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  #1  
Old 08-13-2009
5-rise 5-rise is offline
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Default Rotation and Hip Drive

Can anyone help me with the term "rotating just enough"? Doesn't restricting rotation reduce the amount of propulsion generated from hip drive?
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Old 08-13-2009
atreides atreides is offline
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Originally Posted by 5-rise View Post
Can anyone help me with the term "rotating just enough"? Doesn't restricting rotation reduce the amount of propulsion generated from hip drive?
I'm not an expert in this but I'll give it a try. As you problem know, rotation supplies forward energy from the core body that supplements if not supplants the forward energy from the arm pull. Hip drive initiates rotation and the amplitude of it determines how much rotation occurs. I think that originally it was thought that the more rotation the better because having a greater amount of the body out the water decreased drag. However it also presented a problem. How much energy and time was consumed getting the body in the exact same position on the other side. And depending on the swimmers build (think wide bodies) and skill level, moving the body into this position can present problems. When this side to side rotation isn't handled well, the swimmer can become unbalanced which creates turbulance and subsequently drag. If you can transfer more of the hip drive energy forward instead of forward and sideways, then you can get the same or greater benefit without the accompanying problems of balance and turbulance. From what I have read, the "just enough" solution suggest rotation should be limited to that which gets the pulling arm shoulder just out of the water. I think TL has spoke of experimenting with a "hip nudge" which suggests to me that he is trying to decrease the amplitude of his hip drive and at the same time redirect the energy forward.

Since I have just recently begun concentrating on hip drive as a way to decrease the load on my arms, I have a lot to learn. But since I don't think by any stretch of the imagination that I over rotate, I might be on the right track. This morning I had been thinking about hip drive and unloading my arms. I was astronished when I began my swim how almost pleasurable my first lap was. I'm still using a lot of energy in my arms but I no longer feel that tug after the catch. It's like I'm loafing on the pull. So maybe there's hope for me yet.
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Old 08-14-2009
5-rise 5-rise is offline
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Originally Posted by atreides View Post
I think that originally it was thought that the more rotation the better because having a greater amount of the body out the water decreased drag. However it also presented a problem. How much energy and time was consumed getting the body in the exact same position on the other side.
Hi thanks for spending some time thinking about this. I'm afraid I'm still a bit confused. Would it be right to say that the greater the rotation, the greater the hip drive and the greater the forward motion but the rotation has associated disadvantages which you've mentioned and these serve to limit propulsion, therefore the best position is a compromise between the two extremes (of being flat and over-rotated)?
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Old 08-14-2009
Jimmer5 Jimmer5 is offline
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And depending on the swimmers build (think wide bodies) and skill level, moving the body into this position can present problems. When this side to side rotation isn't handled well, the swimmer can become unbalanced which creates turbulance and subsequently drag.

Hi all,

This is my exact problem right now. I have learned, through great trial and error, that I am unable to rotate to my left side (from any position) without becoming unbalanced. I am a relatively new swimmer and have just begun to focus on freestyle this summer. Any suggestions as to how work on initiating rotation and then remaining balanced would be greatly appreciated. -Thanks
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Old 08-14-2009
CoachEricDeSanto CoachEricDeSanto is offline
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Jimmer 5.
One of my favorite drills, which is not in our weekend series anymore, is active balance. Start in fish (head lead skate) and find the "just right" rotation that leaves you in good balance and one shoulder just dry. Then, with only the kick as a source, rotate to the other side. I like using a snorkel with this so I can get the entire length without needing to think about breathing. This drill gives me a lot of time to think about rotation from the legs, perfect the amount of rotation, and keep the body line perfect and symmetrical.

From there I usually go into single switches (either spear switch or zen switch) to imprint the same perfect body line with the arm.
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Old 08-14-2009
atreides atreides is offline
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Originally Posted by Jimmer5 View Post
And depending on the swimmers build (think wide bodies) and skill level, moving the body into this position can present problems. When this side to side rotation isn't handled well, the swimmer can become unbalanced which creates turbulance and subsequently drag.

