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  #1  
Old 03-23-2014
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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Default Active glide, neutral glide or passive glide?

There has been a lot of discussion on the glide in the TI stroke.
Often a person with a very long freezed stationairy body position is taken as an example for the typical TI stroke, but it seems more and more TI coaches disapprove this swimming style.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ieuYlz1Mys
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_qAwx61sYM

For discussion purpose, the glide can be devided in active glide, neutral glide or passive glide.

-Active glide, light pressure under the arm:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KILRRbCzwUE
Example;
Dean Kent long strokes
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60ftmXEaeRY

- Neutral glide, same pressure above and under the arm.
Example: Shinji
Left arm active glide , right arm passive glide
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BJCxP6RcjE

- Passive glide, mainly pressure on top of the arm while being motionless under an angle.
Example:
Seahiker
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rddHPTCt_8U
Kris
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3UqGYhbNN4

So, what is the current TI opinion on this?
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  #2  
Old 03-23-2014
tomoy tomoy is offline
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Clearly few individuals can speak as THE 'current TI opinion', and that's not me. Maybe just as one who has followed it closely over the last few years I can start picking up this topic. But to get one thing out of the way, for beginning and intermediate swimmers on the TI path this is the last thing on which to focus: propulsion. So I assume you're thinking at an advanced level and have mastered balance and streamlining. OK, caveats out of the way!

Do I understand the definition of an active glide correctly? The active glide is a soft beginning of the catch and its timing initiates just before a front-quadrant swimmer's recovery hand's entry. Basically, it's doing something, moving to catch instead of just hanging out there.

I think this would be less appropriate for long distance swimming during the phase of the swim where we don't know when we'll be done. The loss of a few inches of hull-length by moving the hand out of extended position early will hurt efficiency. However, I think it is totally appropriate if you're in a swim distance (short) or a phase of a swim where you're pushing very close to your maximum stroke rate.

Every time I push my tempo trainer down to the fastest rate I can handle, I recognize that I start doing this active glide. I think you want to take as much time off of other things first, like recovery and rotation, but once that's gone you're left with starting that catch sooner.

? That's my first thought at least. Good food for thought.
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  #3  
Old 03-23-2014
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenturtle View Post
There has been a lot of discussion on the glide in the TI stroke.
Often a person with a very long freezed stationairy body position is taken as an example for the typical TI stroke, but it seems more and more TI coaches disapprove this swimming style.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ieuYlz1Mys
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_qAwx61sYM

For discussion purpose, the glide can be devided in active glide, neutral glide or passive glide.

-Active glide, light pressure under the arm:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KILRRbCzwUE
Example;
Dean Kent long strokes
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60ftmXEaeRY

- Neutral glide, same pressure above and under the arm.
Example: Shinji
Left arm active glide , right arm passive glide
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BJCxP6RcjE

- Passive glide, mainly pressure on top of the arm while being motionless under an angle.
Example:
Seahiker
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rddHPTCt_8U
Kris
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3UqGYhbNN4

So, what is the current TI opinion on this?
Although it's refreshing to read about a definition of the word "glide" other than I/O (i.e. either you glide or you don't glide), it is also depending on where you are in between the hand entry and the catch, the "glide" (when only considering the side that just entered the water) will go from passive to neutral to active. This will correspond to how a lot of people swim. Some will enter the hand in the water flat, far from their head and start pushing down then back upon entry. But the majority I'd say, will experience some level of stretch forward. Even if we aim for slowly going down, the body has so much forward momentum at the moment the hand enters, that generally there will be some time spent with negative, or passive glide.

I often refer to the glide dimension in swimming. Gliding is important, overgliding is bad if you can't do otherwise and would need to (do otherwise).

Now, as to the "extent" of this, or the proportion between passive, neutral and active glide, I truly hope it varies more depending on the swim pace, than it does depending on the swim philosophy, ie TI vs SwimSmooth. My complaint to Total Immersion has never actually been directed toward the TI stroke itself, but rather toward the fact that there is very few available literature, documentation, clips displaying how this stroke should be swam at various pace. A good swimmer will balance the 3 in a way to optimize the result, at race pace of course. How one swims during wup/cool down, or at lower pace for that matter, I couldn't care less...

Here's Terry himself on a very important aspect of the glide, that is Gliding on Rail. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWzQc1XadHk

For me, practically speaking, it really comes down to not loosing speed between the strokes (when and if it's important not to loose some).

Last edited by CharlesCouturier : 03-23-2014 at 11:27 PM.
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  #4  
Old 03-23-2014
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier View Post
Although it's refreshing to read about a definition of the word "glide" other than I/O (i.e. either you glide or you don't glide), it is also depending on where you are in between the hand entry and the catch, the "glide" (when only considering the side that just entered the water) will go from passive to neutral to active. This will correspond to how a lot of people swim. Some will enter the hand in the water flat, far from their head and start pushing down then back upon entry. But the majority I'd say, will experience some level of stretch forward. Even if we aim for slowly going down, the body has so much forward momentum at the moment the hand enters, that generally there will be some time spent with negative, or passive glide.

