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  #1  
Old 08-08-2012
cantswim cantswim is offline
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cantswim
Default Sinking. Any tips?

I spent more time on superman glide, laser lead flutter, superman flutter, and superman glide to swim, but didn't improve in them or improve my whole stroke.

I experimented with different head positions but that didn't work either.

Anyone have some tips, drills, or ideas on what to try next?
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  #2  
Old 08-08-2012
tony0000 tony0000 is offline
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When you sink, are your legs or head sinking faster? Are are you sinking evenly?

If you could possibility post a video of what happens you try these things and sink, it would make it easier to give advice. Even something shot with a smartphone . . . .

Tony
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  #3  
Old 08-08-2012
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
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Cantswim,

These are the basics of any good swim stroke TI or not. I never had a clue until I became involved with Total Immersion close to five years ago. Your challenges are not unique, and you need to understand that.

The key, which will let you improve in these evolutions is relaxation and a comfort zone in the water. We can practice them till hell freezes over, until the tension is released from our body and we become in tune with the water struggles will continue.

How is this accomplished? Patience, persistence, practice. A good coach or trained eye will be able to tell how much tension is carried. Hands,arms and shoulders are key indicators.

It is not easy to relax in the water, very difficult indeed.

Hope this helps in some small way.

Swim Silent and Be Well
Westy
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  #4  
Old 08-08-2012
Mike from NS Mike from NS is offline
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Mike from NS
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Cantswim,

First thing I think you must do is change your name because you have to think positively; and each time you type or read "Cantswim" you reinforce a belief. Maybe a change to "Cant-Swim-Yet".

But in getting the SG to work ... try something Shinji suggested to me years ago. That is to use a pull buoy between your thighs and push off the wall. The pull buoy will keep your legs from sinking while you enjoy a long glide. Get the feeling of this glide and remember it. Do it over and over and eventually you should be able to perform the SG without the buoy. An important part of all of this is learning to relax as Westy pointed out. I've found that the more I just play in the water the more I learn to relax. Go to a part of the pool where you can just bob to below the surface or learn to sit on the bottom just to get used to it. Learn the effects of different movements. Get a flutter board, sit on it and scull yourself to the other end. Learn balance this way and just play. Keep expanding the comfort zone that he mentions as well.

These things have all helped me to the present point of my very long "journey" that people are now telling me that I'm starting to look like a swimmer !!
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  #5  
Old 08-08-2012
mt6127 mt6127 is offline
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mt6127
Default balance versus floating...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from NS View Post
Cantswim,

First thing I think you must do is change your name because you have to think positively; and each time you type or read "Cantswim" you reinforce a belief. Maybe a change to "Cant-Swim-Yet".

But in getting the SG to work ... try something Shinji suggested to me years ago. That is to use a pull buoy between your thighs and push off the wall. The pull buoy will keep your legs from sinking while you enjoy a long glide. Get the feeling of this glide and remember it. Do it over and over and eventually you should be able to perform the SG without the buoy. An important part of all of this is learning to relax as Westy pointed out. I've found that the more I just play in the water the more I learn to relax. Go to a part of the pool where you can just bob to below the surface or learn to sit on the bottom just to get used to it. Learn the effects of different movements. Get a flutter board, sit on it and scull yourself to the other end. Learn balance this way and just play. Keep expanding the comfort zone that he mentions as well.

These things have all helped me to the present point of my very long "journey" that people are now telling me that I'm starting to look like a swimmer !!
Good suggestions, I'd also suggest to reword the focus here - the idea of the glide drills are to help you find balance not to find floatation. Some individuals who are very muscular may actually have issues floating but because they are balanced and know how to use movements to manage a streamline at the same time become very effective swimmers. Try to see if you get a sense of how the pull buoy feels, see if you feel like you are sliding downhill... now try to get that feeling without it by pressing your chest down while relaxing the shoulders and reaching for the wall... Also don't just do the drills, mix in some 25s/50s to see if you can feel the same balance while swimming..(ie incorporate the drill results into your swim).
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  #6  
Old 08-08-2012
cantswim cantswim is offline
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cantswim
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My upper body is staying up, but my lower body is sinking. I find it hard to push my upper body into the water. It almost feels like my upper body has too much buoyancy and my lower body has too little.

I do not have the downhill feeling. When I force this feeling, I feel even worse than in the regular "neutral" position that comes natural if I just let my head and body sink into the water.

