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  #11  
Old 07-25-2012
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Hi mate, sorry I'm not sure I am understanding your question, sorry English isn't my primary language, I sometimes loose myself in translations.

Are you asking if it's better to apply steady power as opposed to giving some acceleration to the hand?

(also, completely off topic I'm sorry for this, I do feel the need to present myself and see if you guys accept me on here, it may be a hard sale, since I have affinities with a system that's a direct competitor of Total Immersion. I'll leave this up to you folks. Where's the welcome thread?)

Last edited by CharlesCouturier : 07-25-2012 at 09:44 PM.
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  #12  
Old 07-25-2012
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hi Charles,

doesn't matter. Your English is far better than mine...

Second try: Is it useful to take the maximum force into the stroke right after the catch or is it of more use to start with low force and take in your maximum force in the middle or more to the end of the stroke.

In both there will be an accelerated motion but the amount of acceleration will be different. And in the first there could be created much more turbulance than neccessary.

(As Terry (think he would) my "yesterday-pooltalk-coach" would say, don't think about that accelarated motion, get the FEEL for an anchored arm, all else will come by itself... She demonstrated to me continues different paces with nearly constant SR and I only could realize the difference in velocity...)

Regards,
Werner
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  #13  
Old 07-26-2012
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WFEGb View Post
Hi Charles,

doesn't matter. Your English is far better than mine...

Second try: Is it useful to take the maximum force into the stroke right after the catch or is it of more use to start with low force and take in your maximum force in the middle or more to the end of the stroke.

In both there will be an accelerated motion but the amount of acceleration will be different. And in the first there could be created much more turbulance than neccessary.

(As Terry (think he would) my "yesterday-pooltalk-coach" would say, don't think about that accelarated motion, get the FEEL for an anchored arm, all else will come by itself... She demonstrated to me continues different paces with nearly constant SR and I only could realize the difference in velocity...)

Regards,
Werner
Oh now I get it. I agree with her by the way.

There's a huge difference between describing how things are being done, for the sake of understanding, chatting on forums, playing doctor swim, and how things should be felt for the sake of actually becoming a better swimmer. So I liked the fact that you put FEEL in caps!!!! I think that the expression giving acceleration to some hand makes very little sense when comes to learning to actually perform it well.

Your question is still being thoroughly debated, and I have no clear position. On the one hand you have the proponents of FQS, the most extreme displaying a fair level of EVF (are you familiar with these abreviations? I'm sure you are...). They rely more on front of the stroke. It's normal, they tend to delay a bit more their pulling effort. The whole timing is built on what happens in the front quadrant right?

And you have the older school ol farts like me, who use a stroke that's more inspired by Alex Popov. I rely heavily on the back of my stroke. The final push phase is hugely important, this is where I output my peak power output (regardless of the speed at which I swim). This is where I buy myself this 15-16-rarely more than 17 strokes per 25m in racing situation. Cut it, and I lose everything.

I've so far refused to qualify one stroke as being superior to another. How can I know these things after all. The flavor of the month is definitely classic FQS, obviously TI-Stroke which appears to me as being a slight variation of this is also immensely popular (standing by to be corrected, I own the old yellow book, I'm sure things have changed ever since, my knowledge is outdated, hence my presence here).

I'm not sure TI advocates being hard on the back end of the stroke. It can have a terrible impact on balance (hence the fact that I can not race 2-beat kick, impossible, I need at least 4).

So I guess my answer for you would be that early application of power.... No forget this. Anchoring yourself near catch phase then pulling yourself forward making use you don't loose your purchase over the water is the best option.

Last edited by CharlesCouturier : 07-26-2012 at 01:41 AM.
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  #14  
Old 07-26-2012
tony0000 tony0000 is offline
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Charles,

Thanks for your comments. I agree with your explication of the initial question in theory. As a matter of terminology, however, I would say that "the switch" refers to the point the recovery hand enters the water and extends and (in TI) the lead hand catches and begins to pull. Thus the switch is the beginning, not the end of the pull. (But, again, this is only a matter of terminology.)

I think the issue of whether acceleration is better achieved at the start or the end of the pull is an interesting issue. As far as I know, TI takes no position on it (although some people like Swimust studio Shinji's videos religiously seeking an answer).

I also think your question about Shinji's stroke is an interesting one. Based on one video, he seems to be covering a length in about 18 seconds. If the video's from Japan, the pool should be 25m. If it from the US, it could be 25m or 25y. Either way, it's a rate that I would be happy to be able to swim perpetually. I agree that looks can be deceiving and that Shinji must be achieving good hand acceleration at some point--streamlining and drag reduction can only get you so far. That's why I wonder whether the beautiful stroke Shinji demonstrates is one the can be swum perpetually, or whether muscle fatigue/oxygen deficit would set in after a (short or long) while.

Tony
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  #15  
Old 07-26-2012
tony0000 tony0000 is offline
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BTW, Charles, I'll add on behalf of myself that I don't see other swimming systems as "direct competitors" of TI. I prefer to think of TI as a stroke unto itself. So I no more think of TI as competing with ___, as I think of the backstroke competing with the breaststroke.
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  #16  
Old 07-26-2012
DD_l_enclume DD_l_enclume is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier View Post
(also, completely off topic I'm sorry for this, I do feel the need to present myself and see if you guys accept me on here, it may be a hard sale, since I have affinities with a system that's a direct competitor of Total Immersion. I'll leave this up to you folks. Where's the welcome thread?)
Hello EnergieSolaire,
I'd say that a fare lot of people here are open minded and spend as much time on this forum than on "this other one".
At least the one who do not consider a swimming teaching method as a religion.