Hi all,

This is my exact problem right now. I have learned, through great trial and error, that I am unable to rotate to my left side (from any position) without becoming unbalanced. I am a relatively new swimmer and have just begun to focus on freestyle this summer. Any suggestions as to how work on initiating rotation and then remaining balanced would be greatly appreciated. -Thanks
I know this is going to sound kind of "Zen-ish" but I think that hip drive isn't just moving your posterior from side to side but how you move it. When I first began to rotate I was using my lower back muscles. How did I know this? Well after a swm session my lower back got tight. Then one day, quite by accident, I began to swivel using my lower abs. I could tell because I felt this kind of cracking feeling on both sides of my pelvic region. This rotation was a lot tighter and now its appears to be more powerful. I don't get the lower back tightness and when I combine it with my catch and pull there isn't a pulling sensation but more like my body is advancing over my arm. Now, for me, it seems difficult to over rotate. Oh yea. I try to use really wide tracks. I know I don't always succeed but that is the intent. Because it is difficult to over rotate when the track are wide, I think it might actually focus more of your hip drive energy to the front. I think you should focus on making sure that you get forward momentum and just enough streamline. Right now I just happy that I appear to be unloading my arms. When you initiate your hips, try to move them with your abs and try not to overdo it. If you are unloading your arms and getting to streamline (pulling shoulder is out of the water) , then you're doing the job. Anything else isn't really helping. Of course that's my opinion for now until I figure something else out.
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Old 08-14-2009
Jimmer5 Jimmer5 is offline
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Thanks for the responses.

So just to clarify and make sure I understand. I have been using the book "Swimming made easy" and the "Four Strokes Made Easy" DVD as a reference (like I said, I started this swimming business a few years ago and haven't updated yet - I think I will probably get this "Easy Freestyle" DVD this weekend so I have the most up to date info). Given this, then as I understand CoachEricD, I should start out in a side balanced position (looking down, body horizontal to water surface, shoulders almost stacked on top of each other vertically) then kick and rotate to the other side balanced position? This would be similar to the drill # 2.3 "Active balance looking down" in my references.

And, in terms of atreides' post, I seem to lose momentum with my rotation, and I am not sure how this is happening, but I have an idea. If I start out in a side-balanced position, then my upper half is largely under water (top shoulder dry, though). If I rotate half way to prone balance (I think this is what some are referring to as Superman) then my upperbody rises up thanks to the bouyancy of the air in the lungs. Then as I rotate around to the other side balanced position, I sink back down. Now for the fun part - if I rotate side to side I actually start to get an up and down motion going on which completely destroys any forward momentum. Its like I am doing a short axis stroke almost. I think some of this is due to having quite a bit of upper body mass, but I really need to figure out how to stop the up and down motion from happening. Interestingly, however, this does not happen if I am on my back and I rotate side to side (like doing backstroke without the arm stroke).
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  #8  
Old 08-16-2009
dianeporter dianeporter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atreides View Post
I try to use really wide tracks. I know I don't always succeed but that is the intent. Because it is difficult to over rotate when the track are wide, I think it might actually focus more of your hip drive energy to the front.
I'm new to this. Please tell me what wide tracks means.
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  #9  
Old 08-16-2009
Alex-SG Alex-SG is offline
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Originally Posted by dianeporter View Post
I'm new to this. Please tell me what wide tracks means.
Imagine you have railway tracks as wide as your shoulders stretching in front of you while you swim. If you swim on your stomach and stretch both arms forward, each arm/hand will be on one of the tracks.

When stroking, it is important to ensure your spearing arm/hand extends along the track. Right arm spears along the right track...

It is important to ensure your arms do not cross over.

NOTE: In order to achieve this, people often have to practice as if they were spearing towards the outside. They focus on 11am and 1pm... but the actual result comes out good.
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Old 08-16-2009
atreides atreides is offline
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Originally Posted by dianeporter View Post
I'm new to this. Please tell me what wide tracks means.
Wide tracks is a euphemism for the recovery arm entering right at or perhaps slightly outside of the shoulder line. Your shoulder line is an imaginary line drawn from the tip of shoulder forward. If you were to draw a clock face around the shoulder line with it exactly bisecting the clock, the line would cross at 6:00 and 12:00. So wide tracks means that your recovery arm enters the water at 12:00 or even 1:00 which means that you are recovery outside of your shoulder line. But since most swimmers have a tendency to catch and anchor with an inward motion, recovery outside the shoulder line isn't necessarily bad. I'm not a physics major but the parallel pulling surface that wide tracks offers seems to provide the greatest forward motion possibility. When you execute this properly, hip drive will unload your arms so that after the anchor (putting your arm in vertical position after the catch), you're not pulling at all. I'm speculating here but the wider recovery also acts as a counterbalance to the opposite side rotation so that it is more difficult to rotate too much.
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