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  #11  
Old 06-27-2011
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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Disregarding the latest discussion about your footage (BTW I think you are kicking with your lower legs only and could try using a 'whip-like' kick from the hips), and coming back to the actual subject of shoulder impingement I found these details about Michael Phelps spear. It seems he does NOT rotate internally with his spearing arm. You can see clearly that he keeps his (loose) hand in one line with the body and the hand rotates with his body. Even when starting the catch he does not rotate internally in the shoulder. Quite interesting, and definetely better for the shoulder.
The pictures in this vid are marvellous and taken with a high-sophisticated camera, unfortunately the video resolution is quite bad so some details get lost. The comment is in German, sorry. This part of the video deals with Phelps clean and bubble free entry compared with Thompsons whole arm and bubble ridden entry.


Michael Phelps Slow Motion (watch from 2:48)
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  #12  
Old 06-27-2011
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
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The same video also illustrates how careful Phelps is to spear directly forwards upon re-entry, and how his tracks are narrower than TI seems to suggest they ought to be.

Last edited by Lawrence : 06-27-2011 at 01:06 PM.
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  #13  
Old 06-27-2011
AWP AWP is offline
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What I see:
Preface, notice in the beginning of the vid his demonstration of shoulder/lats flexibility upon stretching.

I see that in fact he does apply wide tracks, as much as MP needs to, during the recovery/catch phase. You can stop @ 1:26, 1:28, 1:30 and see this.
MP's stroke is asymmetrical, bringing his recovery arm over high and tight on his breathing side (right) and lower/wider on his other (left), however the relationship between the two is kept 'wide' during the transition phase.
MP keeps a tight profile, streamlining exceptionally on the front end and staying "narrow" only upon extension as it should be, but also notice the relationship between the extended lead arm and the recovery, both sides. The extension to transition phase with left side recovery is classic TI I feel.
We should not try to stay wide on extension, that is after we enter (spear) the water we should be trying to slip through the smallest hole in the water as possible. While doing so and recovering on the opposite side the relationship between our, 'narrow', streamlined lead arm/body and the recovery will be wide thru transitioning to extension on the other side.
If you are extending wide you are probably not slipping through the smallest hole in the water but instead will be plowing your way 'through' it.
An overhead of Terry and Shinji may shed some light on this and illustrate the differences in flexibility between those two and between those two and MP; while also showing the similarities.
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  #14  
Old 06-27-2011
dshen dshen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yann View Post
I'll work on my shoulder stiffness as a focal point since this day forth!
Great!

Some other thoughts - it is also possible that you are extending too far forward. Extending too far puts your shoulder into a weak position since it's so stretched out and your muscles have to work harder to flex from there. This combined with a too narrow spear which then closes up the shoulder joint AND then a very tight, stiff shoulder area which makes the muscles fatigue and then contract due to tiredness can all cause problems.

let me how things go with practice!

dshen
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  #15  
Old 06-28-2011
yann yann is offline
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dshen,

Simply focusing on relaxed shoulder enabled me to swim 1500m without stopping yesterday. It might not seem extraordinary, but it is for my as my maximum was 300m...

Concerning your other point, I've already identified this but couldn't figure out how to solve it. On one side you need to have a streamlined body position. I understand that as sleek and as long as possible. And on the other side, I feel that if I extend too much my arm, my shoulder is in an unstable position and I tend to have my arm not being in front of my shoulder. It also tends to narrow my tracks, but it seems to be a sensitive subject.

So according to your comment I think the solution is somewhere in the middle possibly swimmer's anatomy dependent.

"Know thyself" (including your anatomy possibilities!)

Thanks for your insights!

Yann
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  #16  
Old 06-28-2011
dshen dshen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yann View Post
Simply focusing on relaxed shoulder enabled me to swim 1500m without stopping yesterday. It might not seem extraordinary, but it is for my as my maximum was 300m...
AWESOME! relaxation is the key to long distance swimming and to prevent your muscles from unnecessarily getting overtired and wiped out which will lead to injury over time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yann View Post
Concerning your other point, I've already identified this but couldn't figure out how to solve it. On one side you need to have a streamlined body position. I understand that as sleek and as long as possible. And on the other side, I feel that if I extend too much my arm, my shoulder is in an unstable position and I tend to have my arm not being in front of my shoulder. It also tends to narrow my tracks, but it seems to be a sensitive subject.

So according to your comment I think the solution is somewhere in the middle possibly swimmer's anatomy dependent.
I wanted to answer some of the comments on wide vs. narrow spear with this.

TI is a teaching methodology that takes beginners to as far as they want. Over the years, terry and company have figured out the best ways to teach swimming and it is very much like "you must learn to walk before you can run". Some people are beginners and need to start with the basics and therefore wider and deeper spears to fix other more basic things like balance in the water.

Once you get proficient in the basics, then you'll find that your spearing starts becoming a bit more narrow and less deep; after all, the more frontal area you expose via the front of your arm to the oncoming water means more resistance than if you were spearing to a higher, more shallow point.

However, as you get faster and work with a tempo trainer, you'll find that you are adjusting things still simply to keep up to a higher tempo, like NOT extending so much forward so that you can make the next beep, or if you get tired and you want to make the next beep, you start shortening your spear and how far you stroke back before recovery. Even during a swim, your energy level will vary and your spear's width and depth will sometimes vary also. It will even also vary by water conditions especially in open water where the waves will unbalance you and you'll find that a different width/depth of spear will give you greater balance.

