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  #11  
Old 10-28-2011
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
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I think my post covered all that.
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  #12  
Old 10-28-2011
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Default get on your bed

I found an easy way to feel the lats was to lie on a bed (pref high one e.g. divan so the height is higher than your forearm length)

hang my arms over the edge so that my elbows were level with the lip of the matress. Bring your arms into vertical as if about to start vertical forearm pull and try to pull yourself off the bed. Then you feel your lats engage. You can test by taking one hand under your body and on to your lats and feel them come out when you engage.

Also when you start getting it right your lats develop quickly and you see your swimmer wings appear.
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  #13  
Old 10-28-2011
CoachFlppr CoachFlppr is offline
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When the elbow is pointing to the side during the pull, the lats are active. When the elbow is pointing down or back, the triceps are active.
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  #14  
Old 10-29-2011
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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I'm glad you've found new ease in your swimming. Be assured no one is keeping secrets from you though. Everyone discovers what they need at different times in their swimming.

However, I'm still struggling to understand your original quesiton ("vertical scapula") and your current discoveries.

The scapular movements are described as:
elevation (sliding up towards the head)
depression (sliding down towards the hips)
protraction (sliding forward around the rib cage)
retraction (sliding midline towards the spine)
rotation superiorly (top point of scapula rotates towards the spine while the lower point of the scapula rotates upwards and towards the outside edge of the body
rotation inferiorly) (the top point of the scapula rotates back towards the outside edge of the body while the lower point rotates back towards the spine.

When you say "vertical scapula" I'm wondering if you are referring to superior rotationof the scapula? This is the natural position of the scapula when reaching overhead, it's impossible to get the elbow above the shoulders without scapular rotation. With specific intention, you can further elevate the scapula (slide it towards the head) which may or may not be or feel natural depending on how you are used to moving yoru shoulder around.

Some people never use these muscles in their full range of motion, others are very flexible and will naturally take the scapula to all extremes of movement while swimming.

But tuning into what the scapula is doing is most definately something advanced...that is, most swimmers don't need to think about it initally.

However, you are also expressing excitement of your discovery of the lats, and seem to be saying that you are using your lats to initiate recovery?

Well if you've improved your recovery and have smoother strokes then that's fantastic...but the lats don't participate in that movement. They DO participate in the stroke (from extention to exit from the water) as much or as little as you let them, and that is the part that is elusive for many people.

This part of the stroke is what Terry teaches as the "soft hook", and feeling "gentle pressure" on the water. If one can do that, the larger lats can be used to move the arm through the stroke while the shoulder muscles hold the "shape" of the hook as the arm strokes. The temptation and naturaly inclination for many (me included) is to "pull" as if you are pulling on a tug-of-war rope, which immediately disengages the lat from the stroke as the elbow comes down too quickly towards the side of the body or the bottom of the pool.


Just some random anatomy thoughts at 11pm.


Quote:
Originally Posted by swimust View Post
not in my case because I was intentionally looking for the shoulder (focusing on the shoulder) straight after the pull (the snap). I was skipping the lats because I didnt knew they exist!.. in my head, the only way to start the recovery was the shoulder and/or arm move. I had no lats awareness at all.
14 months ago I engaged the lats by accident for one day and then went back to the bad old routine in the next day. my story makes sense now.

@westyswoods - I wll try and keep my lats work as natural as possible in the water. I will not force it. Its against the TI philosophy to force issues. I am not forcing any issue, only doing what comes easy on the muscles.
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  #15  
Old 10-29-2011
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
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westyswoods
Default Random Thoughts

Coach,
Is it a slow night in the ER? Friday night before Halloween I doubt it. My previous post to the difficulties that tight lats can cause was meant to be more in tune with what you stated. Although they are a hugh muscle their activation is not as easy as some may think. For those who have unconsciously developed these muscles with heavy manual labor through the years, they can be extremely limiting to the shoulder ROM hindering streamline and flexibility. In turn their activation is limited.

Have A Great Day
Swim Silent and Be Well
Westy
Swim Silent and Be
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  #16  
Old 10-29-2011
CoachToddE CoachToddE is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
The temptation and naturaly inclination for many (me included) is to "pull" as if you are pulling on a tug-of-war rope, which immediately disengages the lat from the stroke as the elbow comes down too quickly towards the side of the body or the bottom of the pool.
I find that I loose my lats when I have changed my focus from my elbows to my hands for the propulsion which results in your description of pulling on a tug of war rope. I find that if I keep my concentration on my elbows and keeping my forearm and hand fixed as a paddle to be pulled along with my elbow then my lats stay engaged no matter how much pressure I apply. When one pulls to quickly as if stepping on the accelerator of your car to go from 0-60 in 5 secs is when the focus slips from the elbow to the hand.
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  #17  
Old 10-30-2011
DD_l_enclume DD_l_enclume is offline
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I tried focusing on my back yesterday at the pool (and what I thought were the lats).
I focused on keeping my elbow high, letting my forearm drop, and having my back bringing my arm backward.