I often refer to the glide dimension in swimming. Gliding is important, overgliding is bad if you can't do otherwise and would need to (do otherwise).

Now, as to the "extent" of this, or the proportion between passive, neutral and active glide, I truly hope it varies more depending on the swim pace, than it does depending on the swim philosophy, ie TI vs SwimSmooth. My complaint to Total Immersion has never actually been directed toward the TI stroke itself, but rather toward the fact that there is very few available literature, documentation, clips displaying how this stroke should be swam at various pace. A good swimmer will balance the 3 in a way to optimize the result, at race pace of course. How one swims during wup/cool down, or at lower pace for that matter, I couldn't care less...

Here's Terry himself on a very important aspect of the glide, that Gliding on Rail. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWzQc1XadHk
I have a couple of impromptu cell phone videos I made on this, and I do agree with Charles that the length of time one glides is fully dependent upon the tempo of the stroke as well as the pace. I don't see any conflict with the prescription for the TI stroke that can't be met at a variety of tempos .

With faster speed through the water it's important to create a catch earlier in order to literally "catch" the momentum of the water you are moving through. However the skill in catching the water depends on how will you miniize drag while finding that traction. So what may appear to be glide may just be arriving at traction in the most efficient way possible (think of Ian Thorpe's stroke). If you are swimming much slower, due to choice fitness or intention (warmup) the appearance and timing of when the stroke starts by necessity must be much later, otherwise you'll create drag while your arriving at the catch.

It's slippery business. ;)

Rather than thinking of how long the glide is, its far more important to practice and develop a feel for the way different forward speeds demand different timing in the weight shift...something veyr easy to do and start with by either practicing swimming with "gears" which we teach at workshops, coach training, private lessons and in many blogs here on the site...or with a tempo trainer.

If one things primarily of reducing glide first and starting the catch sooner, it's far more common that resistance is created as the body is not set up to continue the streamlining on the other side. There is always a tradeoff of drag vs. propulsion...that is, creating forward propulsion creates drag at the same time in humans. We can't always be propelling because we have only 2 arms. Given that we have only two arms that are in front of the body, and can't be hidden behind a streamlined vessel shape like an inboard motor on a boat, we need to be aware of when they are moving and what their purpose is when the initiate movement. Don't move them just to get to propulsion earlier, but slip them into the catch and find the water's resistance based on you rforward speed. as you speed up or slow down this feeling will change, and the appearance of glide...the duration of it will change as well.



When "struggle" appears as tempo increases it may be due to too much rotation, not allowing weight shift to happen naturally or resisting the shift because of a patterned hesitation in entry. Working first with gravity to allow it to happen naturally can first quicken tempo effortlessly and when that happens you must decide how & went to shape and move the spearing arm.
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USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle


Last edited by CoachSuzanne : 03-23-2014 at 11:44 PM.
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  #5  
Old 03-25-2014
CoachStuartMcDougal's Avatar
CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Hi ZenTurtle,

Active, neutral, and passive glide are not the best terms to use, and introduces confusion. You are either in active streamline or passive streamline, both have glide. Passive streamline is the push from wall, both arms anchored in front. Active streamline is when stroke begins and minimizing drag profile on every stroke.

Coach Brian describes it well, a wrong glide is a "hitch in the stroke" or recovery arm hangs onto or pauses at hip. You will see this "hitch" or pause at hip in Dean Kent's video. Although more of a drill, this just introduces a pause at the hip - which should be avoided. The recovery arm must continue forward, no stop and restart at hip losing valuable (recovery) momentum. The only arm that pauses is the one anchored out front, holding long streamline profile until it switches with recovery arm using hip/core driving weight shift forward.

The 10 Lesson DVD breaks this process down very well. Find it here: Perpetual Motion Freestyle In 10 Lessons

Stuart
MindBodyAndSwim
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  #6  
Old 03-26-2014
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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95% efficiënt:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfB2WCDluXE

Spear deep,…freeze,….pull?
Dependant of strokerate?

Some more funstuff for you nerdy beauty and water lovers:
Dolphins
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTffvkYEW0A
Sea turtle
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYlzmUg2xF0
tech efficiency
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojlL03Z5yVQ

On topic:
Terry seems to be an active (arm)glider, even at low strokerates.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFmnJnmahLw
I think it all has to do with the lego building approach.
If you brake a vase and glue the good broken pieces together, you might see some remaining cracks with ridges of glue in the end result.
Skate left, skate right, weight shift. Thats what I read here. Digital positions , transitions.
Getting rid of the glue and filling the remaining cracks is the last step to getting a nice end product.
Is there a drill called continuum in the TI vocabulary?
Not just above water, but also under water?

Shinji knows what he is doing. When he glides, he is keeping the most streamlined postion possible, neutral arm glide.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4InLAsnmKhY
Thats what all the aquatic animals do when they glide. When its time to go to propulsion, the transition is gradual and fluent.
That gives the best traction on the water. All natural swimmers connect to the water in this fluid motion, where its almost impossible to see where the movement starts or stops.(manta ray, sea turtle, dolphin, etc,etc)
There are so many people who jerk into the catch when the other arm spears forward. Its such a waiste. Maybe the TI coaches can find a way to get less of these typical beginner-intermediate underwater hickup swimmers.

