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  #1  
Old 02-14-2012
lars1968 lars1968 is offline
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lars1968
Default 1st. underwater video for analysis

Hello Dear Forum Members,

first of all I want to say hello and say thank you for all the intersting content I was able to find reading the forum passively.

After starting swimming on a regulary basis one and a half years ago and now practicing TI for about one year, I had the opportunity to get some video taken.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZxqP2huAMA


I' m looking forward to any comments. Feel free to critise and suggest ideas for improvement.

Best regards
Lars
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  #2  
Old 02-14-2012
Danny Danny is offline
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Default

Hi Lars,

I'm not a coach or trainer, so my opinion needs to be taken only with caution, but your body position looks pretty good to me, so I don't think that is a major problem. The one thing I do think I see is that you are dropping your elbow slightly when you stroke. This is costing you a lot in propulsion. If you can turn that elbow up at the start of your stroke, I think you'll find yourself going much faster, because you'll be pushing water back, instead of down.

Good Luck!

Danny
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  #3  
Old 02-14-2012
CoachToby CoachToby is offline
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Default Good work!

Lars. Lots of good stuff going on with your stroke - well balanced, front quadrant timing, relaxed. I have two tips for you: 1. try to reduce your body rotation slightly and 2. practise kicking with your right leg as you begin stroking with your right arm (you seem to have a lazy right kick). Zen Switch and Over Switch would be good drills to sharpen these aspects. I hope that helps.

Toby
TI Coach Brighton UK
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  #4  
Old 02-15-2012
Alex-SG Alex-SG is offline
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Not bad Lars.

Is this a slow motion video or not? Looks like your Stroke Rate is around SR=1.70 which is quite slow for swimming (although OK to test your balance in drilling mode).

Slow SR means that the body almost comes to a halt after each stroke and the lack of constant speed creates a balance problem. This is why your kick is continuous (instead of a 2BK). You have to kick else your legs would drop very fast because of the lack of speed.

In comparison take a look at Shinji's swim with a 2 Beat Kick. SR=1.35 (so 10 strokes in 13.5sec), constant speed, no need to kick continuously.

I agree with Danny, your elbow drops down which makes you push water down instead of back. Do not think of your pulling arm motion as "1". Think of it as "2-STEPS":
1. You set your hand, arm into position (CATCH)
2. You "Pull back" (PULL) although TI prefers to talk about Anchor and rotate your body around the anchor hand.

So 2 things:
1. Try to increase your STROKE RATE to at least SR=1.40 with a Tempo Trainer. That will give you a constant speed which makes it easier to swim balanced and with coordinated propelling movements (hand, arm, hip, leg)
2. Have a patient Catch hand. Think "Catch then Pull" instead of "Pull down"

ALEX
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  #5  
Old 02-15-2012
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Default Video Analysis

Hi Lars,

I'll second what Coach Toby noted, good balance and timing up front. The over rotation is causing a little "tight rope" walking activating a busy kick. Noticing a bit more bubbles on recovery entry, coming in a little flat not taking advantage of the weight as much as you could. Looking at frames between seconds 10 and 11, notice the alignment of your spine with your hips/legs - looks about 160 degs, a bend in the body hinging at waistline. The is most likely caused from bringing recovery arm over the body (from over rotation), causing you to sink a little and then having to reach for that breath - rather than swinging elbow wide outside the body on "wide tracks" keeping your body stable. As Toby noted, swing-skate, swing-switch drills will imprint "enough" rotation as well swinging elbow wide away from body maintaining that balance and stability on active recovery.

Also, when doing whole stroke between drills, drag fingertips forward (even as deep as wrists) on recovery hand. This will give you immediate feedback that your elbow is wide and not directly above your body. So quick summary:

1. Do those fun swing-skate and swing-switch drills (they are fun), and on whole stroke ...
2. drag fingertips on recovery hand to the "mail-slot" - feel the water.
3. Enter into "mail-slot" a littler earlier (just forward of goggle line), resist reaching over -- and
4. start rotation from hip, "hip nudge" - don't lead rotation from shoulder or spearing arm. Body rolls as unit, not independent parts.
5. Quiet the kick for now. Work on 2bk timing after you have achieved a little more balance, and spine/hips are in better alignment (closer to 180 deg). Legs will quiet down as a consequence after spending some time in 1-4 above.

Happy swimming!

Coach Stuart
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  #6  
Old 02-27-2012
lars1968 lars1968 is offline
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lars1968
Default Thank you

Thanks a lot for advice, help and support. I will work the topics mentioned and maybe show up with a new video some day.
Best regards
Lars
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  #7  
Old 02-27-2012
rcrawford2@verizon.net rcrawford2@verizon.net is offline
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Default Legs Sinking/Bend At Waist/Hinging

Hi Lars,

Your swimming looks good! However I had to chime in because a few of the problems you are having are so similar to mine. I have been wrestling with the dropping, sinking, legs resulting in a fishtail, hinged at the waist effect. I bet that if you filmed yourself underwater from behind you would see a lot of sideways movement, along with a downward hinge at the waist. Here is what I have discovered about myself from hours and hours of underwater film study. My legs sink. Can I do SG halfway across the pool (25 yards) without my legs sinking? You bet. Relaxed, water support, chest pressing down, head floating, body straight, hips straight, toes pointed, lower core engaged and heels actually touching the surface of the water for as long as I can hold my breath! This took me over a year and a half to accomplish. Did I mention I was stubborn. However, as soon as my arms (fairly long for my height) are not completely extended as ballast on the surface of the water, my legs sink. If I bring one arm back an inch or drop a hand underwater an inch, legs sink. This is how precariously I am "balanced" in the water.

