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Old 04-20-2010
frogman frogman is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
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frogman
Default Hip drive not leading to effective glide/propulsion

Rookie TI swimmer here. Just started with the books and DVD a week ago and had my first TI swim lesson today in New York City.

The main problem I have is that I start balanced in the skating position, spear forward which then initiates a fairly decent hip drive/body rotation, but I don't really move anywhere.

To clarify, I start off kicking fairly quickly during the skate position then slow down as I switch, switch, switch. I stand up and realize I haven't really gone anywhere. My switches feel good. My balance feels good. I am definitely getting body rotation. I just don't have that seemingly effortless propulsion I see in all the TI youtube videos.

Anyone have any thoughts? Is this common? I can kick frantically as I triple switch to make some propulsion, but it is way too tiring and resembles any old thrash and splash freestyle. Thanks.
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Old 04-20-2010
KatieK KatieK is offline
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Are you initiating the drive from your hips? Even though it's called "hip drive", for the longest time I was doing a "shoulder drive" or "spearing arm drive". Hips and shoulders should be moving in synch, but I have to focus on the hips to get that to happen.
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Old 04-20-2010
frogman frogman is offline
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I never actually thought about that. I will definitely try to focus again on moving them in sync like a rolling log.

If done correctly, I assume this should create enough propulsion to complete a full length without flutter kicking, right?
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Old 04-20-2010
whegardt whegardt is offline
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Good question. I've often wondered if it possible to get across the pool using only hip drive for propulsion. No arm pull and legs only along for the ride. I don't think I can do hip drive well enough to make it happen. Has anyone tried this?
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  #5  
Old 04-20-2010
CoachEricDeSanto CoachEricDeSanto is offline
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To use an analogy, the hips are the engine of a car. The shoulder is the transmission and the arm is the tire. If all three are not connected, you will not move forward. If you try to just rotate, the only propulsion you will get is from the kick that caused the rotation. Just like the engine in your car wont get you anywhere in neutral. If you try to just recover and rotate, you will probably get a very slight improvement in your movement because that momentum helps some as well.

The effortlessness comes when you get a little momentum from the recovery, a little propulsion from the kick, a little rotation from the weight shift, a little rotation from the kick and tie all those to a relaxed hold on the water. A lot of little things adds up quickly.
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Old 04-20-2010
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2009
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Don't worry, frogman, I had the same when I started. I did a lot of spear switches, and I did those for more than one week. And it was more or less the only thing I could do. And whenever I did them, I was wondering how on earth should I gain any propulsion from that? Coach Eric said it quite well, and I believe the point is that all those little elements to the stroke do not have any effect when you don't have an effective catch. Meaning anchoring your former spearing arm in the water. As you don't put any emphases an catching in spear switches, you can come to a point where you hardly move forward. The point of the spear switch is not propulsion but to engrave that kick-hip_rotation-spear movement as a neuronal pattern. And I can assure you that it is a very valuable exercise.

So just hang in there. It'll pay off
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