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  #31  
Old 03-22-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richardsk View Post
I don't think analysis is a bad thing and who's to say where analysis becomes over-analysis?
Hold on while I ask my wife for a judgement. 8-P
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  #32  
Old 03-22-2009
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Hello again

It may not be strictly germane to the body composition theme but I thought this discussion of the early vertical forearm on the US Masters forum might be of interest.

http://forums.usms.org/showthread.ph...oto=nextoldest
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  #33  
Old 03-22-2009
goodwinjf goodwinjf is offline
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Default Use your buoy

I read somewhere about pushing down your buoy, otherwise known as your chest. It contains air which is buoyant and doing so also puts your head in a lower position all of which pushes your legs up. Just think as you are swimmig about pushing your chest into the water and keep your head in line with your spine. Grabbing a breath is easy to do in the trough of your "bow wake" as you move forward. Also - kick! Not crazy fast, but put use that to use for propulsion and support.

Good luck!

John

Quote:
Originally Posted by jang53 View Post
Hi folks,

I'm new to TI and very excited about the program but I'm worried about frustration. I'm 6'3", 195 lbs and maintain about 8% body fat. I am struggling with finding balance and letting the water support me during my basic back balance drills. Sweet spot is virtually impossible right now. It is a constant struggle to keep my lower body elevated despite what I believe to be a good head position. Any advice from others with similar problems would be greatly appreciated.
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  #34  
Old 03-23-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Default For FredMcG

Here is a nice quote I thought of for you. Better than a mind full of tea. hehe

"We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time."

Why am I quoting that? Well...if for no other reason, I just like reading it. heh
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  #35  
Old 03-23-2009
Lexi Lexi is offline
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Default Skinny arms?

Fred -

I've been reading along your posts and enjoying how the posts and replies make me think really hard about all this. I have similar problems to what you have described, although ther are certainly important differences between us, as well. I am very, very slow compared to you, and I have worked long and hard, and made many improvements, yet watched friends who started much worse, pass me up quite quickly in their speed improvements - and I see many aspects of their technique look worse than mine.

You have an hypothesis - that the relatively smaller (than many swimmers) cross section of your arm gives you a smaller 'anchor' area in the water, and thus you get less propulsion from it. While certainly this is theoretically true, whether it's of practical consequence (ie, whether that is why you are slower than your friends) is not clear.

I disagree with your hypothesis, two reasons:

First, a muscled torso, being denser, will present a smaller cross-section to the water (if you are really level and just at/below the surface) and so should give you less drag to overcome with those smaller arm anchors. Which effect would be greater? We'd have to measure to figure it out, so I won't even speculate.

Second, did you ever watch the old Freestyle DVD (Freestyle made easy, I think?) I loved that DVD because it had so many different demo swimmers. One of them had only half of one arm - only to the elbow (so much for early vertical forearm!). Her swimming was quite beautiful, and not noticeably uneven. (Granted the DVD doesn't show fast swimming) She did not zoom forward with one side and then slow with the other, which if your hypothesis is true she should have.

So I present for your reflection, two thoughts. First, do some measuring. Get some of your faster friends - not elite, but where you think you should be, and who have what you believe to be good technique. Get some newsprint, and and draw an outline of your arm and theirs. Compare the cross-sectional areas of upper and lower arms, and see if they seem to be in sync with speeds.

Second, consider my (competing) hypothesis. I take about 24 strokes per 25 yard length - and my push off is not bad. I know, that's abysmal for efficiency. Yet I have friends who are accomplished swimmers tell me that my technique looks fine. Forward quadrant swimming, pretty level in the water, etc, etc. My body type tends to sinking legs unless my position is perfect. If I even look to the end of the pool briefly, my legs sink (I've seen this on video). I think that what I am doing is swimming slightly out of balance (because my body type does make balance more exacting) and using my arms to compensate - pushing against the water in other directions than back. So I would challenge you - is your technique really fine? Or does it just look fine? Have someone do an underwater video, watch it in slow motion and really see what your arms are doing - are they anchoring vertically, as you say, but with a teeny anchor? or are they anchoring just fine, but propelling you into balance instead of forward?

Then let us all know, because I still need help figuring out why I'm so slow.
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  #36  
Old 03-23-2009
FredMcG FredMcG is offline
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Good post Lexi. When you read below, you will see that I agree with what you have said. Also, thanks to Richardsk for posting that EVF link. I read it before I went for a swim today. When I came home I checked out a few of those Hackett & Thorpe videos on You-Tube, and now I am ready to admit that my technique is not as good as I thought it was. OK, OK, yes you can all laugh - go ahead. I don't think my elbow gets ahead of my hand, but I definitely do find it difficult to get a good early vertical forearm. But that's not the worst of it. I thought I was pretty good at swimming on my side. Something that now seems to me to be very wrong is that all the way through my stroke (maybe not all the way through, but for a large part of it, at least until my arm gets past halfway) I am turned on my side with my shoulder deep into the water and my elbow even deeper. My elbow is way down there, deep. I am almost looking straight down my upper arm at my elbow, way below me, and my hand further below that. This is not what Thorpe and Hackett do. If you check out those videos you can see that as their arm makes the stroke their elbow is about the same level as their chin - only a few inches below the surface. And, their body levels off quite early in the stroke, so that as they take the stroke they are level, if not slightly rolling back the other way. I am not doing this correctly, that's for sure. With so many years of doing it wrong it's not going to be easy to change. Also, having had 3 shoulder operations, even trying to be in that EVF position hurts my rotator cuff and biceps tendons - and that's just standing on land.

