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  #1  
Old 08-27-2009
Nicodemus Nicodemus is offline
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Default Old fashioned arm-sweep?

Hi,
I have got a fundamental question about the arm-sweep in breaststroke.

First a bit of background information. I have had a pretty strong, streamlined breaststroke all my life. I have never competed, but I could swim breaststroke all day long - and my breaststroke can overtake a lot of people doing freestyle in my local pool. I discovered TI when I went on a TI Freestyle Workshop. Since then I have been re-evaluating my breaststroke too.

The most obvious difference between my own style and the TI approach is that my arm-pull occurs on the OUT-sweep, whereas TI teaches it on the IN-sweep.

During my out-sweep I pull out and down and back, which levers my body forward and up. The feeling when I do this is that I use my entire forearm, not just my hand. My in-sweep to 'prayer' position feels much more relaxed, then drives into a spearing action powered by my kick.

The TI style has a relaxed outsweep to the 'corners'. Then the arm-pull occurs on the insweep, immediately prior to 'prayer' & spearing. So the 'active' and 'passive' phases are the reverse of mine.

I have tried the TI style, but at the moment I just get confused and lose my timing. I will perservere with it if it really is a better approach. But at the moment I am not at all clear what benefit it brings. Is it because it allows you to glide slightly longer on each stroke? My insweep is 'passive' whereas TI's is 'active' - so maybe it eliminates a dead spot in the stroke? But it feels very unnatural to me.

Also is the 'active insweep' widely accepted as the correct modern way to swim breaststroke? Is my own 'active outsweep' an old-fashioned approach? (I learnt in the 70s) Everyone I know has been taught the way I was, so I am really surprised that the TI materials don't seem to mention this huge difference; they just seem to take it for granted that the sweep needs to work the TI way.

Can someone shed any light on the history/rationale of the different arm-sweeps?

Also I wonder whether someone like me should just accept my existing arm-sweep and spend my training time more productively on another part of my stroke?

Thanks
Nick
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  #2  
Old 08-27-2009
terry terry is offline
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Nick
The reasons for emphasis on the insweep, over the outsweep, include:
1) Returning -- even propelling -- the body to streamline is the most important function of both the pull and kick. The insweep is the phase of the pull which accomplishes that, so it should receive emphasis.
2) A major consideration (goal) of the first part of the armsweeps is to keep the bodyline as long as possible, as it shortens. Pulling down and back shortens it. Sweeping out - while keeping the fingertips as far in front of your nose as possible - keeps it longer.
3) To avoid using muscle to "climb" back to the surface after your sub-surface glide, you can do two things: (a) allow the combination of momentum and air in your lungs to return you to the surface (the timing in both fly and breast - as taught by TI - is largely about learning to "play with gravity and buoyancy"); and (b) use the hands to help your head emerge just at the moment when it would do so on its own; make that help as light and brief as possible.
4) The insweep creates lift naturally and there is much more natural leverage available as the hands are being brought back together/forward than when they are being separated - because you use small shoulder muscles to separate them and larger chest muscles help return them.
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  #3  
Old 08-27-2009
Nicodemus Nicodemus is offline
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Thanks Terry, that's pretty comprehensive! All makes perfect sense now. Funnily enough I just got back from the pool & your reply was waiting for me.

I was experimenting with breathing on the insweep, and I reckon I can adapt my own breaststroke to incoprorate your advice. It definitely returns me to streamline quicker so affects the timing of my breathing - but with focus it was ok.

The other thing I was playing with today was Fly drills. Great fun. The relationship to breaststroke is a new idea to me, so I am going to incorporate the undulation into my breaststroke too.
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  #4  
Old 08-28-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
Also is the 'active insweep' widely accepted as the correct modern way to swim breaststroke? Is my own 'active outsweep' an old-fashioned approach? (I learnt in the 70s) Everyone I know has been taught the way I was, so I am really surprised that the TI materials don't seem to mention this huge difference; they just seem to take it for granted that the sweep needs to work the TI way.
If you meet me, you will have met a person who has only learned the active insweep technique. The few lessons I had in breaststroke were not up to the point at which the distinction was relevant. I learned more from videos and TI theory. Most of the information I came across described the outsweep as being the positioning/catch phase of the stroke. That matches the freestyle theory of a light catch and waiting until the shoulder is in a better position to handle higher force before applying that force.
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  #5  
Old 08-29-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Default New Fashioned Recovery?

I'm curious why the recovery of the underwater phase is performed with the hands apart while the regular recovery is done with the hands together. What if we in-sweep until the forearms are inline with your body--hands apart and facing front--then slide them forward at shoulder width? That would extend the arms into a Superman or butterfly position, ready for the next stroke with less out-sweep.
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  #6  
Old 08-30-2009
AWP AWP is offline
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Give it a shot Shuu and let us know exactly what happens!
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  #7  
Old 08-30-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AWP View Post
Give it a shot Shuu and let us know exactly what happens!
I did, but nothing was working for me today. I did find these videos of a wide recovery (hourglass pattern really).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_ItoZLanyk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ch2za8VJAWs
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  #8  
Old 06-27-2012
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Default What's the "significant" difference?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shuumai View Post
I did find these videos of a wide recovery (hourglass pattern really).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_ItoZLanyk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ch2za8VJAWs
I watchesd these two and compared them to the TI Youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sW_HXbkqGc

I am assuming Ágnes Kovács isn't a TI practitioner? I can see the difference in timing (there seems to be v little "underwater glide" in Kovács' style), and I can see the absence of "streamlined spearing". But besides these is there something more fundamental?

Last edited by Talvi : 06-27-2012 at 10:59 PM.
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  #9  
Old 10-09-2014
alden alden is offline
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I'm 6"5 and I'm usually around 7 or 8 SPL if I'm going roughly :40 per 50. In a25yd pool if I'm really working my DPS I can go 5 or 4 and that's w/ a lot of glide and an underwater pullout.
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