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  #1  
Old 02-19-2009
Rhoda Rhoda is offline
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Rhoda
Default Fistglove stroke count vs hands

This morning I decided to do most of my swim in the Fistgloves, as my shoulders were a little sore from sprints. (I foolishly failed to warm up enough)
I was really doing well, 2 counts below normal and getting exited about what the count might be when it came time to take them off. So I took them off and the count was....exactly the same.
What does it mean if the fist count is the same as the bare-hand count? Does it mean I'm doing something right, or is there something I'm not quite getting the hang of when I take them off?
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Old 02-19-2009
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Hi Rhoda

Did you time these swims? I have found that with fists ( I don't use fistgloves) I swim slower and take more strokes. Possibly you took the same number of strokes but got to the other end quicker, which is presumably good.

Theoretically, it seems to me, you also ought to take fewer strokes with open hands. My rather innumerate brain is struggling with the whole scenario.

Open hand is more powerful so the stroke should be both longer and faster, shouldn't it?

Last edited by Richardsk : 02-20-2009 at 09:19 AM.
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  #3  
Old 02-19-2009
CoachEricDeSanto CoachEricDeSanto is offline
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I would argue that fist/open giving the same stroke count is a good thing. It means you are anchoring with your whole arm. Think of it this way, the surface area of your whole arm does not change much if you loose your fingers. If you are anchoring with only your hand, fists are a great deal smaller than open hands and would give a much higher stroke count. The goal is to use your whole arm.
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Old 02-20-2009
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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CoachEricD

That makes sense, but shouldn't you still take fewer strokes with an open hand?

I will have to experiment with this.

My first thought is that although the area of the hand ( or rather the part of the hand from the knuckles to the finger tips) is only a small proportion of the total area of hand and forearm ( and possibly even some of the upper arm?), it is at the extremity of the 'oar', 'paddle' or 'propeller' and presumably more powerful.

Of course without knowing exactly how water flows round an arm and hand in freestyle it's a bit difficult to say what is really happening, especially if one is almost totally ignorant in hydrodynamics.
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Old 02-20-2009
CoachEricDeSanto CoachEricDeSanto is offline
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Richardsk,

As always, there are lots of variables going into stroke length with and without gloves. I believe the vast majority of people would not be able to hold the same stroke count. I personally hold 1-2 more strokes per 25 at all speeds for gloves. I just would not consider equal counts a bad thing. I can't think of a problem that would indicate.

As for other methods such as golf balls and marbles, they get half way there. Holding other things allows the smaller surface area, but the gloves also take away skin surface nervous sensation. And, with the gloves, you don't have to think about holding the fist, so you free up brain space for the technique you are trying to develop. I feel using the gloves is slightly better.
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  #6  
Old 02-20-2009
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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ThanksCoach EricD

There seems to be an enormous number of variables with all aspects of swimming, which is one of the things that makes it so fascinating.

It is remarkable enough that Rhoda managed to swim with a lower number of strokes than usual with Fistgloves but even more remarkable in my opinion that she didn't lower that stroke count when she returned to open hand swimming. My only conjecture is that she is right at the minimum possible stroke count for her present stage of development. Progress often seems to come in jumps rather than in a gradual progression.
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  #7  
Old 02-21-2009
ny1301 ny1301 is offline
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Coach Eric, with all respect, could it be possible that when you have the fistglove on, you somehow have better catch/pull/timing/streamline/kick etc.?

As for me, with or without fistglove, there is a huge difference. Too many things to improve.

best regards
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  #8  
Old 02-21-2009
CoachEricDeSanto CoachEricDeSanto is offline
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ny1301,
I am not sure I understand your question?
Eric
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  #9  
Old 02-21-2009
Rhoda Rhoda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachEricD View Post
I would argue that fist/open giving the same stroke count is a good thing. It means you are anchoring with your whole arm. Think of it this way, the surface area of your whole arm does not change much if you loose your fingers. If you are anchoring with only your hand, fists are a great deal smaller than open hands and would give a much higher stroke count. The goal is to use your whole arm.
Well, that's good to know. I have small hands with short stubby fingers so it's possible that my closed fist in the gloves is really not a lot bigger. Oddly, I find it harder to swim when I simply close the hands into a fist with no gloves at all.
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