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Old 02-13-2015
sclim sclim is offline
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Default Fish-tailing (or fish-hipping?)

I am embarking on a new focus on trying to breathe more smoothly and efficiently. This implies that I want to aim at rotating my head and neck keeping the same axial relationship before during and after the rotating to breathe.

I reasoned that before I do this I have to develop a sensory awareness of truncal balance and alignment first, so that I can be aware of any deviation if it happens when I breath.

So first I started practicing whole stroke swimming with a snorkel so that I am not distracted by breathing and complications of such, with an aim to carefully focus on sensations of awareness of trunk alignment in real time.

After I got used to the narrow range of head height allowed by the snorkel (too deep and water comes down the tube), I tried to limit the swaying and wagging of the head as the trunk rotated first left then right. Once I started to pay attention to the details of alignment, I noticed that when I was putting more force into the strokes (by forceful pulling and by more pronounced hip drive) to achieve lower SPL I was fishtailing considerably.

Actually, what would happen is that after my right hand entry and simultaneous left foot kick, my hips would sway to to the left as well as rise slightly with the kick. The legs would not swing out as much as the hip; therefore "fish-hipping" would be more accurate (if there can be such a word) than fish-tailing. The sway would be bilateral, and symmetrically so.

(Actually I had noticed this same phenomenon in a front view video of whole stroke swimming breathing normally without snorkel taken by my TI coach at the end of a 10 week course before Christmas, but this is the first time I have noticed this myself just by body awareness alone.)

The fish-hipping seems to disappear or become much much less noticeable when I am not straining or exaggerating the stroke and hip drive mechanics to achieve good or adequate SPL.

Any advice how to refine this a bit better rather than just pay closer attention and try to naturally figure out a way for this not to happen?

Last edited by sclim : 02-13-2015 at 04:47 AM.
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Old 02-13-2015
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sclim View Post
The fish-hipping seems to disappear or become much much less noticeable when I am not straining or exaggerating the stroke and hip drive mechanics to achieve good or adequate SPL.
Looks like you have already figured it out.
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  #3  
Old 02-14-2015
sclim sclim is offline
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Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
Looks like you have already figured it out.
Haha, I was afraid you would say that ("Swimmer, heal thyself," lol).

Seriously, I was thinking it over again, along the lines of TI being modelled ofter the swimming mechanics of aquatic mammals rather than the intuitive but ineffective flailing of our terrestrial instinct, how much hip sway might be allowable or tolerable (given that even fish swim with a mid body undulation)?

Or, is it that in our dolphin-like adaptations, as humans, any lateral hip sway doesn't contribute any useful propulsion or balance shifting to our swimming process, so thus is a drain on our resources and should be eliminated as much as possible.
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Old 02-14-2015
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Originally Posted by sclim View Post
... Or, is it that in our dolphin-like adaptations, as humans, any lateral hip sway doesn't contribute any useful propulsion or balance shifting to our swimming process, so thus is a drain on our resources and should be eliminated as much as possible.
You've done it again! :D

Doesn't add (any) propulsion and adds (a heap of) drag.

Even if fish don't have hips, I also "fish-hip" I think. Not sure exactly what's causing it as to one side I bend and to the other I over-rotate. I was aware of its effects yesterday as when focused on it my spl dropped. I'll focus on experiencing it next time rather than correcting it.

Focusing on the experiencing of the problem first more than on correcting it, is something I haven't tried. It sounds like a very good idea. This approach I know from yoga but in swimming I always go straight to "fixing" the problem. Interesting here that Shinji's standard practice first involves a 400m set "To reshape 7 kinds of sensors". I will ask him what those are (and hope he's still reading!), but it sounds like the approach you use.

Thanks.
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Old 02-14-2015
Talvi Talvi is offline
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p.s.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sclim View Post
... After I got used to the narrow range of head height allowed by the snorkel (too deep and water comes down the tube), ...
you sound like you've also fixed this but it made me wonder if you do the head bounce to get the correct weightless position? If not, it's doing SG, pushing the head deep into the water and then relaxing the neck. The result is that your head will find its natural neutral position. This happens VERY quickly so you can do it after every push off as a check too.

fwiw
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A psychological disorder is: "Any personal construction which is used repeatedly in spite of consistent invalidation."
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~ Aleksandr Popov
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  #6  
Old 02-14-2015
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Something that really helps me with "fish-hipping" (I love that term) is to pretend there is a pull buoy between my legs, and keep my legs very still as I swim. They tend to lie quietly in the slipstream of the body, and when my kick happens (I use a 2bk), it feels like just a flick of the foot (I'm sure it's bigger than it feels in reality--hope to have some video soon).

So I'd suggest trying that out--keep the legs very still as you swim and see what happens. I made some pretty big-ish gains in technique lately by doing that--makes me feel like I'm getting the same speed for much less effort.
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  #7  
Old 02-14-2015
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talvi View Post
p.s.



you sound like you've also fixed this but it made me wonder if you do the head bounce to get the correct weightless position? If not, it's doing SG, pushing the head deep into the water and then relaxing the neck. The result is that your head will find its natural neutral position. This happens VERY quickly so you can do it after every push off as a check too.

fwiw
That was the original reason, I think that the head ended up going so deep prior to experience with snorkel, and likely, to some extent even after the snorkel is removed again (i.e. no water choking penalty, so revert back to old form).
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