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  #11  
Old 04-08-2012
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Default Underwater finish

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Originally Posted by Ladyfish View Post
The finishing snap (push hard and quickly!) creates pushback from the water which propels the elbow forward. When you practice the snap you feel the sensation and that sensation, like a spring, is what I recall the goal was, overshadowing any nuance of hand position.

Logically it follows that if you pull the recovery hand out of the water before this finishing snap, you are missing out on the extra propulsion (my opinion).

There was some discussion about keeping the palm back at all times, not getting lazy and rotating the hand at ext.

Hope this helps.
Hi LadyFish,

You guys were very fortunate to get Shinji for a day and get all those Shinji Pearls! He is AWESOME! Here's a youtube of Shini and the underwater finish, snapping wrist and elbow that may be helpful. Under Water Finish for Faster Freestyle

Don't lose sight of your other focal points while snapping!

Happy snapping AND swimming!

Stuart
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  #12  
Old 04-09-2012
CoachDavidShen CoachDavidShen is offline
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Originally Posted by daveblt View Post
I was wondering if he mentioned anything about the hand release as it leaves the water for recovery, that it should leave early by the hip and not pull all the way back ?

Dave
Hi all, I was helping Shinji out at the workshop (always great to be assistant coach to Shinji - you learn so much by watching him teach!).

Regarding when/where the hand release should happen, I think you should think of it this way:

1. In general, the longer the hand is in the water (and assuming it is moving, hopefully straight back!), then it is still contributing to forward motion. This is good. Therefore, your goal is to have as long a stroke length in the water as possible, as traced by your hand.

2. Having said 1., it is very dependent on tempo and your ability to move your hand underwater faster, which involves strength and endurance.

So in order to move your hand through water which is a much heavier medium than air, it will require more strength - to do that over time requires endurance of your arm muscles.

Faster tempos thus give you less time to travel that distance from catch to where you'd want to exit the hand out of the water (and you still have to move the hand back forward in recovery).

NOTE: It is possible that if you move your hand TOO fast, then it may slip and you are not gaining the most benefit of the stroke back but in actuality wasting energy moving your hand back as fast as possible, but not maximizing your potential forward energy given that your hand is slipping and not gripping water as well as when it is moving slower.

3. Given your fitness and skill level at a moment in time, you may be able to swim at a faster tempo BUT in order to keep up with the tempo you have no choice but to exit the hand sooner, which may mean that you exiting at your waist or even above. Attempting to lengthen your stroke length underwater of your hand may be difficult to impossible to maintain because your strength and endurance may not be high enough. Thus you have no choice but to exit sooner.

4. You can also play with speeding up the arm forward after it exits the water to help you lengthen the stroke portion underwater. But you may reach an upper limit of how fast you can move your arm forward given your current fitness and skill level.

5. During a race, you may find that you want to sprint but simply cannot get a faster tempo without exiting sooner. This will also vary based on your fatigue level which will change during race conditions.

BTW, play with faster tempos and where you exit the hand; you may find that even though you are shortening your underwater stroke length, your overall speed is still going up, when compared to attempting to keep the same stroke length. This is evidence that some other part of your stroke is falling apart a bit as you try to speed up AND also try to maintain stroke length.

For example, a little while ago, I was playing with this and faster tempos and found that when I exited sooner, I had a bit more time to execute a better spear + 2 beat kick and got more speed. When I was rushed due to a longer stroke length, it became messier and I was actually more slower overall! So this is yet another thing to work on....!

Train to lengthen the underwater stroke portion via the same methods prescribed by TI - proceed measurably and slowly, increasing your tempo bit by bit over time. Use the tempo trainer religiously!
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  #13  
Old 04-09-2012
Ken B Ken B is offline
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Default Shinji's class

Thanks Ladyfish for your concise description of Shinji's swimming. I would love to do a class but it's a long way from the other side of the world. My solo TI adventure has been a pilgrim's progress but lots of fun. The forum is a great help and I trawl it for information. I have been experimenting with snappier hip rotation and longer skate. It feels good but I welcome confirmation that I'm doing no harm. I've even tried a bit more rotation just to feel the teetering on balance that you get because it seems to fit with falling into the next stroke. I swim in open salt water all summer so that does mask horizontal balance problems a little but I find if I keep my legs together and straight the toe flick just happens. I look forward to taking this to the pool in winter. Thanks again for your description, it almost feels like being in class.
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  #14  
Old 04-09-2012
Butiki Butiki is offline
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Thanks Ladyfish for very clear descriptions of those focal points.