Any comments/tips?
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  #37  
Old 03-23-2009
mjm mjm is offline
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Default Evf

Here is a nice, explanatory video from Swim Therapy which shows EVF and some common errors:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3ctBUV08_o

Side note: see how the Endless pool current tends to push the chest up and the feet down--not the horizontal way you want to swim in a regular pool or body of water. --mjm
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  #38  
Old 03-23-2009
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Hi all

The thing about watching elite freestylers on youtube and other sites is - and it's wonderful that we can nowadays - is that you have to bear in mind that they have generally been swimming at a very high level since they were kids and not only are they fitter although not necessarily stronger than just about everybody else, including other elite swimmers, but they also have better technique, including superb kicking, although they may have little idiosyncrasies.

We can try to emulate them and imitate them but with very different physiques and backgrounds we may have to make some concessions.

For "ordinary mortals", Shinji Takeuchi's videos on youtube are probably a more fruitful starting point.

Nevertheless, Aleksandr Popov, Grant Hackett, Ian Thorpe, Mateusz Sawrymowicz, Michael Phelps, Dara Torres, Rebecca Adlington, Laure Manaudou, Federica Pellegrini and others are all worth studying. Phelps is something of an exception in this company, I think, because I don't think many would be able to copy his strange galloping style, although I may be wrong.

The vertical forearm is definitely worth working on, although I'm not so sure about the techpaddle that Tom Topolski invented. Has anyone any experience of it? His videos on youtube are interesting.

Swimming with fists or fistgloves(TM) may achieve the same effect. I don't know.
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  #39  
Old 03-24-2009
freshegg freshegg is offline
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After reading all these forums and threads and postings on this topic, the one thing that has really become apparent to me is that there is no one single technique that works for absolutely everybody. We can use TI as sort of a foundation for both technique and philosophy, but ultimately each individual swimmer has to find what combination of components works best for him/her, depending on the myriad factors that make us individual - muscularity, lean/fat ratio, height, width, centre of gravity, weight distribution, lung capacity, talent and evening gown competition, etc etc etc.

I don't think anyone really knows for sure what makes the best swimmer. There are so many different theories. There might be some aspects that most "experts" agree on, but then there always seem to be exceptions, too (Janet Evans, anyone?) You really just have to keep on sampling all the different aspects of all the different theories until you find what combination works best for you, and not rely on any one technique as some sort of gospel for perfect swimming.

My experiences in the pool seem to be most similar to Fred McG's. I get very little glide between strokes. If I try a Superman glide, my lower body sinks immediatiely; and if I try to compensate by lowering my arms to shift the centre of gravity forward, then I simply jack-knife - i.e., my lower AND upper body BOTH sink, with only my butt sticking up in the middle (no bubble-butt comments, please). Like Fred, I need to keep in constant motion to avoid sinking and/or slowing way down. And I find that I actually swim a little faster when I do NOT keep my head focused down, but actually raise it a bit, probably because my neck naturally juts forward a bit, so I need to bring it back to improve my alignment. So, everyone's different.

The other day I was swimming my heart out as usual, and I glanced over at a man swimming in the lane next to mine. He was doing a very relaxed one-armed stroke drill, and he was swimming faster than I was !! And I'm not THAT slow -- about a 7 minute 400 metres. I couldn't believe it -- one-armed swimming faster than my best whole stroke !! But then I looked again, and sure enough, the guy was shaped like a beach ball with arms and legs (okay, and a head, too). His body was basically one big flotation device. It took him no effort whatsoever to paddle himself along with one arm and glide glide glide past me with each stroke. I had to look again, because I thought for sure he must have been lying on top of a float or something, but no. And there was no "technique" involved. So don't try and convince me that body composition has no influence on effortless swimming!

So, I guess what my philosophy boils down to is: stay positive, keep trying different things, and if something doesn't seem to be working even though the "experts" say it should, then try something else until you find what works best for you.
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  #40  
Old 03-24-2009
Folala Folala is offline
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FredMcG

Here's a link that was posted by one of the guys here last year, he mentioned that it took him nearly two years to become good at it, with additional land based training to work on core and shoulder muscles.

If you decided to give this a go and have had operations on your shoulders, it might be advisable to approach it VERY conservatively as I believe it requires powerful and flexible shoulders.

http://knackofswimming.com/Documents...rterly%201.pdf

Personally, I find it impossible to get my elbows as high under the water as the Olympians, but I do aim to get my elbows as wide as I can and point my forearms directly down. I do feel a better catch as a result.

I hope that you find the link useful and glad that you've found something that may help you.
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