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  #11  
Old 09-18-2010
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachJohnB View Post
There are common elements that everyone should work towards, like a nuetral head, relaxed recoveries, good posture. But when it comes to rythms, being symmetical or being asymmetical, there is no right answer. To say there is a right answer is absurd.
You seem to be acknowledging that there is a right way.

No one will deny that people's strokes will differ depending on physical type. But if they're observing common principles because these work for everyone then it seems to me there is a universal stroke they are all swimming.

As to asymmetry, it's difficult to see why that would ever be a good idea. Would you run asymmetrically?
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  #12  
Old 09-18-2010
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Would you run asymmetrically?

Some people run asymmetrically because their bodies are asymmetrical. Back in my youth the great runner Emil Zatopek was known to have a very awkward looking style, but nevertheless he managed to beat almost everybody he ran against.

It is possible that Bowman or some other coach could take Phelps and change his technique to make it more symmetrical and eliminate the lope or gallop, but when he is one of the ten fastest swimmers in the world, based on this year's rankings, this might be a fatal error.

Phelps's flirtation with the straight arm recovery doesn't seem to have been a success, but of course he may be quietly working away at it without telling anybody or on some other tweak to his technique. He and Bob Bowman don't necessarily tell the world what they are doing in training for obvious reasons.

As for Rebecca Adlington, I would be interested to hear what flaws you have observed in her technique. I am not an expert by any means but it seems to me that she has a very beautiful stroke. Indeed I think that she, Joanne Jackson, Federica Pellegrini, Lotte Friis and Chloe Sutton all swim beautifully. So does Natalie Coughlin, who is more in the straight arm camp.
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  #13  
Old 09-18-2010
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
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My responses in italics below.

[quote=Richardsk;13232]Would you run asymmetrically?

Some people run asymmetrically because their bodies are asymmetrical. Back in my youth the great runner Emil Zatopek was known to have a very awkward looking style, but nevertheless he managed to beat almost everybody he ran against.

With respect, that is irrelevant. Doubtless you would swim asymmetrically if you had only one arm. Most people have symmetrical bodies for all practical swimming purposes. Why should they ever swim asymmetrically?

It is possible that Bowman or some other coach could take Phelps and change his technique to make it more symmetrical and eliminate the lope or gallop, but when he is one of the ten fastest swimmers in the world, based on this year's rankings, this might be a fatal error.

Also beside the point. The question is whether in principle one should swim asymmetrically, not whether it would be hard for someone who already swims asymmetrically to change.

Phelps's flirtation with the straight arm recovery doesn't seem to have been a success, but of course he may be quietly working away at it without telling anybody or on some other tweak to his technique. He and Bob Bowman don't necessarily tell the world what they are doing in training for obvious reasons.

I don't think that establishes anything.

As for Rebecca Adlington, I would be interested to hear what flaws you have observed in her technique. I am not an expert by any means but it seems to me that she has a very beautiful stroke. Indeed I think that she, Joanne Jackson, Federica Pellegrini, Lotte Friis and Chloe Sutton all swim beautifully. So does Natalie Coughlin, who is more in the straight arm camp.[

If I can find any Adlington pictures or videos I'll post them. I can't recall what it was about her stroke that I noticed.

/QUOTE]
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  #14  
Old 09-18-2010
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
...As to asymmetry, it's difficult to see why that would ever be a good idea. Would you run asymmetrically?
Swimming is not like running.
About swimming there is very little known scientifically, that is quite surprising. As they say: water is too hostile an environment. In swimming one could say this nice saying comes true:
Theory is when you know everything, but nothing works. Practice (or experience) is when everything works but nobody knows why.

What is considered to be a perfect stroke? At the end of the day it is that one that wins the race. Be it 100m sprint or a channel swim.

There are certain elements, as CoachJohnB said, that are currently being regarded as being necessary to successful swimming. But even these might change in the future.
Probably every swimmer, be it amateur or elite, has flaws in his stroke. But coaches are not all stupid. If a stroke works, one might get very careful to start correcting a 'flaw', because you can never be really sure if it wasn't an element that did contribute.

And the asymmetrical swimming can make sense. The point is that the best you can ever do to improve your swimming is to reduce drag. That comes at no costs. If you insert a short gliding phase under water you can relax and recover without loosing speed and then have more power for the next stroke. And you can develop an undulating rhythm. Some call it a half dolphin. I don't think it is accidental or through ignorance that almost all of the swimmers in that 200 m race used a loping stroke.

