Total Immersion Forums  

Go Back   Total Immersion Forums > Backstroke
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-02-2009
vol vol is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 175
vol
Default Why should the elbow be locked during recovery?

What is the point of keeping the elbow locked during recovery? Bending too much is definitely not good, but what about just straighten the recovery arm in a more relaxed way, without having the elbow locked? It seems to me having it locked calls for extra attention and effort, making the arm not relaxed and not getting enough rest in recovery--what is the benefit?

Last edited by vol : 05-02-2009 at 03:58 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 05-02-2009
daveblt daveblt is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 820
daveblt
Default

Well, actually there is no benefit keeping the elbow locked during recovery to a point where the arm is too stiff .The elbow should be locked just to a point where it is straight but with the hand , fingers and whole arm relaxed or in other words just toned .Your hand should feel as if it can easily wave to someone at the end of the pool you are swimming away from during recovery.

Dave

Last edited by daveblt : 05-03-2009 at 01:31 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-03-2009
vol vol is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 175
vol
Default

Thanks daveblt. So it doesn't have to be locked, just straight arm. Now I just thought of another question: what's the point of keeping the recovery arm straight (even if not locked)? I agree it looks nice :), but technically what does it do? Does it serve as an anchor, like the straight arm in freestyle?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-04-2009
daveblt daveblt is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 820
daveblt
Default

No, it does not serve as an anchor .In freestyle and backstroke the anchor is the lead hand underwater that is about to pull. I think it would feel awkward or disconnected to have the arm bent on the backstroke recovery.With the arm straight it keeps the arm connected to your core body movements .



Dave
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-04-2009
terry terry is offline
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,305
terry has disabled reputation
Default

I'd say, as a rule of thumb to avoid "locking" any joint at any time while swimming.
In backstroke recovery, focus on keeping the arm long at the highest point of recovery and maintain that feeling into the water. But without locking the elbow.
__________________
Terry Laughlin
Head Coach & Chief Executive Optimist

May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-04-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: New Jersey, USA
Posts: 1,077
shuumai
Send a message via Skype™ to shuumai
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by vol View Post
what's the point of keeping the recovery arm straight (even if not locked)?
Perhaps it helps with weight shifts, rotation, and/or throwing momentum forward? Maybe it makes the entry more streamlined?

The backstroke recovery might be more comparable to the butterfly recovery.

The more I think about it, the more I wonder. Most people do use a straight-arm recovery, which says something about it's effectiveness and the willingness of the masses to copy elite swimmers, BUT... It might be an interesting experiment to develop a bent-arm recovery. The motion seems much more complex though.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-04-2009
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,380
Richardsk
Default

I think the fact that at one time people did swim back crawl with a bent arm recovery and nowadays nobody at the top level does strongly suggests that the straight arm is superior.

Naturally if some genius finds a way of swimming faster with a bent arm there will be plenty of imitators.


The recent vogue for straight arm front crawl may be applying some of the benefits that the straight arm has over the bent arm in backstroke. It could be thought of as upside down backstroke I suppose.

I've seen video of an Olympic backstroke final in the 'fifties (copied from film of course) and almost everybody had a bent arm recovery. Nevertheless I remember backstrokers swimming with a straight arm in my youth ( 'forties and 'fifities).

In those days they had a straight arm pull as well - or thought they had. Counsilman pointed out that few swimmers were actually doing what they thought they were doing.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-04-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: New Jersey, USA
Posts: 1,077
shuumai
Send a message via Skype™ to shuumai
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richardsk View Post
I think the fact that at one time people did swim back crawl with a bent arm recovery and nowadays nobody at the top level does strongly suggests that the straight arm is superior.

Naturally if some genius finds a way of swimming faster with a bent arm there will be plenty of imitators.
So, we need to think about what our goals are then. Are we trying to be the fastest or are we just enjoying ourselves? You'll never find me going up against an Olympian claiming that I will finally prove that a bent-arm stroke is faster than a straight-arm stroke! Or should I..... OK, no.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-04-2009
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,380
Richardsk
Default

I think another good reason to swim with a straight arm is it looks prettier. As non-Olympians we are free to chose the pretty over the ugly even if it's slower. Since all the available evidence points to straight-arm backstroke being faster than bent-arm as well as prettier it is a clear winner.

Perhaps the jury is out as to whether straight-arm freestyle is uglier than bent-arm. I think it is but nevertheless I quite enjoy playing with it in practice. I don't think I've ever gone more than 50m with it, though, and usually only 25m. It does seem to help with the body rotation, which is also possibly where it scores in backstroke.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-05-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: New Jersey, USA
Posts: 1,077
shuumai
Send a message via Skype™ to shuumai
Default

Considering racing again, the backstroke is only a 100-200m event, right? So maybe it doesn't require the same amount of energy efficiency that the front crawl requires beyond 200m.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 10:54 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.