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  #11  
Old 10-17-2011
KatieK KatieK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
No one has answered my question. It wasn't: why not swipe with a straight arm? It was: why not swipe with a non-vertical forearm (i.e. like most people do - even Kerry Ann Payne)?

See my description above of the diamond shape the arm makes under the body during the pull, when a mere mortal swims. The elbow is still above the wrist, and the forearm is still being used as a paddle.

I suspect the answer is that a classical EVF action allows grabbing a larger ball of water. That assumes the EVF is physically possible, and many seem to agree it isn't for them (it isn't for me). I'm with Terry on this: life's too short to chase rainbows, whatever the theoretical advantages.
An angle short of vertical directs part of the force downward instead of backward.
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  #12  
Old 10-17-2011
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
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Another popular misconception.

To get from a horizontal lead arm to a vertical one, the forearm needs to swipe downwards. Spacetime doesn't provide another way. So EVF is no better than a diamond catch. Hence my initial query.
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  #13  
Old 10-17-2011
KatieK KatieK is offline
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From some angles, EFV looks like a diamond shape. Vertical in this case means that the forearm is parallel to the back wall. It doesn't have to be parallel to the side wall. If it's parallel to the back wall but not parallel to the side wall, would you consider that a diamond shape?

My arm is never in a horizontal position. The angle of my elbow stays pretty consistent throughout the catch and recovery.
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  #14  
Old 10-17-2011
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
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Vertical means pointing directly down, on any sensible measure. If we do it your way then one could execute EVF with a horizontal swipe - the arm be would parallel to the back wall, just measured along the wrong dimension (i.e. right/left instead up/down). I don't think that's what people are talking about.
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  #15  
Old 10-17-2011
Donal F Donal F is offline
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My vertical palm displaces 25 sq in of water and my vertical forearm displaces maybe 8 sq in of water, so maintaining a vertical forearm possibly adds another third of propulsion to each stroke. My feeling from training with fistgloves supports that notion.
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  #16  
Old 10-17-2011
cynthiam cynthiam is offline
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Default What does vertical mean here?

This is exactly the confusion I've been trying to sort out. My understanding of the EVF is that the forearm hangs from the elbow parallel to *both* the rear and the side -- that is, perpendicular to the water's surface, ideally with the upper arm as close to parallel to the surface as possible.

Therefore, a true EVF would not appear as a diamond shape when looking at the swimmer head-on. Maybe my understanding is wrong & "vertical" really means only with respect to the plane parallel to the back wall as KatieK states.

"High elbow" means to me that the elbow stays close(r) to the surface rather than dropping down. This is somewhat independent of whether the forearm hangs straight down or at an angle.

So then to Lawrence's question: assuming the forearm hangs down perpendicular to the water's surface, why indeed is that vertical forearm preferable (at least for those who can do it) to an angled one? Does it somehow create more drag for the catch? Does it recruit larger/more muscles to enable holding onto more water/for a longer time? Something else?

This is academic to me, as I can't do an EVF with the shoulder issues I have. But I am curious to learn the physics behind the EVF.
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  #17  
Old 10-17-2011
Whisk Whisk is offline
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check this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7cES...eature=related

Clearly the under body diamond shape isn't at all bad...Michael Phelps seem to do ok with it.
It still doesn't answer you question specifically, but high elbow, low elbow - the plane of "pull" is the same
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  #18  
Old 10-18-2011
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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Without being an expert, I still believe that the mechanics of the catch and pull is quite obvious in fact and not complicated at all.
The 'pull' - which is a bad word to describe it, although technically correct - means that a) in the old fashioned language you pull your arm to move yourself forward and b) in modern language you anchor your arm in the water to move your body pass it. You want to create the highest amount of resistance possible to push yourself forward from this lever, and you want to have this resistance as long as possible. That means you want to use the biggest lever you have, that is your entire forearm. You want to have it perpendicular to your swimming direction, which you could call parallel to the wall behind you. Or the wall in front of you. Where the forearm is pointing to is completely irrelevant for the propulsion effect, so it does not need to be parallel to the wall on the right or on the left of you. To get your forearm in a perpendicular position as early as ever possible means to strech your upper arm straight forward and than bring the forearm in a ninety degree position to the upper arm, moving your hand and wrist down - like grabbing over a barrel. Basically this only works when your elbow is high, close to the surface. The bigger the distance of your elbow from thiis 'early' position the more propulsion you lose because the forearm gets later into its ideal position. DD_I_enclume said it all already and KK also. The upper arm is horizontal to the bottom of the pool, ideally pointing straight forward. The forearm will be in a more or less vertical position, if not you are simply crossing over.
If you watch Grant Hacket or Ian Thorpe you can see exactly this, e.g. here, see points 6. -9..
It hurts my shoulder just to see that...

