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  #11  
Old 04-02-2015
sclim sclim is offline
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OK, I'm revisiting this topic after initially obsessing about it, then abandoning it for a while after I found it too hard to do effectively.

Just to bring everyone up to date, I'm a very dense sinker, and because my legs are particularly dense. By pushing my head and chest down to level, I can only float horizontally below the surface for a short while with gliding with some forward velocity before my legs start to drop, drastically reducing the velocity further.

While swimming, I tried to keep some air in my lungs for buoyancy, but it only seemed to keep my trunk up, and didn't help the legs to stay up. Then I ran into some subjective shortness of breath that after thinking about it, likely came from retained carbon dioxide, as a result of shutting my throat and not letting any breath at all out (see "How Important is Exhaling Underwater?" thread). That's when I abandoned any idea of finessing my exhalation -- too difficult to do while micromanaging so many other details.

But now, I'm coming back to the topic because for the last month I have been trying specifically to increase my stroke length/decrease my SPL, using short one length sets with this single focus. One aspect of this quest has been to self observe what's happening on my initial push-off, and I notice the glide is getting better and better as I learn how to align my overlapping hands, squeeze my elbows to my head etc. but this all deteriorates when my legs start to drop (at the end of the glide), and I can't seem to prevent this.

That's when today I thought about trying again for a large inhalation to start with before the push off. Only this time, I thought I would try it with particular attention to getting a good diaphragmatic breath in, which I find difficult while breathing that quick gasp of air during that narrow time window while the mouth is half out of the water. My theory was that if I was really successful in displacing my diaphragm inferiorly and holding it there during my glide, my centre of buoyancy would move closer to my centre of gravity, thus reducing the rotational lever that was pushing my (hips and) legs down.

It seemed to work, and not only did I sink overall much less during my push-off glide, but the ending phase was much less decelerated by sinking legs. As I mentioned today in the "Favourite Practices and Sets -- Gearing Practice (no TT)" thread, I hit an SPL of 20 for the first time today, although I am not sure if this had anything to do with the diaphragmatic focus of my first hyper-inhalation on push-off. But it's certainly a possibility, maybe even likely.

But I'll keep on practicing this one huge inhalation at a time, (i.e. at the beginning of each length) and as I get used to it, and get used to holding the breath with a sustained lowered diaphragm, maybe I can do the same for subsequent inhalations during whole stroke swimming, and maybe with good enough control that I can dribble it out slowly through my nose in between top-up inhalations, but retaining enough for lower body buoyancy.

Last edited by sclim : 04-02-2015 at 08:06 AM.
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  #12  
Old 04-02-2015
fooboo fooboo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sclim View Post
I'm a very dense sinker, and because my legs are particularly dense. By pushing my head and chest down to level, I can only float horizontally below the surface
The right place to start with.
Try to relax your head as very first. Let it fall onto the pillow.
Look straight down. Forget all around. With spearing arm
see if you feel how the water supports you. Try till you get
that.
If not enough, lean on armpit, during roll to the side. Not too
much, just as you need it.
Horizontal posture is must have. Leave everything else and
get balance at any price.
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  #13  
Old 04-03-2015
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fooboo View Post
The right place to start with.
Try to relax your head as very first. Let it fall onto the pillow.
Look straight down. Forget all around. With spearing arm
see if you feel how the water supports you. Try till you get
that.
If not enough, lean on armpit, during roll to the side. Not too
much, just as you need it.
Horizontal posture is must have. Leave everything else and
get balance at any price.
I fully agree with you. But at present I can't get that last bit of balance (legs stay horizontal when not going forward fast) for any price.
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  #14  
Old 04-04-2015
fooboo fooboo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sclim View Post
I can't get that last bit of balance (legs stay horizontal when not going forward fast).
I assume some movement of arms or legs or the body makes that
imbalance. If you have perfect position in the water, work from there.
Be aware of mail-slot as great way to spear. Wait with rotation a
bit longer, to have spring for it.
My method is to remove all un-neccesary parts. No fancy elbows
as the rest of swimmers like to show. Or frantic kicks resembling
steamboats. Or wide breast style enough to make Hercules tired.
Best regards.
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  #15  
Old 04-05-2015
novaswimmer novaswimmer is offline
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OK, another 'sinker' here, and I have a question for all the swimmers...