I am a recent convert to the "Shinji elbow snap". Months of TI skating drills had ingrained a slight momentary pause in my arm recovery, i.e. my arm paused every so slightly at my side before it left the water to start the recovery. When I realized this, I spent lengths upon lengths of swimming just focusing on making a smooth transition from pulling to recovery without any pause. In one of my swimming sessions, I suddenly remembered the Shinji "snap" video that was linked above. Who knows how many times I've watched and studied that video - but the "snap" never really hit home until I experimented with the transition from pulling into recovery trying to get rid of that dreaded pause. Right there in the middle of my workout, I tried to emulate that wrist/elbow snap. It was indeed a revelation. Not only did my stroke felt smoother, the snap enabled a more relaxed elbow-led recovery right into mail-slot. One of my many epiphanies in this TI journey.

In my next swim session, I'll try to work on that kick you described and focusing on driving the hip upwards, instead of driving the opposite hip down, as I've done a thousand times.

One question: you mentioned that Shinji advocates keeping the hips flat. How does that reconcile with the TI principle of hips and shoulders rolling as one? If the hips remain flat, should the shoulder rotate separately? I know in a previous thread that Shinji replied he teaches a shoulder rotation separate from the hip rotation. He actually linked a video where he demonstrates a land-based drill on this. How does he teach this in the water, e.g. is there any focal point or drill?
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  #15  
Old 04-09-2012
Ladyfish Ladyfish is offline
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Default Hip vs Shoulder?

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Originally Posted by Butiki View Post
One question: you mentioned that Shinji advocates keeping the hips flat. How does that reconcile with the TI principle of hips and shoulders rolling as one? If the hips remain flat, should the shoulder rotate separately? I know in a previous thread that Shinji replied he teaches a shoulder rotation separate from the hip rotation. He actually linked a video where he demonstrates a land-based drill on this. How does he teach this in the water, e.g. is there any focal point or drill?
Shinji explained that this is one of the ways in which TI has evolved. The "log roll" rotation with stacked shoulders in skating is outdated. Then it was all about rotating "just enough" to get the recovery shoulder out of the water. Now they are talking about shoulder and hip separation. To get the latest version of TI you need to have access to a TI coach and relatively few followers have that luxury.

In my opinion, this evolution does not mean that it is "bad" to practice the older methods that are still out there on the older DVD's. I think the stacked shoulder and log roll is great for baby beginners learning to surrender their wrestling match with the water. But as the saying goes, "life is an onion you peel while crying" so it is with learning any new skill;start with the basics and then as you progress, you peel back layers to reveal more complexity and subtlety. I think we can all agree that Shinji's art form is brimming with that.

Yes, we did a land drill for this and one in the water too. It is late and I will turn into a pumpkin if I stay up much longer so I will tell you about it tomorrow. The water drill is a Superman Glide and then letting the hip separate from the shoulder and roll ever so slightly. The focal point is keeping the feeling of forward/somewhat downhill tilt of Superman Glide while disconnecting the hip slightly from the shoulder. We practiced this drill before dealing with the knee "loosening".

Will add more tomorrow.....
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  #16  
Old 04-09-2012
aksenov aksenov is offline
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Default What about shoulder shrug?

Hi Ladyfish,
Thanks so much for posting this information. What about shoulder shrug? It is clearly seen it most of Shinji videos. Was sliding the shoulder blade forward as part of the elbow led recovery taught at the workshop?
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  #17  
Old 04-09-2012
Ladyfish Ladyfish is offline
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Default Hip v Shoulder part 2

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Originally Posted by Ladyfish View Post

Yes, we did a land drill for this and one in the water too. It is late and I will turn into a pumpkin if I stay up much longer so I will tell you about it tomorrow.
The land drill covered both the snappy kick action and the hip-shoulder separation. It begins with standing with feet a few inches apart. One leg is straight and your weight is on that leg. The other leg is slightly bent and the foot is bent so just the ball of the foot is in contact with the ground (as if you were wearing a high-heeled shoe). The motion is to press the hip backwards (not up) by pushing against the floor with the ball of the bent foot, keeping the heel off the ground. As you do this your knee straightens. At the end of the push backward let your foot come off the floor a tiny bit at full rotation.