Why isn't it emphasized strongly at TI? Try it out. Stand in front of a mirror, bring your arm straight up in the air, and then hinge your forearm down to a 90 degree position. It doesn't work without moving your upper arm quite a bit to the side? That's the point: you need great shoulder flexibility and you bring the shoulder in a internally rotated position which is highly endangered to get injured, particularly when you start to apply force. So for us amateurs it is a rather unrealistic goal. We can still move forward quite effortlessly, which can be seen at Terry's and Shinji's swimming - without explicit EVF. We will not swim a world record though. But we don't anyway, isn't it? Or we even do, like Terry...
So that is all to it, in fact. The catch basically means to bring your forearm in this vertical position - withou pulling, without applying any force. In the 'pull' the point is to keep the forearm in the 90 degree (to the swimming direction) position as long as possible.

I hope this answers why the EVF is the (theoretical) ideal goal and why we don't emphasize it.
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  #19  
Old 10-18-2011
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haschu33 View Post
Where the forearm is pointing to is completely irrelevant for the propulsion effect,

The bigger the distance of your elbow from thiis 'early' position the more propulsion you lose because the forearm gets later into its ideal position.
Thanks Haschu. I've quoted what I think are the material points.

I don't agree with the first. In an extreme case, the elbow could be at the surface and the forearm pointing to the side wall, at 90 degrees to the direction of travel. The swiping arm would then hit you in the head as you performed the catch. Even if the forearm pointed slightly lower, intuition suggests the catch would be weak (your stroke would be a sort of paddle steamer action). So I think the direction in which the forearm points is significant. I also have a suspicion that a diamond catch would not only be easier than a strictly vertical (pointing at the pool floor) catch, but also just as effective for propulsion. I don't have the proof, however; there may be a trade off between how to grab the most water and what catch trajectory allows recruitment of the most strength. It would be nice to be shown that the hardest catch to perform isn't the most effective theoretically.

I agree on the second point, which I think is another way of saying that a lower elbow catch means you grab less water.

As an aside, it's a curious feature of freestyle tuition that so many are told so early to obsess on EVF when there are ten other things they could better spend their time working on. See any triathlete at your local pool for an instance.
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  #20  
Old 10-18-2011
KatieK KatieK is offline
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Lawrence, I agree that EVF is a bad label. So is high elbow. I've never seen a helpful written description of the elbow-forward-of-shoulder-forearm-parallel-to-aft-wall catch. The only ways I've come to understand it are visual and tactile: videos and photos, or my coach touching my arm to position it.

I deliberately do a hinging motion (maybe what you're calling a diamond shape), like Michael Phelps is doing in the video Whisk posted. For a long time, I thought that the "vertical" arm should be parallel to the side wall, even though my coach was trying to tell me otherwise. This is what finally made me understand: http://www.watergirl.co/content/are-...leven-year-old.

Haschu, I don't agree with the mirror exercise or that an "elbow-forward-of-shoulder-forearm-parallel-to-aft-wall catch" (efosfptoawc?) is bad for mere mortals. It should not hurt or put any strain on the shoulder. If it hurts, you're doing it wrong and you should stop.

For me, learning this technique has been really difficult, but it's been worth it. After a year of trying to get it, it clicked for me in one day. A few days later, I took 9 minutes off my 1500m.

There is NO WAY I could have learned it without a coach.
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