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Old 03-02-2011
bx bx is offline
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Default Sinking to the Surface

Trawling through the archive materials, aka Total Swim E-Zine, I came across this article for Lou's Overacheiver's Diary (which I really must buy):

http://archive.totalimmersion.net/20...ver-diary.html

1/3 the way down is a sample chapter whose title is Sinking to the Surface.

And about 9/13 of the way down, Lou talks about "sinkers", and the problems of keeping shoulders near the surface to allow easy breathing. In short, Lou appears to say, for such people, keep your shoulders flat (so you don't sink like a knife-edge), but still use core power by twisting your hips.

This all sounds terribly controversial :) But you know what, I'm going to try this tonight, because I so far still cannot take a single breath (in underswitch drills) by any combination of rolling-to-air and/or turning head. My mouth remains resolutely an inch or so beneath the surface.

I can only imagine though, once you get into a proper freestyle stroke and get a bit of pace up, a smidgen of shoulder rotation can creep back in - to help with not damaging the shoulders if nothing else? Maybe this is what Terry meant by "just enough" all along - just enough might be "none" sometimes ;)

Ant
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Old 03-02-2011
aquarius aquarius is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bx View Post
I can only imagine though, once you get into a proper freestyle stroke and get a bit of pace up, a smidgen of shoulder rotation can creep back in - to help with not damaging the shoulders if nothing else? Maybe this is what Terry meant by "just enough" all along - just enough might be "none" sometimes ;)

Ant
How far (in degrees) can you turn your head from your shoulder line? If this is less than 90°, you won't be able to breathe.
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Old 03-02-2011
Rincewind Rincewind is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquarius View Post
How far (in degrees) can you turn your head from your shoulder line? If this is less than 90°, you won't be able to breathe.
Thats interesting, I have problems with breathing too but never thought about neck flexibility. I am definitely not able to look directly down my shoulder, if looking straight forward is 0 and looking down the shoulder is 90, I'd say I can rotate my head to about a 70.
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Old 03-02-2011
bx bx is offline
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No, I can't turn my head 90 degrees. On breathing strokes I'll have to rotate shoulders too. But on non-breathing strokes, I'll see what happens with flat (non-rotated) shoulders, as a way of staying higher in the water, with hopefully some carry-over to the next breathing stroke.

Maybe Lou will see this thread and add further details..
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Old 03-03-2011
Aquamillie Aquamillie is offline
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This is a timely thread. I have been struggling with sinking and getting my mouth clear of water when breathing too.

Last night my swim instructor told me that I am turning my whole body to breath and I needed to just turn my neck, which see could see was stiff. After reading this thread I checked and yep I too can't rotate my neck to 90 degrees (if 0 is looking straight ahead) either.

I think there are a combination of factors at play with me including balance but a stiff neck is another. I will be working on some neck rotation and stretches and see if that makes a difference.
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Old 03-03-2011
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I believe aquarius was trying to explain that there is no way one can breath without rolling his body to the side at least to clear shoulder out. Staying flat on non breathing strokes doesn't seams to be a very best idea either as:

1) Arm recovery will be a proper pepsi challenge
2) Good luck with engaging your core muscles into propulsion

If you are having so much trouble with staying balanced on your side try to:
1) control your buoyancy with amount of air in your lounges
2) lean forward to put some pressure on your chest
3) try using fins

On original post - my guess is that Lou is referring to original TI stroke (version 1.0 beta ;)) compare to past the amount of rotation that we do now could be described as none ;) cant say for sure as I have to admit that I haven't seen that art

best
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Old 03-03-2011
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquamillie View Post
This is a timely thread. I have been struggling with sinking and getting my mouth clear of water when breathing too.

Last night my swim instructor told me that I am turning my whole body to breath and I needed to just turn my neck, which see could see was stiff. After reading this thread I checked and yep I too can't rotate my neck to 90 degrees (if 0 is looking straight ahead) either.

I think there are a combination of factors at play with me including balance but a stiff neck is another. I will be working on some neck rotation and stretches and see if that makes a difference.

This doesn't sound like the right cure. You do not need to be able to turn your head 90 to the side to breath in swimming. There is an element of both body rotation and some neck rotation...but that additional degree of neck rotaiton is minimal assuming you can look at the bottom of the pool while you rotate your body from right edge to left edge during the stroke.
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Old 03-03-2011
borate borate is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquamillie View Post
Last night my swim instructor told me that I am turning my whole body to breathe and I needed to just turn my neck, which see could see was stiff.
Breathing is a 'combination of ingredients' - body rotation/streamlining and neck/shoulder flexibility, which as you've noted can be limited.

Subtle changes in head positioning can help..
Note in the image that this swimmer appears to be looking back slightly, with mouth drawn sideways - to avoid taking in water. He breathes in the bow wave.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg breathe.JPG (14.6 KB, 20 views)

Last edited by borate : 03-03-2011 at 01:46 AM.
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Old 03-03-2011
aquarius aquarius is offline
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It's quite obvious that one needs to rotate both the head and the shoulders to breathe. The question is whether one needs to rotate the shoulders a bit more than one's "normal" rotation when breathing.

A comfortable head rotation is no more than somewhere around 50°. Assuming one needs at least 90° to breathe comfortably, that requires at least about 40° of shoulder rotation. Or do these figures sound completely off?
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Old 03-03-2011
bx bx is offline
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Borate: That close-up of taking a breath is an eye-openener -
if you even have to pull your mouth opening to the side, that underlines
that breathing correctly is a rather finely-honed skill, where
millimeters in head position / rotation matter.

Talk of 90 degrees is a red herring - you can't breathe at 90 degs without
lifting your head. As the image showed, you need to be looking upwards more.

Anyhoo, I experimented with flat shoulders and twisted hips last night,
and (predictably) didn't really get anywhere with it. As Coach Kris said,
it was indeed a Pepsi Challenge!

Towards the end of the session I went a bit crazy, and just did some
rubbishy old freestyle with some speed, and then breathing "head on the pillow" is a doddle. I know, it has been said before - speed helps - and perhaps for that main reason, I find the switch drills with breathing just impossible right now.
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