But when I opened an anatomy book this morning, I was suprised to see that the muscle that I engaged during the pool session (the one that felt sore today) was the bottom of the trapezius.

Any idea on how to move the load from the trapezius to the lats ?
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  #18  
Old 10-30-2011
swimust swimust is offline
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found and lost.. two lats in bad shape but active and functioning..
@DD_l_enclume - that story is especially for you because even if I had a dream session 3 days ago with working lats, i lost them the next day. Same as you couldnt find them.
So, on Friday I am going to the pool confident and euphoric after finding "the big lats discovery" the day before. And where have they gone? nothing worked! I remembered having them somewhere above my waist line.. here came the set back. Yesterday and start of today swim was the same. I was lost and lost my lats somewhere... What a blow to the system.
I havent gave up, tried and tried.. and I found them again!
There they were, hiding just "above" my shoulder blade (scapula).
Now I added the double quotes to explain that its not really "above" but under the scapula, but my nerves system signals that its "above the scapula". Thats where the lats are. They are located much higher on the back than what we expect. Very close to the blade and far away from the waist on the side of your torso. Check the very big and large muscles that Shinji and Tery have there..
Is that better now DD_l_enclume?... :)
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  #19  
Old 10-30-2011
swimust swimust is offline
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@CoachSuzanne -
Hi, First of all thanks for all your help, its much appreciated. I am still a newbie and I am sure I know far less than you in theory and practice.
Now to my stuff (English or Japanese are not my first language), I just used a very lose term when I said "vertical scapula". What I meant was that phenomena during recovery when you see Terry and Shinji in "insane" angle of the whole shoulder area. The shoulder area gets very vertical looking to the sky. Shinji has it about 80* and Terry about 75* in an angle with the sky. I used 'scapula' just to make it easy to visualize. Its not accurate, I meant the whole shoulder area.
I am sure you know what I mean now, so my question is how do they do that? At first I guessed its the muscles at the back of the blade, its not. Its not hip rotation, only the shoulder gets rotated so much. So how do they do that? My answer now is "its the Lats". Please see how developed and strong Terry and Shinji Lats are. Is there a reason for that? The other muscles (hand and shoulder) are not as developed as their lats. Just watch the videos. The lats are some of the biggest muscles in human body.
Now to my swim today: I lost the lats in last 2 days because when I found them 3 days ago I was too excited and then lost their location and the way they should work. Today I located them again. It feels like they are wraping the blade (scapula), in reality its just below the scapula, but thats how I locate them in my brain. "on the blade".
What do I do with them? I rotate them upwards in a sideway motion to the outside. This gives me a huge engine. I dont even think of using my shoulder (cuff rotator) anymore. That will be suicide and will prevent me of swimming TI freestyle.
It doesnt mean that the lats are endeless or cant get tired. It doesnt mean that I dont have to do the other parts of the swim right. I still have many things to improve including the recovery itself.
What it does mean is that from now on I will live(swim) or die(get out) by my lats. If they cant work, I dont swim. Simple as that.
Please read again the article. http://www.swimsmartsa.com/How_to_To...rm_paddles.pdf It says this in page 3:
"Until you have built up strength and muscular endurance in the lats, they may become fatigued during longer workouts in the pool. When this happens, it is a natural tendency to shift the load back into the shoulder and rotator cuff muscles. Don’t go there! Remember, fatigue is a leading cause of shoulder pain and injury."
So I am asking again, if Lats dont work during recovery why do Terry and Shinji have such big lats? and how do they achieve "the vertical shoulder" effect during recovery?

Another good indicator is my speed in the pool now. Swimmers I couldnt keep with their pace are left behind now. I feel much stronger and have no pain in the shoulder area because I dont use it.
As I said, its very strange that the lats are not mentioned as a big factor in swimming and preventing shoulders injuries. Its very strange to me because its so important. Its cruel.. :) I am sure that many beginners(like me) dont even know what the lats are.
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Last edited by swimust : 10-30-2011 at 10:18 PM.
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  #20  
Old 11-01-2011
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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AGain, I'm thrilled with your improvement and enjoyment.

When you state shinji and Terry have angles of 75* and 80* to the sky...from which angle? Looking from the front? From the side?

The lats are engaged in the "catch" and "pull" of the stroke. The deltoid, traps and rhomboids are involved in the recovery phase. During recovery the lats are relaxed and stretching. Just before entry the lats are or should be fully stretched and ready to begin contracting.

If you have questions about Terry & Shinji's position, can you take a screen shot from your computer and draw an arrow on it? Or give a link toa video and a time from the timeline...then we can see exactly where you are referring.
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Level 3 USAT Coach
USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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