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Old 10-14-2017
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Default Hand clearing the water in Overswitch

Hi guys, first post here for me.

I am making my way through the exercises in the Perpetual Motion self coaching video and I have a question regarding the Overswitch drill.

One of the drills calls for progressively lifting the hand higher and higher out of the water until the fingers just clear the water eg. - wrist → knuckles → fingertips. My question is what is the mechanism for doing this? If I keep my elbow at 90 degrees to my arm and I lift my upper arm until it is in line with my shoulders my fingers may not clear the water depending on how far I have rotated my body. I notice that the earlier TI drills had a more pronounced body rotation but the newer videos emphasize rotating "just enough" or "off my stomach" . So if I was to only rotate just "off my stomach" how do I clear the water with my fingertips? Do I -

1 - Keep my elbow bent at 90 degrees, upper arm in line with shoulders and use more body rotation.

2 - Open my elbow greater than 90 degrees, upper arm in line with shoulders and keep body rotation just "off my stomach"

3 - Keep my elbow bent at 90 degrees, body rotation just "off my stomach" but pull the upper arm back until it is beyond the line of shoulders (I find this very uncomfortable and it doesn't seem like a logical thing to do)

I have attached a diagram which hopefully illustrates my question.

Thanks guys.
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File Type: jpg overswitch.jpg (5.9 KB, 13 views)
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Old 10-14-2017
Posts: n/a

Sorry, the picture comes out too small when uploaded. Here is a better view -
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File Type: jpg overswitch.jpg (7.2 KB, 17 views)
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Old 10-14-2017
tomoy tomoy is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 585

You've thought about this very clearly!

1) is nice, but one could imagine riding too low in the water for it to work. In that case....

2) is fine I think, and probably more the answer for you, realistically.

Best not force the reaching back further - that's asking for injury over time.

As your stroke improves, your speeds pick up, and you get more comfortable with the motion, you will find that every stroke gives you an opportunity to optimize the rotation and elbow bend. For instance breathing strokes unfortunately can ask to be a little different (not that they should, but then there's the real-world).

If I recall, early TI taught a more bent, high elbow that looks like 90-deg. It also taught more rotation. Over the years that rotation got to be a bit much, and those who learned this way ended up over-rotating in their full-stroke. So the rotate just enough, became more of a guide, fully understanding that people generally rotate more than they self-perceive. That flatter torso then demands a straighter arm.

It's a good focal point you hit on. Going flatter and flatter for a length, swinging the recovery arm out very wide and maybe nearly straight arming it out there. Then alternately rotating more and more, with an increasingly bent, high elbow.

Somewhere in there, I think your body will tell you what's most comfortable. And experimenting will tell you which is the most efficient. Remember, everything you do above the water affects (in an exponential way) what happens below. So note too that a really high, bent elbow will force a deep and narrower spearing hand/elbow/arm. A wide flat recovery will allow a higher and/or wider lead arm. The former may transition you into catch better / the latter may give you better streamlining.

Not to muddy the water.....
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Old 10-14-2017
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Hamburg
Posts: 1,104

Hello ricsr33,

I'd suggest not thinking about the angle of upper and lower arm too much. Three points with your arm movement above water are far more important:

- Swing your elbow as far around/away from your body as possible, as relaxed as possible. It has to be a movement along your body's side as relaxed as possible. The elbow leads all the way to front line up with your shoulder.

- To let the elbow lead the movement as far away from your side, never let him go behind you scapular plane.

- If you'll focus in your lower arm, focus in his total relaxation. Let him follow the leading elbow to front totally relaxed.

Your fingers curling the surface will help to focus in the leading elbow. Terry advocates a triangle with equal sides (surface-upper arm-lower arm) when looking from front.

Especially when swimming slow it takes some time to find the right amount of smallest possible rotation angle. Because every degree more lets your body sink down some cm more, and your instinct tells to reach out your arm more up and back. In this case you should focus more in a stable, relaxed and patient leading (the one in front) arm/hand and an exactly positioned relaxed head than in rotation angle even if it's necessary to track the whole lower arm inside water to front.

Best regards,

PS: Your last picture should never happen when swimming...

Last edited by WFEGb : 10-14-2017 at 07:42 AM.
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Old 10-15-2017
Posts: n/a

Thanks guys, some good tips there. Will try to put them into practice :)
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