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  #11  
Old 08-06-2017
liolio
 
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Thank you 2 (Zenturtle and Danny) for the advice.
I read further thing on the matter as well as watching vids from various physical therapists.
I've yet to stick to a given routine which is a bad thing... but I try to stretch and exercise in different manners.
My shoulder are more externally rotated now (back to a more neutral proper position) I also work my forearms and wrists so I can rotate externally my shoulder while rotating internally the forearm. It is obvious but as the shoulders are not properly positioned the forearm in turn as to adapt. I suspect lots of elbows and wrists (from muscles, to nerves) are aggravated by the shoulders positions.
I try to reduce some light scapular winging.
Overall I'm discovering a lot about me and others doing so. The more I dig for myself the more issue I see with others and I'm not speaking about swimming techniques. Quite some of people have I suspect slight "lateralization" issues among other things. Clearly waters shift perceptions but it is also showcased natural bias (/psycho-motor miss wiring ). It is funny to notice that people with various sport background (by their silhouettes) are equally affected. That tells me that healthcare is not doing its job, especially in our early years as ALL those issues are quite easily fixed through proper exercises (and simple ones). Educational systems seems to fail to integrate those very basics functions of exercising and gym. It is sad because under development in motor skills affect intellect as well as emotional development: lots of potential is wasted hidden within people that are functional (or more) nonetheless.

Among the discovering my "good" shoulder is actually "worse" than my bad one, more internally rotated, less scapular mobility and overall whereas more "solid" (no injury, stable) it behave in a less functional manner. So of late my swim session have turned more into physical therapy.
I do few front crawl when I do I focus on extension and reach working on proper shoulder alignment and position and well as putting the scapular in "pro-traction" (if I get the wording right).
I do the same with breaststroke as I realize that my out-sweep is awfully asymmetric (my shoulder are not rotated the same way), I simply push both arms forward (more like a butterfly arm entry position) and then the in-sweep. Same thing as above.
Lots of backstroke: I focus on arm alignment and keeping both shoulder properly during the underwater portion of the movement. The hand/arm entry is doing me a lot of good as it put my shoulder to work in a nice way and force me to also work on the thoracic flexibility as the arm sink into the water and the torso rotate.

I practice butterfly stealthily a couple moves here and there at the beginning of the length focus on quality work. I spend lot of time working dolphin kick and undulation. I think I've improve slightly lately, I leverage my buoyancy in a more and more relaxed manner. I start to ease into it.

I pass on timing myself as it would create incentive for me to go faster than I should at the moment.
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  #12  
Old 08-06-2017
Danny Danny is offline
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Hi liolio,

When I read what you wrote, I try to form a picture of all the things that are wrong with your anatomy, and the picture I come up with sounds very serious. But I suspect that you may be exaggerating the importance of some of your anatomical imperfections. As you noted, almost all of us have them. I have an old shoulder injury which prohibits me from executing the same motions on the left and right side, and almost everyone has something like this. But in spite of these asymmetries, we can all learn how to swim well and it isn't necessary to correct all of these problems in order to do it. In the case of my bad shoulder, I have simply learned to spear differently on that side and still manage to do quite well. There is an old saying "don't let the perfect become the enemy of the good." I will never get my bad shoulder to have the same motion as my good shoulder, but I have discovered I don't need to.

ZT occasionally posts video from paralympic swimmers with problems far more serious than mine, and it is always fascinating to see how they have been able to deal with their issues. A lot of them are truly beautiful to watch.

Good luck!

Last edited by Danny : 08-06-2017 at 10:09 PM.
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  #13  
Old 08-07-2017
liolio
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny View Post
Hi liolio,

When I read what you wrote, I try to form a picture of all the things that are wrong with your anatomy, and the picture I come up with sounds very serious. But I suspect that you may be exaggerating the importance of some of your anatomical imperfections
Well it is nothing "serious" though the discomfort and pain (nerves) in the left arm and sometime neck can really get the best of me on bad days. The goods news is that I think it is improving.
The others parts are no where near as serious, it should fix itself with good practice, I see benefits after a couple training sessions.
I used to think that my old injury on the right shoulder was not fixable (for the ref I tore some tissues doing/failing to do a one arm lock-offs a decade ago and did not deal with the injury in an appropriate way), "never" using my left one along with bad posture got the left one rusty. I think now that I can improve my right shoulder and that I've to solicit my left one the right way (along with stretch, etc.). As you are saying below nothing important or serious, it is just that through swimming as well and upper back/left arm nerves pain my awareness of my body is significantly sharper. As things seem to want to improve I try to see this as a positive.