Then you'll want to try EVF to get even more efficient and faster and then you'll find a new set of challenges to face in your body, muscles, and nervous system. So yes it's nice to see how Michael Phelps and company are swimming as elites, but we also have to remember they've been swimming for a LOT longer and a LOT more often than most of us do, because it's their occupation - imagine if we could spend 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week in the pool like we do with our jobs. Would we advance faster in our mastery? Of course!

No matter what it takes time to get there and some of us may be able to advance faster and others cannot. It is not a matter of saying TI is wrong in this or that - it is more that TI is a method of learning swimming that moves your through systematic mastery of steps leading up to a Michael Phelps-ian style EVF, while training your body/muscles/nervous system to master the movements with less chance of injury. Some of us will move through the system faster, others need more time. And frustratingly, some of us will move through some particular aspects faster, but other aspects take a lot longer (like me, who has better spear/coordination on my right side, but left side is much worse! very frustrating to have a right side that learns faster than my left!)

But if extending really far forward is aggravating your shoulders now, then practice swimming extending not so far to save your shoulders until they stop hurting. You may find that if you master your hip connection/2BK with even a not so extended spear, you may even shoot yourself forward with greater speed than focusing solely on getting your arm out there in front further.

Play with how far forward you spear, along with your hip connection and 2BK. Play also with spearing deeper, and wider - try dividing the spear target point into 3 targets in both depth and width: for depth it is deep, medium depth, shallow (and maybe even one more, horizontal which by the way is harder to achieve than you think); for width, it is narrow, medium, and wide.

Observe the results. see which one works best for you. see if you can pick a depth/width combination and maximize your forward velocity focusing on maintaing that combonation of depth/width.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yann View Post
"Know thyself" (including your anatomy possibilities!)

Thanks for your insights!

Yann
keep us posted on your progress!
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  #17  
Old 06-28-2011
yann yann is offline
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I'll do. Thanks again dshen !

I got so many feedback recently on the forum that I have like 20 areas of improvement. I'm very happy to get such valuable feedback and very excited to put all that in practice.

So my next step will be... to organize my new objectives in a logical sequence!

How could other find swimming boring !?

Yann
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  #18  
Old 06-30-2011
RadSwim RadSwim is offline
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yann-

dshen has given you most of the same feedback that I would give you. I have 2 suggestions that helped me along the way. You may find these useful.

To get kick-hip rotation-spear(catch/pull) better connected, I put on big rubber fins and focused on pushing down with my left fin using my whole left thigh and leg, feeling my body roll right hip down, driving my spearing right arm forward. I tried to maximize the sensation of my fin pressure driving my opposite arm into the spear. I called it the "giant switch" drill. The drill helped me develop a connected stroke.

To reduce my habit of pulling too fast, I used FistGloves for a few practices, but stopped using them because they made my hands cramp and they broke very easily. Instead, I used Turtle anti-paddles from Hungary. Today, I would buy the PT paddles from Finis, instead. The key skill is to learn to pull SLOWLY but effectively using your forearm, since the paddle covers your hand and greatly diminishes the contribution of your hand to the pull. The idea is to pull firmly with you forearm, but do so without creating turbulence that ruins your "grip" on the water. (You can read about creating vorticies in the water as a sign of an effective pull.) The sensation is steady pressure against your forearm.

Hope these ideas help.

RadSwim

Last edited by RadSwim : 06-30-2011 at 01:30 AM.
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  #19  
Old 06-30-2011
yann yann is offline
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Thanks RadSwim.

Two questions:
1. Did the "giant switch" helped you to kick from the hip? I'm able to coordinate the kick and the hip rotation (karate in my youth probably helped), but what is difficult for me is to kick from my hips. For now I'm doing a lot of superman glide with flutter, skating, spearswich, swim sequences focusing on having (almost) strait legs with relax ankle and toes pointing backward. But I find it difficult to maintain while swimming more than a few strokes. I also felt a bit less connected to my hip compared when I kick with bent knee (karate in my youth probably does not helped here). Any suggestion?

2. How would you compare swimming with your paddle with swimming with your fist closed with one finger strait (as suggested in Terry's book) ?

Yann
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  #20  
Old 06-30-2011
RadSwim RadSwim is offline
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Yann-
1. Yes, giant switches helped convert from knee kicking to hip kicking. With fins on, my leg becomes a very long, stable anchor against which I can rotate and spear. Use a 2-beat kick, applying just enough downward kicking force to provide a launching pad for hip rotation. You could even wear a knee brace to break your habit of kicking from the knee.

2. I can't do clenched fist swimming for very long before cramping or getting tired. However, I can easily swim 200 - 400 yards with the Turtle paddles on. When I take them off, my hands become HUGE, similar to the effect that FistGloves give. It makes it very easy to feel subtle changes in my catch and pull. The Turtle paddles allow me swim long enough so I can learn to become efficient with my hands "crippled" -- that's the desired goal -- force yourself to use your forearms more effectively.

Or at least it did in the past...I tried my Turtle paddles last week for the first time in months and I no longer get the same effect...probably because my catch and pull have improved.

Currently, I am using Speedo Contour paddles to emphasize my hand position during entry and catch. My current goal is to be able to control my stroke rate and speed by controlling when my fingers first tip into the catch. If I am swimming at a leisurely 2:00 min/100 yd pace (the only reasonable pace in the hot outdoor pool in Houston this week), my fingers dip into the catch as my recovering arm enters the water. If I am swimming at a 1:20 - 1:30 / 100 pace, I am learning to dip my fingers into the catch as soon as my opposite arm exits the water -- much earlier in recovery. Contour paddles emphasize the initiation of catch, so that I can feel the differences in timing more easily.

RadSwim
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