And dont forget to have fun in the meantime:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNEfhhuBiKc

Last edited by Zenturtle : 03-27-2014 at 12:13 AM.
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  #7  
Old 03-27-2014
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Overall I think you are spot on with your analysis, however suggesting that Shinji's technique is preferred over Terry's technique neglects the differences the two have in potential leverage at the shoulder joint.

I agree...what Shinji does is "best" in terms of applying propulsin against streamlining. The tradeoff is that when he begins his catch he has higher pressure on the shoulder joint due to more force (he waits longer) as well as a more extended position when he starts.

Terry on the other hand has some drift. Terry's shoulder issues have been discussed at length here in the past.

Then there is the question of at what point the transition of losing momentum to adding propulsion becomes more vs. less efficient. Depends on your makeup of type 1 & type 2 muscle fibers as well.

The truth is that most adult swimmers are not as flexible and powerful as Shinji can be. Some are, but in fact many like myself and Mandy and Dave Cameron, etc were burnt out and borderline injured to do an even more extreme version of what Shinji is doing.

It's great to watch the aquatic creatures and birds as well. Air is a fluid medium just like water.

STroke + glide = propulsion for air and water creatures.

Humans have peculiar difficulties.

Agree the transitions between the two should be smooth. Agree that glide should be held in streamline position until catch is ready to take place and it's in that tradeoff of streamline to propulsion that each individual & each coach needs to carefully look at what is happening.

There's no one size fits all recipe. Learning the feel of what's happening is required...the water slipping over the skin, the bottom of the pool passing by, feeling energy spent convert to forward movement contemporaneously (ie other than the pace clock).

These are all lifelong skills to acquire & adapt.

For some we become more like shinji or even KPN as we get older due to learning more and gaining flexibility from previously unused potential from our joints & muscles.

For others we must scale back on the range of motion we enjoyed as children, teens & young adults and approach more of Terry's motion or even Paul Lurie's.

I think it's too simplistic in practice to consider only the binary alternatives, right skate & left skate, we must consider how we transition from one to the other, but not put the cart before the horse.

I like the idea personally of "catching" my momentum as my swim velocity increases so I'm adding speed as if spinning a basketball ... just the right touch at just the right time.
__________________
Suzanne Atkinson, MD
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


Last edited by CoachSuzanne : 03-27-2014 at 12:25 AM.
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  #8  
Old 03-27-2014
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenturtle View Post

And dont forget to have fun in the meantime:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNEfhhuBiKc
Awesome find
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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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  #9  
Old 03-27-2014
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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Sorry, didnt mean to say that Shinji knows what he is doing and Terry doesn’t .:-)

Its the deep spearing/stabbing motion that annoys me. It just doesn’t look like the most efficient and gracefull propulsion mechanism available compared to the propulsive motion continuation seen with efficient sea creatures.
When I compare these good TI swimmers arm movement
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9rds...SKV0P4h45cmQSH
with the animal propulsion movement, I think they could increase their strokelenght , gracefulness and traction on the water with a more shallow spearangle and getting into the catch in a more gradual fluid motion.
(The "problem" is mild in this case, but Shinji, Terry and the Go Swim guy look better in my eyes.)
Their strokerate is low enough to do so without pushing down, and they seem young enough to have the required shoulder flexibility.
If balance and shoulder flex allow it, the neutral arm glide angle (no pressure difference between upper and lower side of arm) seems to be the most efficient.
At very low strokerates this means spearing almost horizontal, and take the ample available time to move to catch position when the other arm enters and weight shift happens.
At higher strokerates and higher arm effort the spearing angle could be increased a bit to avoid shoulder problems by pushing water down and keep a more or less neutral arm glide angle.
Swimming at slower then normal strokerate and increasing it very very very gradually to the normal swimmers strokerate seems the best way to get the hang of it and find the best achievable personal compromise.
If the force isnt build up before the arm is down 45 degrees and the movement is on wide tracks, its unlikely that shoulder problems occure. A gradual force variation through the stroke means a smaller max armforce during the stroke at the same swimpace.
Its not the most important thing on the planet, but a Kaizen swimmer is always looking for improvement isnt it?

Last edited by Zenturtle : 03-27-2014 at 10:21 PM.
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  #10  
Old 03-28-2014
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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That drill in the same channel does make sense.

It is absolutely awesome in fact. Doing this perfectly is a big statement in regard to feeling well in the water, at 1) breathing (flipping on back pos) 2) floating/body position (not enough downforce to cheat) 3) rotating 4) catching and 5) learning to time body roll with pulling.

I only wish she better performed the finish, as there's a connection between body roll and this too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2H_3YIJiYhc

Last edited by CharlesCouturier : 03-28-2014 at 02:52 AM.
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