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  #1  
Old 11-23-2013
Danny Danny is offline
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Default one armed drills

Today I started doing some one-armed free style to see if I could isolate problems and asymmetries in my stroke. Never really tried this before and a few things surprised me. First, with two arms my SPL for 25 m was about 18, but with one arm it dropped to 16 or sometimes even 15. Second it seems harder to use body rotation in my stroke when the other arm is always in front. As a result, I think I am working harder to swim this way. Needed to take a break every 25 m as a result. When I think about this on land, I don't see any reason why body rotation can't be used the same way with one arm as with two, but it didn't feel this way in the water. My guess is that my SPL dropped because somehow I have some disturbance in body position when I swim with two arms and by swimming with only one arm I was maintaining a better streamline. Any insights into this?

Also, is this a good way to study both sides of my stroke separately to look for asymmetries?
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  #2  
Old 11-23-2013
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny View Post
...Also, is this a good way to study both sides of my stroke separately to look for asymmetries?
Yesterday I tried "skating" lengths - one arm spearing and the other on my hip with a 2bk i.e only kicking on the same side as the spearing arm. I made good progress down the pool and felt in control etc on one side, while on the other side it was simply pants! Odd, as in whole stroke it's my left arm that catches and pulls far better than my right. On the other hand breathing to my right side is way more relaxed than to my left (which feels much more "panicky").

p.s How is the pull timing affected when you pull only on one side as the roll can't take place if the other arm is extended all the time ...
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Last edited by Talvi : 11-24-2013 at 11:36 AM. Reason: focus
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  #3  
Old 11-24-2013
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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One armed swimming with 1 arm in front limits rotation, and allows for breathing only on one side (unlesss you take a full stroke with the other arm).

Have you tried it with only 1 arm and the other by your side?

Why do you think 1 arm swimming results in 2 fewer strokes? (I have a thought, curious what yours is)
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  #4  
Old 11-24-2013
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Originally Posted by Danny View Post
...My guess is that my SPL dropped because somehow I have some disturbance in body position when I swim with two arms and by swimming with only one arm I was maintaining a better streamline.
.. does your stroke rate drop i.e are you focusing on the "glide" more? When you say your SPL dropped you are doubling your actual stroke (as you're stroking only with one arm)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
...Have you tried it with only 1 arm and the other by your side? ...
Do you mean pulling with one arm and, rather than spearing, keeping the other by your side?
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  #5  
Old 11-24-2013
Superfly Superfly is offline
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From my experience, the one-arm Freestyle drill is always with the other arm at your side. If the other arm is kept straight ahead then it becomes impossible to rotate properly. Plus, the rhythm is different and helps to learn Butterfly, not Freestyle. Therefore, I would suggest keeping the other arm at your side for learning the Freestyle rhythm.

I use a 6-beat kick for the one-arm Freestyle drill. I find that this drill helps sync the 6 beats to the Freestyle stroke. I haven't had any success with a 2-beat kick with this drill. I think that this is because too much momentum is lost without a constant 6-beat kick.

Fins really help with this drill as they help the legs find the rhythm, and keep the momentum going.

Last edited by Superfly : 11-24-2013 at 04:19 PM.
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  #6  
Old 11-26-2013
Danny Danny is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Superfly View Post
From my experience, the one-arm Freestyle drill is always with the other arm at your side. If the other arm is kept straight ahead then it becomes impossible to rotate properly. Plus, the rhythm is different and helps to learn Butterfly, not Freestyle. Therefore, I would suggest keeping the other arm at your side for learning the Freestyle rhythm.

I use a 6-beat kick for the one-arm Freestyle drill. I find that this drill helps sync the 6 beats to the Freestyle stroke. I haven't had any success with a 2-beat kick with this drill. I think that this is because too much momentum is lost without a constant 6-beat kick.

Fins really help with this drill as they help the legs find the rhythm, and keep the momentum going.
So today I tried one-armed drills with my arm at my hip, and I can indeed rotate better. I also found myself using a 6-beat kick (or at least more than 2-beat) in order to maintain momentum. All in all, I found the drill with my other arm at the hip more difficult than the drill with my other arm extended out front. Body rotation was not so easy, which I suppose is a sign that I am using my spearing arm to rotate me when I swim with two hands. Is this an indication of a problem?