Quote:
As you noted, almost all of us have them. I have an old shoulder injury which prohibits me from executing the same motions on the left and right side, and almost everyone has something like this. But in spite of these asymmetries, we can all learn how to swim well and it isn't necessary to correct all of these problems in order to do it. In the case of my bad shoulder, I have simply learned to spear differently on that side and still manage to do quite well. There is an old saying "don't let the perfect become the enemy of the good." I will never get my bad shoulder to have the same motion as my good shoulder, but I have discovered I don't need to.
I'm so far from perfect that it is not even funny ;) Now I'm ok with imperfections and asymmetrical movements but I want to make movements that are as safe as can be and that do not further my bio-mechanical imbalance. Self assessment has its lacking (vs proper supervision) but that is an damned interesting journey :)
Quote:
ZT occasionally posts video from paralympic swimmers with problems far more serious than mine, and it is always fascinating to see how they have been able to deal with their issues. A lot of them are truly beautiful to watch.

Good luck!
Indeed those guys (and girls) are impressive, there are a couple swimmers at my pool pulling some nice tricks with really serious conditions (not like me) like missing limbs or lower limbs paralysis.

As for an update on the freestyle/front crawl, working/focusing on extension has nice benefit, it makes my stroke more symmetrical, especially the rotation. Breathing on the left side is now easier, not as "natural" as the right side but there is significant change.
Not stalling the arm at the hips (or slowing) the recovery in turn do not hinder my rotation, along with more properly done extension of my right arm my position while breathing on the left is more buoyant.
I still can consistently breath every 3 strokes but I breath to the left more often than I used to.

Thanks for the cheering :)
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  #14  
Old 08-07-2017
novaswimmer novaswimmer is offline
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'....I fail to invest much swimming time into it....'

It's going to take some time and investment to develop and feel comfortable with freestyle. I have been working on it for three years and am just getting to the point where it's becoming easier. Some take to it much sooner than me! I tend to 'float' rather low in the water and so it never came as quickly for me as others.

At the core of the issue is breathing.

The core issue is usually balance, streamlining, and propulsion first. That was mentioned by someone else. But then, yes, once you introduce breathing -- I actually like to call it air regulation -- into the mix, everything seems to 'go south' and you have to relearn balance and streamlining in light of breathing. You'll have to reach the point where you are confident in your ability to obtain air when you need it, otherwise your body goes into panic mode and your stroke falls apart or you have to stand up -- or switch to another stroke.

You mention you are comfortable in breast stroke. Might that be partly because you are able to get your breath easily?

I'm ok on the right side but bad on the left

It is typical to be able to breathe more easily on one side than the other. You are not alone. It took me about a year before I could breathe comfortably on my uneasy side. Throughout the process, I got lots of water in my mouth, nose, sinuses with resultant sinus irritation. Not easy and not comfortable. But I pushed through it. Now I swim one lap breathing on my left and the return lap breathing to my right -- so I breathe generally every other stroke once I get in a 'groove'. But that's just what works best for my lung capacity and exertion level.

I swim for pleasure and leisure

So, I think the TI program is ideal for you then. I would probably not dwell too much on the technique of the elite swimmers -- as was noted by someone else above. Personally, I wanted to be able to swim for at least a half hour without stopping. I was not trying to set any speed records. Just general and aerobic exercise. I had to slow way down to meet my goals. It took a while to get 'swim fit'. It took a while for me to figure out how much to slow down my stroke in order to balance out my exertion levevl with my air intake and regulation (my oxygen consumption with my oxygen intake/CO2 elimination). Once I did that, then I could slowly increase my pace (although that's not a main goal of mine at this point -- not trying to win any races).

If you could somehow post a video, the experts here will probably see things right away that they can help you with.

Last edited by novaswimmer : 08-15-2017 at 03:59 PM.
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  #15  
Old 08-19-2017
liolio
 
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I'm a little late to answer as I'm currently in the process of moving, the answer may be a short too.

Thanks Novaswimmer for your time and advice ;)

I've made progress, I more comfortably breath on both sides now, not perfect but much better. I also stick to one breath every three strokes more consistently. To be fair I still don't swim front crawl that much as I invest a lot of time and efforts in backstroke.
The later does good job at having me more properly aware of my body positioning. The arm movement is actually getting rid of rounded shoulders while making my left shoulder and arm work in a proper way. As a massive bonus it improves my freestyle too.

Back to freestyle the main issue I think is/was a not proper extension (in different manner) both right and left. With more focus on extension I push somehow on the water which makes me more buoyant. I also have more symmetrical catch/pull/push.