I agree with Alex about moving too slowly. This was the key to my revelation. If I kept moving faster, flutter kicking during drills or whole stroke this hinging effect would disappear.

Here's where I slightly disagree with Coach Stuart, he stated the hinging effect:

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachStuartMcDougal View Post
is most likely caused from bringing recovery arm over the body (from over rotation), causing you to sink a little and then having to reach for that breath - rather than swinging elbow wide outside the body on "wide tracks" keeping your body stable.
His suggestion to swing wide may help, however my sinking, hinging effect, got worse when I did spear switches, not even raising my arms out of the water. As soon as I "paused before switching" legs sink, and the dreaded hinge is created. Then later as I was trying to straighten this hinge out I noticed my legs would start to rise after I accelerated from each switch, stroke (This was another big hint). Lars I also see you straighten out, unhinge as you accelerate. However, Coach Stewart's points all lead to better balance overall and more speed.

As far as the lazy right leg kick, I can sympathize, while trying to keep my legs from sinking I did and do all sorts of funny conniptions, double kick, scissor kick, sideways motion, extra movements. When not balanced it is extremely difficult to isolate, control, and still your legs, not to mention have them relax enough after each kick so that they can individually rise to the surface! I can tell you have worked on your legs, toes pointed, keeping them straight etc. All of this fine tuning gets much easier with more speed and balance.

After having come to this sinking conclusion on my own (not etched in stone), and studying the underwater slow motion clip of Sun Yang, I have been working on a 4 beat kick. It keeps my legs up, eliminates hinging effect and is making me a much better swimmer. I have to be incredibly aware of timing so that the in between two kicks (flutters) sync perfectly with the bigger kick and weight shift. I noticed that one of the swimmers next to Sun Yang wasn't even timing his kicks with his weight shift and rotation, this had to be costing him some propulsion.

Having said all of this, I have never been more enthusiastic about swimming. I am an amateur triathlete, 5'8" 140 lbs, body fat under 10% (did I mention my legs sink). I run sub 7 minute miles and can average 24 mph on the bike and am 52 years old.

Here is the fun part and why I have been so attracted to TI from the beginning. I am into swimming for the "art" of it, for me speed will always be secondary to the beauty of swimming. After all, as one puts great mental and physical effort into swimming gracefully through something as dense as water, how can one not get faster?

Thanks for listening, Rich
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  #8  
Old 02-27-2012
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Default Sinking legs, body hinging

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcrawford2@verizon.net View Post
Hi Lars,
...His suggestion to swing wide may help, however my sinking, hinging effect, got worse when I did spear switches, not even raising my arms out of the water. As soon as I "paused before switching" legs sink, and the dreaded hinge is created.
Hey Rich, Lars:
This is very common, especially with guys and very lean sinking legs, me included in that bunch too. I suspect there is some tension in your neck and lifting head slightly to look up at forward spearing arm position (this will cause legs to drop faster), as well as leading spear switch with shoulder, not with body roll. An abrupt spear-switch from shoulder with slight tension in neck (lifting head) will cause the "bob and sink" diagonal body syndrome - and can be very frustrating. Concentrate on neutral head meaning relaxed neck - allowing head to be suspended by water, not with neck/shoulder muscles, spear-switch with gentle body rotation. Don't look forward at spearing arms - maintain "goggles down". This will get better as balance improves.

When you have really good balance, you should be able to swim whole stroke with weight shifts only, legs coast with zero kick. Actually keeping coasting legs together, no splay, toes pointed (NO pool buoy either). I do this drill often to remind my neural system of balance and the weight shift priorities - and not make up for imbalance with busy legs.
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  #9  
Old 02-27-2012
rcrawford2@verizon.net rcrawford2@verizon.net is offline
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Default Relaxed Head

Hi Stuart, Lars,

No, my head is totally horizontal neck relaxed. To get my legs to drag behind, with no bend at the waist, I either have to stiffen my entire body, locked at the core, then I look like I'm swimming uphill yet my head is completely neutral, horizontal, or I have to pull incredible hard to keep my legs up which I can do but I don't want to blow out my shoulders.

Thanks, Rich

Is my balance perfect? No, but it's not as bad as you think, I'm always working on it. I will try and edit some of the many hours of video and post.
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  #10  
Old 02-27-2012
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Default

Got it, and yes post video of you both whole stroke and spear-switch will be very helpful. Strong pull and over tight core will cause tension throughout the body even though it may not feel like it. I'm a runner too and we have very similar body types from your description. Our balance point over our lungs is very narrow, difficult to find, and then manage - it takes much more effort and refinement than swimmers that have natural buoyancy. Anyhoo, keep trying, your body will find it through the "process of discovery". And send me a message when you post video or feel free to send link by email. stuart.mcdougal@ticoach.net.

Happy Swimming!
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