try to get into a horizontal position. The only solution for us to be horizontal is to kick lightly to raise the sinking legs (this is the 'Pencil Drill', as described by coach Robb). I've tried the 4 of the 5 steps described by Terry in the Happy Laps pdf document to find my balance, but I still fail to achieve equilibrium like Mrs. Linda's in the DVD. My legs still sink. But when I glide from pushing from a wall or when my buddy pushed me through the water, I can feel the water support my legs before they sink. But my glide wasn't that far, only about 2-3 meters before my legs start to sink.

I wonder what is the correct solution to this problem? I'm afraid to to skip this exercise as I know balance is one of the important foundation stones to TI swimming. I've decided that I should just do Superman Glides until I found the solution to my balance issue. But I'm a bit in doubt, that's why I created this thread in the first place.

As a side note, I actually have tried the Balance on Your Back drill when I'm frustrated with the balance exercise. I managed to pull it off sometimes with various screw-ups (with the pain of water entering my nose, flowing to my head as a result of tense and nervousness). My lower body was a bit low (slightly slanted, dropping legs) even when I fluttered. But I guess all of that were due to my tenseness.

Anyway, salutations to Mr. Terry Laughlin and other TI swimmers around the world. :D Greetings from the exotic land of Sarawak, Malaysia. ;)
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-13-2011
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Rio, Wisconsin
Posts: 564
westyswoods
Default Balance

Welcome to the world of TI. A very quick response to your query. You are 100% correct on the importance of balance and streamline. They are the foundations of all swimming. I would suggest that you not get so caught up with trying to perfect balance before you move on to other basic drills. I am in my third year of TI and still spend a lot of time with just the basic superman glide along with others. One of my pitfalls in the beginning being, I was under the impression we needed to get it perfect before moving forward, there is no perfect.

If you and your buddy can remember the importance of basic balance and streamline for the future while moving forward with continued improvement it will be a rewarding although sometimes frustrating journey.

I am sure many more will respond. You are very fortunate to have a TI buddy.

Swim Silent and Be Well
Westy
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-14-2011
m_ridhwan m_ridhwan is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 5
m_ridhwan
Default

Thank you for the kind response Westy. :D It was very motivating.

One of my fears when performing the SG exercise is that I'm afraid that I will stay as a 'sinker' forever. When I realized that I can only glide about 2-3 meters when pushing from the wall and maybe a meter when pushing from the bottom before my legs sink give a great fear that I stay like this forever.

My intention in creating this thread is that I am requesting some assurance that my balance will get better if I keep on doing superman glides. But I'm quite sure that isn't the only way to improve my balance in water. It's quite difficult for me to fix my teeter-totter and add weight to the upper body so that I'm perfectly balanced.

When I extend my body from the Egg Float my legs instantaneously sink to the bottom. So I've already categorized myself as a 'sinker' type. I'm very slim and only weighed 60 kg (appox. 132 pounds). One of my assumptions is that I have less muscle mass on the upper body than the lower body. I've already considered buying dumbells, a push-up bar and a pull-up bar to build upper body muscle. But I'm still not sure about it.

Any suggestions, if I may ask?

Last edited by m_ridhwan : 02-14-2011 at 04:51 PM. Reason: Some grammatical mistakes
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-14-2011
borate borate is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 533
borate
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by m_ridhwan View Post
I am requesting some assurance that my balance will get better if I keep on doing superman glides. But I'm quite sure that isn't the only way to improve my balance in water.
We may share similar architecture. 6' - 140 lbs. - poor upper body strength.
Some floating tips...

Head supported by the water, eyes on bottom.
Long, streamlined body - point toes.
Press your chest down and/or tilt your bottom up so that it breaks the water, using core and stabilizer muscles that can be trained. Don't arch the back excessively though.
Deeper arms may aid in floatation - try varying depths.

Last edited by borate : 02-14-2011 at 07:17 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-14-2011
cynthcor cynthcor is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 26
cynthcor
Default

Just so you don't feel lonely, I'll share with you that those of us with BMI's that are bigger around than the circumference of your waist can happily sink like a rock also.

Focusing on my keeping head down - if you can see your finger tips your head is probably not down, and focusing on engaging my core helped tremendously. I do SG's at the start of every session and I intersperse them throughout just to make sure my body remembers what the balance position feels like.

I do a fair amount of drilling but I also do plenty of whole stroke practice and have seen that they compliment one another.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-14-2011
terry terry is offline
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,305
terry has disabled reputation
Default

MR
Welcome to TI. Before I address your query may I inquire what aspect of TI, perhaps found on this site, persuaded you that TI might offer a more promising path to swimming fulfillment than the other methods?

