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  #1  
Old 05-24-2012
Grant Grant is offline
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Default Streamlining question

On GoSwim I saw a demonstration of how he suggests coming off the wall on a turn. The demonstrator had his head well below his arms which were held together as tight as possible. To me this seems to be not as streamlined as having your arms held as tight as possible against your ears. Not as he was doing with his head below his arms.
Fortunately I am flexible enough that I can achieve this position but question it's advisability.
Would like to hear what the forum particants have to say about this.
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Old 05-24-2012
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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I suppose the only way to find out how it works for you is to try it both ways, perhaps with somebody timing you - or possibly timing yourself if that can be managed. I think it's unlikely to make a huge difference but of course at a high level hundredths of a second count.

Whereas long ago, when we were young, everybody knew that it was the tobacco that counted. ;-)
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  #3  
Old 05-24-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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This has been studied with computational fluid dynamics. Head neutral with biceps alongside head is more streamlined.
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  #4  
Old 05-25-2012
Grant Grant is offline
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Thanks for the replies Suzanne and Richard. I thought that it must of been analyzed by experts.
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  #5  
Old 11-03-2012
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grant View Post
On GoSwim I saw a demonstration of how he suggests coming off the wall on a turn. The demonstrator had his head well below his arms which were held together as tight as possible. To me this seems to be not as streamlined as having your arms held as tight as possible against your ears. Not as he was doing with his head below his arms.
Fortunately I am flexible enough that I can achieve this position but question it's advisability.
Would like to hear what the forum particants have to say about this.
You certainly don't want your head below your arms, but you probably don't want your arms pressed against your earholes, etiher, since this will spread your elbows too much. I find that it works best to streamline with my arms sort of against the back of my ears (and I can streamline for more than half the length of a short course pool).


Bob
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  #6  
Old 11-03-2012
Grant Grant is offline
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Thanks for the reply Bob. I will check tomorrow where I have been placing my arms. I don't think I have been that precise.
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  #7  
Old 11-03-2012
Grant Grant is offline
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Today I tried the arms just touching the back of the ears and the movement thru the water did feel smoother, less turbulent. Now to burn it in. Thanks again.
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  #8  
Old 11-07-2012
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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You're welcome!


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  #9  
Old 12-20-2012
CoachMatHudson CoachMatHudson is offline
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Default an idea for improving push-off

Experimenting with head position is a great exercise, as it will build the feel for which position is truly the most hydrodynamic - as noted above.

In pool training I have a regular habit of marking the 6m mark (just past the flags), either by noting some marking on the pool floor itself, or placing a large smooth glass bead on the floor as break-out marker. This is my target for the push-off and break-out point.

My pattern, if using a Tempo Trainer, is to allow 3 beeps. 0 beep is the push off the wall, 1 beep is straight streamline, 2 beep is a slight body dolphin, and 3 beep is when I should start the first underwater catch.

If not using a Tempo Trainer, I will still do an internal count to three. But I always aim for that marker on the pool floor.

As intensity increases I will be more challenged at holding a long streamlined body to reach my marker. In a long set I notice most swimmers start the first one or two breakouts at a nice distance, but then shorten up the breakout significantly for subsequent lengths. Examining the reasons why is important for each swimmer to see where we are losing focus on streamline or quality of the push-off or break-out.

At any intensity level using a marker like this can also be good for drawing your attention to anything that causes you to breakout shorter than your goal. The power of the push (how steady or how snappy), the depth at which I pushed off, how straight and parallel to the surface I was, etc.

And when I see that I've come up half-a-stroke short on the marker, I know this will mean I've already lost half-a-stroke on my SPL. So it helps me stay keen on every detail that makes a perfect 25 length.

The most annoying problem of using markers like this to help imprint push-off skill is that people (or kids) unfamiliar with my routine see my markers and pick them up, wondering what they are, or think it is a free toy to start playing with. So find something that looks boring to draw little attention but my own, yet heavy enough and big enough to not slip down the pool drain.
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Last edited by CoachMatHudson : 12-20-2012 at 07:47 AM.
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  #10  
Old 12-20-2012
terry terry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grant View Post
Today I tried the arms just touching the back of the ears and the movement thru the water did feel smoother, less turbulent. Now to burn it in. Thanks again.
Demonstrating once again that direct experience -- sometimes via a thoughtfully designed 'test' or experiment -- is often the best teacher. I would add a second consideration. In addition to which arm position during pushoff results in traveling the greatest distance to breakout, I find I must give equal weight to which position produces the least tension in my shoulders.

This is partially for reasons of sustainability. If I'm swimming a distance I must stay relaxed in order to avoid arm/shoulder fatigue as the laps accumulate. And partially to preserve my aged shoulders. After 47 years of swimming -- the first 25 with traditional technique -- I have to take care to avoid shoulder strain.

The arm position that gives me the best balance of efficiency, sustainability and comfort is to feel my ears on my inner biceps. And I don't squeeze my head either. The tradeoff of increased tension for a tiny further reduction in drag isn't worth it. If I examine my streamline from torso to toes, I can reduce drag a lot more without tension.
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