In this video (at 1:05), see how the swimmer can float (prone) and keep legs up?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDM6s0JpwnI

or here (at 0:41)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bK4S8zD3pkk

There was another one but I can't find it now.

I have tried and tried and I cannot do this. Legs sink. There is no amount of arching back, moving arms down or up, or moving head down, for me to achieve this. The coaches seem to suggest that everyone can and should be able to do this (?).

This is why I believe I cannot gain speed in swimming and why my breathing is difficult.

Do others have an easy time with this drill? Fooboo, can you do this??
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  #16  
Old 04-05-2015
fooboo fooboo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by novaswimmer View Post
Do others have an easy time with this drill? Fooboo, can you do this??
At the moment I'm not able to youtube.
For sure, you could be horizontal. Imagine that you are tired.
You came to the bed. "My dear pillow, here I am!" Let your head
lean on the water, not doing a thing. Just let the water hold it.
If not enough, put your weight on the thorso. Lean on. When on
the side, lean on armpit. Don't do anything to move hips or legs
up. Once you find the correct position, you'll see how even lead
arm becomes "weightless".
First time you find a balance, you'd know.
I solved my position correcting head to straight down. It ruined
the way I breathe. I'm sure about balance, since I don't need to
kick. Have to remind myself "kick now on rotation!" Previously
I breathed on 3rd, now on 5th. Cannot say how deep I am, but
not too deep.
Some other posters might help you better.
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  #17  
Old 04-05-2015
novaswimmer novaswimmer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fooboo View Post
At the moment I'm not able to youtube.
For sure, you could be horizontal. Imagine that you are tired.
You came to the bed. "My dear pillow, here I am!" Let your head
lean on the water, not doing a thing. Just let the water hold it.
If not enough, put your weight on the thorso. Lean on. When on
the side, lean on armpit. Don't do anything to move hips or legs
up. Once you find the correct position, you'll see how even lead
arm becomes "weightless".
First time you find a balance, you'd know.
I solved my position correcting head to straight down. It ruined
the way I breathe. I'm sure about balance, since I don't need to
kick. Have to remind myself "kick now on rotation!" Previously
I breathed on 3rd, now on 5th. Cannot say how deep I am, but
not too deep.
Some other posters might help you better.
Thanks!

So you don't consider yourself a 'sinker', right?
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  #18  
Old 04-06-2015
fooboo fooboo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by novaswimmer View Post
So you don't consider yourself a 'sinker', right?
Nope. :)
For some reason I'm high in the water. From time to time
I look back and see myself on the surface.
I still have to find right way to breath with new head po-
sition. Tougher than I thought it would be.
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  #19  
Old 04-06-2015
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by novaswimmer View Post
Thanks!

So you don't consider yourself a 'sinker', right?
novaswimmer: you and I likely are the two lonely outliers lol. I understand you completely. As long as I have a tiny bit of forward motion, I can exploit this movement to get some planing effect to minimise my leg sinking. It's not perfect, but it's manageable. I think I'm slowly getting better at it, or getting all the tricks to work at once, belly breathing, subtle balance skill, streamlining skill, stroke angulation management skill, maybe, I don't know, but my working on lowering SPL at a given fixed low TT rate whole stroke is slowly getting less strained and still achieving a reasonable (for me) low SPL which is ever so slowly inching downward still, I think.
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  #20  
Old 04-07-2015
novaswimmer novaswimmer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sclim View Post
novaswimmer: you and I likely are the two lonely outliers lol. I understand you completely. As long as I have a tiny bit of forward motion, I can exploit this movement to get some planing effect to minimise my leg sinking. It's not perfect, but it's manageable. I think I'm slowly getting better at it, or getting all the tricks to work at once, belly breathing, subtle balance skill, streamlining skill, stroke angulation management skill, maybe, I don't know, but my working on lowering SPL at a given fixed low TT rate whole stroke is slowly getting less strained and still achieving a reasonable (for me) low SPL which is ever so slowly inching downward still, I think.
Yeah, it's lonely at the 'bottom'.

I am getting frustrated with advice which works for non-sinkers but not necessarily for 'us'. Guess I'll just have to settle for a slow pace.

Yes, at a faster pace, I can keep legs up better (drafting effect), but I wear out faster. When I first push off from the wall, my body is very horizontal and breathing is a breeze. But then legs begin to go down as speed diminishes.

My SPL are probably around 20, but it's a very slow pace and I can't maintain it for very long. But I will keep working -- hey, I need the exercise!
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