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  #1  
Old 07-07-2011
TIJoe TIJoe is offline
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Default Superman glide vs. Streamlined glide

Superman glide is probably the No. 1 popular drill for TI enthusiasts. However, in normal whole stroke swimming, you never glide in such a position. On the other hand, streamlined glide (where one hand is over the other) is actually used everytime you push off the wall or jump off the block. Streamlined glide also helps you with balance and feel of the water. Therefore would it be better to practice streamlined glide rather than superman glide? Or is superman glide a better drill for balance?
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  #2  
Old 07-07-2011
RobM77 RobM77 is offline
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In the absence of a reply from someone more knowledgeable than myself, I would suggest that superman glide bears more relation to full stroke than streamlined glide.

You're right, you're never actually in the superman glide position during full stroke, but you are jolly close in the skater position and prior to the catch, and there is therefore a need to learn balance with one (or in this cars two) arms held out relaxed in front of you. The streamlined glide bears far less relation to full stroke, as the drag is lower and you're carrying momentum from the push off (not kicking), which affects balance quite a bit.

In this respect, with superman glide moving through the water entirely on the kick with both arms relaxed in front of you is far more like full stroke than the spearing off the wall in streamlined glide is.

Feel free to correct me - I've only been learning TI for a year now.
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  #3  
Old 07-07-2011
TIJoe TIJoe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobM77 View Post
In the absence of a reply from someone more knowledgeable than myself, I would suggest that superman glide bears more relation to full stroke than streamlined glide.

You're right, you're never actually in the superman glide position during full stroke, but you are jolly close in the skater position and prior to the catch, and there is therefore a need to learn balance with one (or in this cars two) arms held out relaxed in front of you. The streamlined glide bears far less relation to full stroke, as the drag is lower and you're carrying momentum from the push off (not kicking), which affects balance quite a bit.

In this respect, with superman glide moving through the water entirely on the kick with both arms relaxed in front of you is far more like full stroke than the spearing off the wall in streamlined glide is.

Feel free to correct me - I've only been learning TI for a year now.
Rob, I do agree superman glide perhaps has more similarity to full stroke than streamlined one. Though in terms of kicking or push off, you can do kicking rather than push off in either case though and I would argue at slow speed, streamlined glide is more difficult to balance than superman glide which may therefore be a better balancing drill?
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  #4  
Old 07-08-2011
cynthiam cynthiam is offline
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Default I'll take superman glide

Quote:
Originally Posted by TIJoe View Post
Rob, I do agree superman glide perhaps has more similarity to full stroke than streamlined one. Though in terms of kicking or push off, you can do kicking rather than push off in either case though and I would argue at slow speed, streamlined glide is more difficult to balance than superman glide which may therefore be a better balancing drill?
I've been learning to swim for 2 years now, doing TI the whole time, though in a somewhat circular way. I went back to doing superman glides about 6 months ago. My balance at that time wasn't terrible, but I also wasn't making much progress.

Now I do a lot of superman glides -- several 25m lengths at each pool session. It's the drill that has most helped my balance and, most of all, my relaxation (which helps everything else).

My overall balance & relaxation improved significantly after Coach Shinji corrected my superman glide form. I thought I'd been doing it correctly, but no! My head wasn't low enough, my low back was arched too much, and my shoulders were tense. And my core was not engaged consistently.

I also would get into the glide by sort of flopping on the water rather than staying somewhat low to the water and pushing off the bottom with my head already aligned & low.

These changes have helped my sense of balance in the water. I have a different feeling in my upper body especially -- more of that "laser lead" with my head appropriately low in the water. It's kind of a subtle feeling that has a big impact. My open water swimming is much better & more relaxed because of it.

I don't think the streamlined push-off would benefit me in these ways. I tend to carry tension in my upper back/shoulders/neck (and tend to hunch up), so superman glide has been great for me.

My $.02 :)
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  #5  
Old 07-08-2011
TIJoe TIJoe is offline
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Originally Posted by cynthiam View Post
My overall balance & relaxation improved significantly after Coach Shinji corrected my superman glide form. I thought I'd been doing it correctly, but no! My head wasn't low enough, my low back was arched too much, and my shoulders were tense. And my core was not engaged consistently.

I also would get into the glide by sort of flopping on the water rather than staying somewhat low to the water and pushing off the bottom with my head already aligned & low.

My $.02 :)
Cynthiam, thanks for the input. These are useful information. For the head, how low is appropriate? I think my head is raised slightly when I swim since my eyes are usually focused about 1-2 m of the bottom of the pool in front of me. I tried to swim with my eyes looking direct down today and did feel my body float higher. But my head then was deeper in the water so breathing felt more difficult compared with my normal position. Also, to keep my head low, I naturally want to spear deeper which felt very different. Did get a bit of "swimming downhill" feeling, but really didn't like the feeling of not knowing where I was going (eyes looking straight down).
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  #6  
Old 07-08-2011
Burger Burger is offline
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I think the head position is neutral and supported by water or bouyancy. Like the head spinal alignment concept.

Somehow looking 1 to 2 meter with your raised head and not looking up with your eyes is creates drag. Theres a video on youtube i seen the effects of a straight head compared to a slightly raised head. I believed it was coachdaves youtube videos. I have been practicing sighting to know where im going as opposed to having a raised head.

IMHO Superman glide is a better balance drill. The limb position awarness that is needed to be aware of wide tracts and feel of having sinking or dragging feets. Beside being a balance drill, superman glide helps with limbs and body awareness. Which naturally you dont get with a streamlined glide when your having a conscious effort of having both hands one over the other.