I'll echo Westy in saying it's best not to get too caught up in achieving perfection. Do SG perhaps 4, 6 or even 8x. Or so long as you feel a comforting sense of ease or effortless travel emerging. Then add a few strokes to a briefer period of SG, with a modest goal to feel something similar while swimming, even if only for 3 to 4 strokes.

That's the seed from which longer, relaxed swims will grow.

Repeat this sequence
4 x SG
4 x SG + strokes

with each of several focal points:
1) Hang Head
2) Relax Hands
3) Wide-Track Arms
4) Float Arms forward, feeling as if "cushioned."

A little drill to heighten an improved sensation, followed by a little swimming to transfer that sensation, is the best way to use drills and experience encouraging progress.

PS: I swam 10km at Tioman Island Malaysia in late October.
__________________
Terry Laughlin
Head Coach & Chief Executive Optimist

May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story

Last edited by terry : 02-14-2011 at 09:57 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-15-2011
flppr flppr is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: San Diego, California
Posts: 449
flppr
Default

Are you elevating your shoulder blades up as high as possible toward your head? It will add several inches of length to your upper body.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-15-2011
terry terry is offline
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,305
terry has disabled reputation
Default

Flppr makes a good suggestion. A simpler thought that will accomplish the same is Open Your Axilla (Underarms). Be sensitive to any strain or tension as you do so. Experiment with ways to create more 'vessel length' and increase sense of connecting body parts into a seamless whole as you do.

Once you get the feel, bring this thought/sensation into your stroke.
__________________
Terry Laughlin
Head Coach & Chief Executive Optimist

May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-15-2011
m_ridhwan m_ridhwan is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 5
m_ridhwan
Default

Thank you for your responses everyone~! :D

Quote:
Originally Posted by terry
Welcome to TI. Before I address your query may I inquire what aspect of TI, perhaps found on this site, persuaded you that TI might offer a more promising path to swimming fulfillment than the other methods?
I chose TI when I first saw your freestyle swimming demonstration video. From your demonstration, I know TI is very different from the others. I wanted to be different than the other traditional swimmers and TI provided me with the path that can take me there. You can say that I'm a bit of a rebel with traditional methods, even with other things and matters than swimming. Therefore, I have quite a revolutionist mindset and I'm sure that's the primary reason that I've chosen Total Immersion. I want to be different and extraordinary than others.

Other than that, I too have minor reasons for selecting TI. TI promotes lifelong learning, which I loved. Then there's the frustration from the coaches that I paid to teach me. They taught me the opposite of what I expected them to teach me. In the first place, I was informed that they are lifeguards. I expect lifeguards to know the importance of being relaxed and balanced in water. But they taught me to kick hard and pull hard during the first lesson I attended. So, I feel cheated and I feel that I've wasted my money.

Well, most of my reasons are personal reasons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by terry
I'll echo Westy in saying it's best not to get too caught up in achieving perfection. Do SG perhaps 4, 6 or even 8x. Or so long as you feel a comforting sense of ease or effortless travel emerging. Then add a few strokes to a briefer period of SG, with a modest goal to feel something similar while swimming, even if only for 3 to 4 strokes.

That's the seed from which longer, relaxed swims will grow.

Repeat this sequence
4 x SG
4 x SG + strokes

with each of several focal points:
1) Hang Head
2) Relax Hands
3) Wide-Track Arms
4) Float Arms forward, feeling as if "cushioned."

A little drill to heighten an improved sensation, followed by a little swimming to transfer that sensation, is the best way to use drills and experience encouraging progress.
Hmm, I will give them a try tomorrow at the pool. For the others' suggestions, I'll try them after I've tried terry's. Correct me if I'm wrong; this is what I understood: I must improve my sense of relaxation in the water and if I'm good at it, balance will come easy.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-15-2011
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Posts: 787
haschu33
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by m_ridhwan View Post
... Correct me if I'm wrong; this is what I understood: I must improve my sense of relaxation in the water and if I'm good at it, balance will come easy.
m_ridhwan, I learned freestyle through the TI DVD and started about 1,5 years ago, I am still learning, always learning anyway.

My point of view is this: Balance does come through practice, whether it is easy depends on your viewpoint. Definetely it s nothing difficult to do.
The SG not only teaches you to relax, but it also teaches balance itself, which I consider being something active.
I think mainly balance is more than just relaxation, it is the ability to learn to adjust your movements from a more coarse level to a very subtle level in such a way that you don't get out of balance in the first place. Plus the ability of doing minor balance corrections just with your core if neccessary. That is something that you don't really feel, I think - your brain will do those adjustments automatically. Like your brain will use your legs to adjust to major imbalances and you will also not notice it.
So basically the aim is to get into balance and then never leave it again.

These SG drills combined with strokes transform that balance feeling into the strokes and that is a very effective way of lerning. It does take some time though.

Hang on in there!
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 11:42 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.