The recovery was also an issue, I still have to be focus to have a more active (yet relaxed) recovery). I changed my recovery so it is a lot easier on my joints and less tiring, my arm no longer feels like turning around my torso/shoulders, I lift them sideways using the torso rotation as the main tool to keep the arm and hand airborne. The slight pain I had in one shoulder disappeared completely since then.

I also more consciously kick I can be in time without much effort but I used to be lazy wrt to kicking (focusing on others parts of my stroke) so kicking could be off inadvertently altering rotation...

Something I feel I made a breakthrough lately is my dolphin kick/undulation, I'm much faster now. Undulation was not too bad through I manage to put torso pressure in a more relaxed and efficient manner but I realize I actually was not flexing my knees enough. I know usually it is the opposite, anyway since I do I'm much faster.

Still practicing on issues and overall enjoying. Freestyle my main stroke but let say I work on it.
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  #16  
Old 08-23-2017
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny View Post
... If you are worried about stabilizing your shoulder blades, I would suggest the following dry land exercises, called I,Y,T, and W
https://experiencelife.com/article/balance-your-blades/
...
Hi Danny

I checked out the link but couldn't understand them :(

The Y one my palms are facing each other with my body an arms lenth above.

fwiw I've been making up my own recently that seem to help me. VERY simple:

1 Thumbs on head elbows out to sides, raise hands in air, then lower thumbs back to head. repeat x20 say then extend the movement using shouldr blades. I often find my hands then do an auto-scull at the top.

2 (requires some flexibility) stand, bend down to touch toes, relax, and raise hands behind back, then lower slowly back down. repeat x30 I use some very light weights.

Both are very gentle, yoga like, and iincrease blood flow to the area, which is the main thing I think.
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A psychological disorder is: "Any personal construction which is used repeatedly in spite of consistent invalidation."
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"The water is your friend.....you don't have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move."
~ Aleksandr Popov
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  #17  
Old 08-23-2017
Danny Danny is offline
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Hi Talvi, the link I sent you above has no pictures which makes it difficult to understand. There are other links with pictures, which may be better.

There are all sorts of ways to accomplish the same thing. In my case the key issue is to keep my shoulders back (with the blades squeezing together a little) and not to slump forward. When I do this, my shoulder mobility increases significantly.
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  #18  
Old 08-24-2017
liolio
 
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AthleanX (iirc), a physical therapist that is very active on youtube, has a lot of video (overall...) on the topic of shoulders (from scapular to rotators, etc.).
Lots of the exercices he provides do not require much material if at all and I find them useful (though I still lack commitment to a given selections of exercices).
I found exercises meant to fix scapular winging pretty effective for swimmers (whether or not scapular are winging).
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  #19  
Old 08-24-2017
Danny Danny is offline
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I originally went to the physical therapist because I could no longer do a butterfly recovery. After 6 weeks of therapy, I was able to do it and they told me I need to keep doing these exercises. Of course, I stopped and within a month I started having problems with my shoulder again. So I started doing the exercises and the problem went away. There is nothing like this type of experience to motivate you to do these exercises.
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  #20  
Old 10-03-2017
liolio
 
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Short update (I failed to post twice longer posts twice but whatever).

I still managed to jump by the pool often though my sessions are shorter.

I feel like I'm making progress. My right arm feels better, my knee has been a chore lately (it disagreed with our moves in a new apartment and the work that got done there...lol) but it seems to slowly recover.

Whereas I still swim backstroke the most I've made a significant progress in my understanding of the front crawl. Namely the recovery, more the underlying process that links the recovery, handing entry and extension together in front crawl: the rotation and more precisely the connection.
In backstroke it is easy, the arms are mostly straight, you enter at max (or slightly past) extension, there is rotation but its works with the body's logic is more obvious. In freestyle there are many things, exiting hands, moving the hands/arms forward till the front quadrant, then hand entry, into the extension. It is harder to have that to feel whole.
I found the answer for myself wrt connection as reading about it was not enough for me to get it. It is clearly how the arms/leg "stay true" to the core rotation as well matching mass transferts and impact of buoyancy.
Rotation now drive my hand entry, extension feels gliding into the catch as I "pass over" my buoyancy center. I loose the connection really easily so I try to not put "muscles" into it but I got the feel of it. Securing the execution is going to be a long process (and it is not like I don't have other things to correct and thing I have to correct I don't know I have to correct... lol) but from early feel I think the gain in efficiency should be massive.
It made me really happy when I found out the feel for myself. Freestyle still ain't my favorite stroke but I grow more and more aware of its "cleverness/beauty" meanwhile I also get use to the convenience of breathing in backstroke...
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