It's not running. In running you don't have to deal with drag.


By the way, there was a discussion about this before:

Here
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  #15  
Old 09-18-2010
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CoachJohnB CoachJohnB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
You seem to be acknowledging that there is a right way.

No one will deny that people's strokes will differ depending on physical type. But if they're observing common principles because these work for everyone then it seems to me there is a universal stroke they are all swimming.

As to asymmetry, it's difficult to see why that would ever be a good idea. Would you run asymmetrically?
No, I acknowledge there are certain aspects that ALL good swimmers share, catch(high elbow, straight arm catch and somewhere in between), a good kick(2 bk, 4bk, 6b), good alignment(aligned parrallel to the water, aligned head to toe with a slight-up hill position) Even within those commen elements, there differences, so there isn't a concrete right way to be.

As I have said earlier, there are swimmers that have a better established rythm and comfort, when they have a lope/gallop/asymmetrical stroke. Being aysmmetical is not wrong. Personally, I am a better swimmer with a loping style stroke. It allows me to relax, find a rythm and move through the water easily at various speeds.
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  #16  
Old 09-18-2010
splashingpat splashingpat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachJohnB View Post
No,
I acknowledge there are certain aspects that ALL good swimmers share, catch
(high elbow, straight arm catch and somewhere in between), a good kick(2 bk, 4bk, 6b), good alignment
(aligned parallel to the water, aligned head to toe with a slight-up hill position)

Even within those common elements, there differences, so there isn't a concrete right way to be.

As I have said earlier,
there are swimmers that have a better established rhythm and comfort,
when they have a lope/gallop/asymmetrical stroke.
Being asymmetrical is not wrong.

Personally,
I am a better swimmer with a loping style stroke.
It allows me to relax,
find a rhythm and move through the water easily at various speeds.
learNN with the best of 'em!
i am and
i hope the rest of ya's r too

& POSTN AIN'T EASY EITHER....
in making it clear for everyOne to understand 'em!
personally i don't explain anything that you would understand

Last edited by splashingpat : 09-18-2010 at 09:21 PM. Reason: !
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  #17  
Old 09-18-2010
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haschu33 View Post

At the end of the day it is that one that wins the race. Be it 100m sprint or a channel swim.

And the asymmetrical swimming can make sense. The point is that the best you can ever do to improve your swimming is to reduce drag. That comes at no costs. If you insert a short gliding phase under water you can relax and recover without loosing speed and then have more power for the next stroke. And you can develop an undulating rhythm. Some call it a half dolphin. I don't think it is accidental or through ignorance that almost all of the swimmers in that 200 m race used a loping stroke.
Judging technique by who wins a race is pointless as you can't control for factors such as differences in strength. The point is that technique needs to be considered in abstraction from such factors.

I'm not sure I follow your second point although it seems to be that many competitive swimmers are asymmetrical. I don't think that alone proves anything.
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  #18  
Old 09-18-2010
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachJohnB View Post
No, I acknowledge there are certain aspects that ALL good swimmers share, catch(high elbow, straight arm catch and somewhere in between), a good kick(2 bk, 4bk, 6b), good alignment(aligned parrallel to the water, aligned head to toe with a slight-up hill position) Even within those commen elements, there differences, so there isn't a concrete right way to be.

As I have said earlier, there are swimmers that have a better established rythm and comfort, when they have a lope/gallop/asymmetrical stroke. Being aysmmetical is not wrong. Personally, I am a better swimmer with a loping style stroke. It allows me to relax, find a rythm and move through the water easily at various speeds.
This is just semantics. You might as well say there's no such thing as the correct way to run (one foot in front of the other) because everyone will run slightly differently. Of course there's a right way to run. One way for us, another for crabs.

Your second point leaves open whether the swimmers you mention would be better swimmers if they achieved symmetry.
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  #19  
Old 09-18-2010
flppr flppr is offline
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just curious, has anyone ever known someone who was equally strong and coordinated on both sides of the body? does such a person even exist?
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  #20  
Old 09-19-2010
cynthiam cynthiam is offline
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A Feldenkrais instructor I had once said that Moshe Feldenkrais worked with Julius Erving (Dr J of basketball fame) and said he was equally coordinated on both sides of his body. That would mean neurologically and biomechanically.

I don't think most of us mere mortals are, though.

Cynthia
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