One armed swimmer
Hi there. I lost the use of my right arm in a motorcycle accident in 2005. I used to love the pool as a child, but Iíve never really been able to swim since my accident. I recently heard the Terry Laughlin interview with Tim Ferris and itís inspired me to get back in the pool and give it a go.
Iím trying to follow the TI book and Iím watching as many videos as I can, but so far Iím finding it tricky. Can the TI methods work for a one armed swimmer? What stroke do you think I should try! Iíve just found the videos of Terry and Stew Smith doing the combat swimmer stroke and that looks doable.
Any advice greatly appreciated. Iíve got young kids now and would really like to enjoy the pool with them, and get some real exercise while Iím at it.
In his 2.0 Mastery-course Terry integrated some parts regarded to "swimming on one side". They are ment more as pre-exercises or rehearsels to be transformed into symmetric whole stroke, but may be you'll get some worthy hints from.
I don’t think the Combat Side Stroke is possible with only one-arm, but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Impossible means you just have to do some modification of the technique to fit your physical limitations.
I think you should consider swimming one-arm freestyle. It’s my favorite drill and I always start my swim sessions with several laps of one-arm freestyle with my non-pulling arm by my side. If you have difficulty with it, try using swim fins.
Here's a video demonstration of one-arm freestyle swimming with the non-pulling arm at the side. Most other videos have the swimmer with the non-pulling arm extended.
If you look the swimming races at the paralympics you will see, that there are in all four styles swimmers with only one arm.
So of cause it is possible to get a good swimming technique with only one arm.
I think, finding the balance and especially geting a good core stability, for you is more essential. With two arms many small movements can hide some lack in core stability. That works, but of cause at the cost of efficacy. So this balancing movements with the arm are not really good.
In the TI-Method Balance/ core stability are the most important and so most trained skills. So the method will definitely cover your needs.
In Terries courses, the one armed freestyle ist in the second part in the "master course", because it's somewhat difficult.
But I think you will learn it faster as you can't cheat by balancing with your second arm.
I would start with the balancing drills. Balance helps in all four strokes.
And at first I would swim and imprint the technique without breathing (except perhaps for special breathing exercises). First with short repetitions and standing up to breathe, then with a snorkel.
Swimming backstroke may be easier at the beginning, because breathing there is not difficult.
For that issue, the older courses may perhaps be helpful, because they have a lot of balance drills on the back in "sweet spot".
Thanks for the rapid replies, everyone. I'll definitely check out those balance exercises, and the one arm drills in the mastery course.
I just went to the pool in my lunch hour and tried the CSS - failed miserably, lol. THat's not to say it won't be possible, it's just going to take some work.
Thanks again guys. Lots to think about.
Oh, I would not only work. I would play very much in and with the water. How does the head position influence the balance, how does the arm position change the balance.
Switching from back to face and vice versa. In longitudinal axis and in short axis.
Paddling/ sculling with the hand in the water. How can I move calmly and get a good grip...
Body dolphin versus just dolphin kick. Kick from the knee versus kick from the hip drive.
I'm often playing with the water. Not really doing drills, just moving, enjoying and observing. Several weeks I was only "playing". I hadn't the time to go to the pool often and when I went, I went with the kids.
The first time after this "non swimming time" I was astonished how much I learnt by doing "nothing".
Thanks IngeA. That's really encouraging. I've been going to the pool 3 times a week for the last 3 weeks or so, and at the very least I definitely feel more comfortable in the water.
I've just bought the downloadable video series for "1.0 Effortless Endurance Self-Coaching Course" so i can review the videos before i go to the pool. I'll spend some time on balance and getting the basics right - at least i'll try.
THanks for the encouragement all.
I tried the single side swimming about 2 weeks ago, for the first time. I'm a TI beginner, with 2 arms. I thought it was rather difficult to do.
I wish you all the best with your endeavor. I'm sure you'll crack it! I really hope you'll keep us posted because I'll check back ;).
Terry would be thrilled to see this!
I will most definitely keep you updated :)
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