If you "log roll" with hip and shoulders connected, your shoulders will rotate back along with your hip. The goal, however, is to keep the shoulders still and pointing straight forward as you allow the hip to move back independently. If you do this for awhile you will feel it in your lower back so don't go nuts with it! This is designed just to give you that feel of disconnect. The action is much gentler and more forgiving in the water
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  #18  
Old 04-09-2012
Ladyfish Ladyfish is offline
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Default Shoulder Shrug

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Originally Posted by aksenov View Post
Hi Ladyfish,
Thanks so much for posting this information. What about shoulder shrug? It is clearly seen it most of Shinji videos. Was sliding the shoulder blade forward as part of the elbow led recovery taught at the workshop?
Not sure about shoulder shrug specifically but Shinji did talk about the notion of Early Vertical Forearm (EVF). By EVF I mean making the forearm vertical well in front of the body. This is a rather extreme position requiring the shoulder to fully extend and pivot. It takes flexibility and strength and has a high energy cost. It is also very fast.

He pointed out that if you are 25 years old and very strong, a true EVF is attainable with practice. But most TI swimmers will do just fine with more of a wing configuration which is what you see Shinji and Terry do. At full extension rotate the elbow up and palm back. Don't let the elbow drop during the pull. This is the extent of that discussion (with some of my own elaboration).
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  #19  
Old 04-09-2012
daveblt daveblt is offline
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[quote=CoachDavidShen;27539]Hi all, I was helping Shinji out at the workshop (always great to be assistant coach to Shinji - you learn so much by watching him teach!).

Regarding when/where the hand release should happen, I think you should think of it this way:
1. In general, the longer the hand is in the water (and assuming it is moving, hopefully straight back!), then it is still contributing to forward motion. This is good. Therefore, your goal is to have as long a stroke length in the water as possible, as traced by your hand.





The thing is , is that for quite a while I have been practicing an earlier release from the water because it was mentioned here a while back that it is better to get the hand back to the front earlier meaning the weight of the arm gets back to the front quicker to help with balance and it seems to feel better to me . When I watch Shinji's stroke it seems that his hand scoops up to the surface on release and not necessarily pushing all the way back as far as he can . Any thoughts ?
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  #20  
Old 04-09-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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[quote=daveblt;27551]
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachDavidShen View Post
Hi all, I was helping Shinji out at the workshop (always great to be assistant coach to Shinji - you learn so much by watching him teach!).

Regarding when/where the hand release should happen, I think you should think of it this way:
1. In general, the longer the hand is in the water (and assuming it is moving, hopefully straight back!), then it is still contributing to forward motion. This is good. Therefore, your goal is to have as long a stroke length in the water as possible, as traced by your hand.





The thing is , is that for quite a while I have been practicing an earlier release from the water because it was mentioned here a while back that it is better to get the hand back to the front earlier meaning the weight of the arm gets back to the front quicker to help with balance and it seems to feel better to me . When I watch Shinji's stroke it seems that his hand scoops up to the surface on release and not necessarily pushing all the way back as far as he can . Any thoughts ?

They way many swim coaches teach to "finish" the stroke DOES involve scooping water up towards the cieling. I've even heard coaches describe that you should try to throw water behind you while exiting. While this would ensure that you are finishing the stroke, that action isn't moving you forward.

Shinji describes the wrist snap/elbow snap. When I do it it feels like I'm dribbling a basketball...I complete hte stroke with my elbow extended, but as in dribbling a ball...there is no stickyness at the bottom. My hand & elbow immediately begin a "recoil" as if to meet the bouncing basketball on it's way back up from teh ground...and then the elbow continues it's movement through the recovery to the mail slot.

Like everything else (shoulder roll, hip roll, looking forward, looking down, etc,e tc...) there is a sweet spot where it "just works". Each person will have a differnt zone of where things are comfortable depending on their current technique, flexibility, strength, patience, etc. As your swimmign continues to develop over your lifetime all of these moments are adjustable.

Swimming as a human is a complete compromise. In streamlining we give up propulsive actions. In creating propulsion we spend energy. IN trying to maximize BOTH streamlining and Propulsin, we may be creating subtle stresses on joints (neck, shoulder, low back) that manifest in pain, injury, stress, tension,etc.


identifying all these points, knowing what is the next best thing to work on, and making adjustments is the fine art of improving your swim.

Everyone's body is different and eveyr one learns differently as well.

I don't think that really answered a question...but hopefully it helpe.d
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Last edited by CoachSuzanne : 04-09-2012 at 09:34 PM.
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