I previously reported a lower stroke count with my arm extended, and I think it was Werner who asked if I had slowed my stroke rate. I don't know, since I wasn't using my TT. However, I definitely have the feeling that my body position is more stable and streamlined with my other arm extended as opposed to on my hip. In addition, I believe that my catch and elbow-up position is better when my other arm is extended. After thinking about this, I suspect that this form of the one-armed drill is like an extreme form of catch-up swimming. Since I always have my stroking shoulder up, it is very easy to get a good catch and elbow up position. Which opens up the question as to whether or not I may be initiating my stroke too soon during the spear when I swim with two hands. Any thoughts on this? I hope what I am saying makes sense to other people...
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Old 11-26-2013
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Danny, you don't seem to acknowledge the effect that holding your arm at your hip has on longitudinal balance. You are changing your CoG but more importantly you are changing the way the forces of gravity and bouyancy resolve around it. In my opinion this accounts for a lot of the issues you mention so there is no gain in criticising your stroke. It's just a drill. Whole stroke is FQ and in that longitudinal balance is almost at a dead man's float.
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  #8  
Old 11-26-2013
Superfly Superfly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny View Post
...Body rotation was not so easy, which I suppose is a sign that I am using my spearing arm to rotate me when I swim with two hands. Is this an indication of a problem?

...After thinking about this, I suspect that this form of the one-armed drill is like an extreme form of catch-up swimming. Since I always have my stroking shoulder up, it is very easy to get a good catch and elbow up position. Which opens up the question as to whether or not I may be initiating my stroke too soon during the spear when I swim with two hands. Any thoughts on this? I hope what I am saying makes sense to other people...
This drill teaches body rotation, rhythm and balance so it's not surprising that you're finding it difficult if you haven't been rotating symmetrically. From my experience, rhythm is the key. Count the rhythm as 123123... and keep your legs and arm moving to that rhythm.

I would say that this drill is the opposite of catch-up drills, as you now must learn how to keep your balance (like skating or riding a bicycle) with this drill. The good thing about catch-up drills is that they teach the arm mechanics. The bad thing with catch-up drills is that you don't need to worry about balance as you end up flat as a barge (when the two arms meet). Also, the rhythm and momentum is destroyed as one arm waits for the other arm to catch up. The skating analogy might help to understand this better (do you skate?).

Note that if you're proficient in Backstroke then you can try the same one-arm drill. It is much easier for Backstroke as you can breathe easily and watch what your legs are doing. Also, the arm moves continuously in Backstroke as you're not using front quadrant timing (i.e. no arm extension as in FQ Freestyle).

Last edited by Superfly : 11-26-2013 at 08:05 PM.
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  #9  
Old 11-27-2013
Danny Danny is offline
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Talvi and Superfly,

You are both making good points. Superfly, my analogy to catch-up is only when the non-stroking arm is forward. In this case, the stroking shoulder is always in an up position, which makes a good catch very easy. I will try the cadence 123123. You said earlier that, when the other arm is forward this is a good drill for butterfly. Can you explain this? I presume one then uses a dolphin kick, instead of 6 beat and then undulates. Is this what you mean?

Talvi, I hadn't thought about the weight shift involved in keeping my non-stroking arm at the hip. Thanks for pointing this out. I no longer feel like this may be a big problem if I am having trouble rotating.
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  #10  
Old 11-27-2013
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny View Post
...I hadn't thought about the weight shift involved in keeping my non-stroking arm at the hip. Thanks for pointing this out. I no longer feel like this may be a big problem if I am having trouble rotating.
I don't understand this Danny. I wasn't referring to weight-shift but to blanace along the longitudinal axis (the line of your direction of travel i.e head to toe).

Rotation is involved in longitudinal balance :- as the shoulder exits the water buoyancy is lost (weight is increased at that point) but I think this is relatively minor compared to the effect of moving the entire arm from a position north of the head to a position south of it and also because the change in weight is closer to your CoG and so the rotational force are smaller for any given vertical force..
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A psychological disorder is: "Any personal construction which is used repeatedly in spite of consistent invalidation."
~ George Kelly

"The water is your friend.....you don't have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move."
~ Aleksandr Popov
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