My .02 cents

Last edited by Burger : 07-08-2011 at 10:19 AM.
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  #7  
Old 07-08-2011
cynthiam cynthiam is offline
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Originally Posted by TIJoe View Post
Cynthiam, thanks for the input. These are useful information. For the head, how low is appropriate? I think my head is raised slightly when I swim since my eyes are usually focused about 1-2 m of the bottom of the pool in front of me. I tried to swim with my eyes looking direct down today and did feel my body float higher. But my head then was deeper in the water so breathing felt more difficult compared with my normal position. Also, to keep my head low, I naturally want to spear deeper which felt very different. Did get a bit of "swimming downhill" feeling, but really didn't like the feeling of not knowing where I was going (eyes looking straight down).
TIJoe, it does sound like your head is a bit high/not aligned. I've had to work on that a lot and need to keep my focus there at least occasionally, or the tendency to raise it comes back.

One thought that helps me is to point the crown of my head toward to other end of the pool (toward where I'm going). It almost feels like I'm pointing the *back* of my head & tucking my chin. And when I lean forward to get into superman glide (sg), my head moves downward with my upper back -- I don't keep it up to keep my eyes level. I sort of pretend my neck can't bend backwards.

My head is deeper than it used to be. I don't really know exactly how deep it is, so that's hard for me to describe. I always wondered how Terry, Shinji, & others could swim with their head so deep! Now I know. When you're positioned correctly and moving along in whole stroke, your head creates a trough so that when you turn to breathe, you have a "break" in the water where you can get air. The trick is to trust this and not raise your head -- as you turn it, keep the crown pointed straight ahead and not up. You can always rotate a little more if you don't have that trough.

When I'm well balanced and relaxed, it doesn't matter too much if I have a trough or not -- I just lean a bit on the armpit of my lead hand, stay elongated, and can breathe fairly easily. Stretching the armpit open helps.

I'm not sure what to suggest about the feeling of not liking to look straight down. You could try to bring your eyes back a little from 1-2m ahead and see if that helps keep your head down. You could also try working on sighting and use that occasionally to look ahead instead of keeping your eyes looking ahead.

Back to sg... my arms are held parallel to each other, straight out from relaxed shoulders, and in the water (not skimming on top) with fingers pretty relaxed but not floppy. I keep my core engaged while keeping shoulders & arms relaxed. Low back neutral (which means a little arched for me). Legs streamlined behind me but not tense. I cover 25m in 4 sg's, always pushing off from the bottom (not the side for the 1st one). Toward the end of each glide I lower my arms just a little to maintain my form/balance.

Coach Shinji also suggested that I spear more deeply, at least for now. It is sort of a weird feeling, and it took/takes some concentration to get the right depth. You might try it in increments. Spear maybe a hand-width deeper and see how it goes. Then try another hand-width. Repeat as necessary. Then try raising the spear a hand-width. See how that feels, how your balance is. Maybe others here have a better method/suggestions.
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  #8  
Old 07-09-2011
TIJoe TIJoe is offline
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Burger, thanks for the suggestion. I am convinced that superman glide is the better one to practice.

Cynthiam, very helpful tips. I will try to swim a bit more with head down and see whether I start getting used to it. The feeling of deep submerged head and deep spearing arm definitely felt strange.

In terms of breathing, I don't really raise my head to breath (at least I hope not). So when my head is deeper in the water, I have to roll a lot more to breath, at least when at cruising speed (for me 2-2:30 minutes per 100 meters) when I don't get much a bow wave. At faster speed, breathing is a lot easier, sometimes I don't even need to turn my head 90 degree to breathe.

Back to head alignment and steep arm angle, it probably makes sense for relaxed long distance swimming. But from what I can gather from different sources on internet and books, at short distance race, your head is supposed to raise a little higher. The arm angle seems to be a more contentious issue. The best answer I gather so far from this forum seems to be this: if your balance is not good enough with a shallow angle, then spearing deeper is worth the cost of increasing drag of your arm (but potentially greatly reducing the drag of your body and legs). On the other hand, if your balance is great with a shallow spearing, then shallow spearing is definitely prefered, which is why you don't see world class swimmers spear their arms deep. Terry himself, while spearing deep in his teaching videos in the pool, doesn't seem to spear deep at all in his open water swimming clips

Last edited by TIJoe : 07-09-2011 at 04:12 PM.
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  #9  
Old 07-09-2011
tab tab is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TIJoe View Post
, while spearing deep in his teaching videos in the pool, doesn't seem to spear deep at all in his open water swimming clips
At the end of TIJoe's words this caught my attention. Is there some connection to open water in comparison to pool water where there are different pressures present with may cause the body to float differently than while in the pool? Does open water direct more pressure on the body or is this a myth? Do we float differently in open water? How about breathing patterns? That question may be off topic.
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  #10  
Old 07-09-2011
HydraFx HydraFx is offline
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Default Ditto Cynthiam

I finally got over the feeling that my head was to deep, or tucked, and I assumed the true laser lead. It felt so awkward and exaggerated when I first really made it part of my focus. Video feedback confirmed that I was in the right position otherwise I doubt that I would have ever arrived at it based on my idea of correct. It was an unexpected thrill to have my bottom and legs rise as a result and then to have the power from the core translate all the way through from one end of my body to the other. It all starts at SG though, when fore aft balance and wide tracks are established and imprinted. At least thats the way I rebuilt my stroke. And BTW Shinji was the one who corrected my SG.
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