Should I really have this "downhill" feeling?
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  #7  
Old 08-09-2012
Ken B Ken B is offline
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Ken B
Default Pressing the buoy

Perhaps I can help you because I have just cracked it myself. I used the same reasoning as you, long lean male, hips sink. For years I've loved swimming in salt water for the buoyancy. Not fast but completely comfortable, dodged freshwater if possible.

Now for the lesson and you are nearly there. Remember Suzanne's method of demonstrating to beginners that their hips will float. Find some water about chest deep. Now reach for the bottom. When you make it you will realise that your backside is out of the water. Then you will notice that the way you achieved this position was by bending your tensed upper body from the hips and pressing your bouyant chest down. That's it. Next time you swim tense your tummy and press down from the hips, magic!

I invented a game for myself just to enjoy the new experience. Push off gently into SG and press down slightly harder than when swimming. You will do the silkiest submarine stealth dive of all time. You can even level out at the bottom and angle to the surface, great fun.

Enjoy

And thanks Suzanne
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  #8  
Old 08-09-2012
cantswim cantswim is offline
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cantswim
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I went to the pool again today and tried applying everyone's advice so far (thanks everyone for trying to help me!). I mainly tried to relax.

I don't feel I have made an improvement, but I feel I have made a change.

I exhaled fully underwater before going to breathe (until today, I would exhale very slowly and not fully before going to breathe and thus rush my breathing all the while my legs were sinking).

When I did this (exhaled fully underwater before breathing), I felt like my whole body was sinking in equilibrium, from head to toes. The problem now is that I can't reach air when moving to breathe.

I'm just wondering if anyone has any comment about this new finding today. Is sinking equally from head to toes better than only my legs sinking? Am I on the right track?

To be honest I am just happy to see a change in my balance in the water, even though I am actually swimming less distance.


Thanks all!
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  #9  
Old 08-09-2012
JC_Yang JC_Yang is offline
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JC_Yang
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I think you should read some TI books, such as easy freestyle manual or Extraordinary Swimming for Everybody.

But here's some words sum up for your question and problem.
The mass of human body tends to be distributed unevenly, and more precisely, the density.
Our upper body is less dense than water because our lungs are full of air, so it floats. And our lower body, e.g legs, can't share the benefit from it, thus more dense, so sink. Overall, our body won't sink completely.

Go to some pool which is deep enough, simply do nothing, take no strokes and kicks, stay relax, immerse your whole body into water, hold your breath, see how you can be in the water naturally. It will never sink to the bottom, your legs will sink, but your upper body will keep you stay near the surface, unless you're in the rarely seen true sinker category.

So what we need to produce a true balance/streamline position is a way to bring the sink part to the near surface position, same as our upper body. Here we employ kicking to trigger counter force from water to support it. Even a very gentle kick is enough. If you're kicking correctly, and keep your upper body fully immerse, you won't sink at all. This is called sink into support in TI.

So 2 key focuses are :1. Immerse your head, never lift it. 2. Learn correct kicking.
Don't take breath during practicing drills in this stage. I recommend learning balance before taking breath, once you can balance your body, you can practice breathing easily.

Last edited by JC_Yang : 08-09-2012 at 05:51 AM.
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  #10  
Old 08-09-2012
mbruse mbruse is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2011
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mbruse
Default Floating a Thought

Here's an area where I feel like an expert.... sinking! :)

I think everyone has brought up very good points.

I think that the stronger your thigh and calve muscles are the more prone you are to having this problem due to the weight/size/density of the leg muscles.

Being a ex-baseball/sprinter I have more thigh mass than my fellow lifelong swimmers would. My legs definitely create drag and sink. The key is too develop your back muscles with the TI drills.

By practicing the drills I am imprinting the coordination/technique while developing the muscles in the back. Specifically the long muscles in the erector spinae group. The stronger they are the better leverage you will use to pull your legs up while you are swimming. As you get tired, back muscles fatigue and drop your legs.

Try floating on your back, do your legs sink? I've noticed that it's really easy to keep myself afloat. My pelvis can't bend backwards due its natural action. In other words, I can fold myself forward and touch my toes but I can bend backward like a flexible Gymnast and reach the floor.

CharlesCouturier posted this video a few weeks ago and it clicked for me where I needed to practice http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oW5nE5FBPsQ

Anyways, as with all things worth doing, this doesn't come easy but with lots of practice and patience. With dedication and a positive "can do" perspective you will get there at your own pace!

Swim, Smile, and Thrive :)

Mike
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