As far as I'm concerned you're most welcome. Most of your advices are invaluable.
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  #17  
Old 07-26-2012
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony0000 View Post
Charles,

Thanks for your comments. I agree with your explication of the initial question in theory. As a matter of terminology, however, I would say that "the switch" refers to the point the recovery hand enters the water and extends and (in TI) the lead hand catches and begins to pull. Thus the switch is the beginning, not the end of the pull. (But, again, this is only a matter of terminology.)

I think the issue of whether acceleration is better achieved at the start or the end of the pull is an interesting issue. As far as I know, TI takes no position on it (although some people like Swimust studio Shinji's videos religiously seeking an answer).

I also think your question about Shinji's stroke is an interesting one. Based on one video, he seems to be covering a length in about 18 seconds. If the video's from Japan, the pool should be 25m. If it from the US, it could be 25m or 25y. Either way, it's a rate that I would be happy to be able to swim perpetually. I agree that looks can be deceiving and that Shinji must be achieving good hand acceleration at some point--streamlining and drag reduction can only get you so far. That's why I wonder whether the beautiful stroke Shinji demonstrates is one the can be swum perpetually, or whether muscle fatigue/oxygen deficit would set in after a (short or long) while.

Tony
I recall in one of his previous posts that Shinji was aiming to complete a 1500m swim in 22.30 to achieve a certain 'gold standard' award or something in swimming.

As a follow up to last night's swim, the male counterpart of my swimming friend's was also very strong on the front half of the stroke but more interestingly there was a lady training in our lane who has booked a boat for the channel swim later this year.

My friend offered to swim in front of her for 1K so she could get a draft at faster pace as apparently sometimes the tide conditions require the swimmer to put in a faster final mile to reach France.

Their 'plod' pace was around 1.30/100m so I decided to do 100m to their 150m and observe in the rest cycle. His stroke was strong and powerful even at plod rhythm, hers was balanced and effortless, it was a great example of athleticism versus efficiency.

I also noticed all three of these high standard swimmers had better upper arm rotation than me so that the forearm was ready to go vertical as soon as the catch was initiated.
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  #18  
Old 07-26-2012
terry terry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janos View Post
Andy, my personal opinion is that the relaxed recovery of Terry and Shinji has fooled a lot of observers into thinking that the whole action is relaxed . . .
I see the recovery arm and the catch arm like opposite pedals on a cycle, separate but inextricably linked. The same way that a cyclist applies power on the upstroke of the pedal, the swimmer applies power during recovery, even though that may not be obvious to the observer because of the relaxed arm during recovery.
Janos makes an important point and one which got me reflecting on my own thinking about my stroke. I strive to be super-relaxed above the surface, and 'engaged' beneath it. I try to be 'toned' in the parts of my body that are traveling through the water and 'firm' with those parts that are applying propulsive pressure to it. And finally I aim to feel overall seamless integration, with all parts working together. And that goes for the connection between recovery arm and propelling arm described by Janos.

As for Andy's description of 'attacking' the water, I see no advantage in that -- even if someone who is swimming at a brisk pace may be seeming to do that. The natural properties of water respond best to 'cultivating' not attacking. Or working with, rather than against.

In the end, swimming velocity or pace comes down to two things
1) SL x SR and
2) How much energy is converted into moving through water and how little diverted to moving water around or moving around in water.
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  #19  
Old 07-26-2012
terry terry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier View Post
I rely heavily on the back of my stroke. The final push phase is hugely important, this is where I output my peak power output (regardless of the speed at which I swim). This is where I buy myself this 15-16-rarely more than 17 strokes per 25m in racing situation.
it's a common instinct to believe that the back end of the stroke is important, and that we should apply our maximum power there. Far more common I would say than a conviction that the front matters more.

I believe this is so in part because we can feel that our leverage is greater there -- there's no disputing this. And in part because the classical descriptions of technique which many of us learned outside the TI environment -- myself included -- has emphasized it.

However I think it's important to consider at a minimum an alternate explanation and further, what more recent research has revealed.

The long-time belief that it's important to apply more power -- and accelerate the hand -- in the 2nd half of the stroke came from film studies conducted by Doc Counsilman in the 1960s. In those studies it was quite evident that the hand moved significantly faster as it passed under the body -- and that the body reached its peak velocity at the same time.

From that researchers concluded that the swimmers Doc was filming must be doing that intentionally -- I.E. moving faster by pressing on the water with more gusto. In fact, nothing of the sort was happening, but the 2nd-hand analysis and reporting continues to influence thinking everywhere.

The real explanation for greater hand speed and momentary velocity was that this moment coincided with (i) the weight shift, when energy release is maximal in the stroke cycle, and (ii) with the moment when the body was reaching its longest and sleekest (lowest-drag) position.

Even so, I know that feeling of using leverage is satisfying so people still think it's important. But a study in the flume at Stanford found there was no propulsion created once the hand passed the hip bone.

As for increases in SL - fewer SPL - it's well-established that reduction in drag plays a far more significant role than increases in propulsion. Both via research and via observation in the 1000s of direct experiences TI coaches have with students annually.
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Last edited by terry : 07-26-2012 at 10:42 AM.
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  #20  
Old 07-26-2012
terry terry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WFEGb View Post
Is it useful to take the maximum force into the stroke right after the catch or is it of more use to start with low force and take in your maximum force in the middle or more to the end of the stroke.
Except in the hands (pun intended) of a highly skilled swimmer, increases in force convert far more into turbulence than locomotion. The only indisputable way to increase speed is to improve the combination of SL and SR. More force does little to improve SL and nothing to improve SR.

PS: Fascinating to hear that you know -- and have recently swum with -- Franzi. Would love to meet -- and obviously to swim with -- her sometime. I would put it at the top of my list when I visit Germany for the first time, which I hope will occur in the coming year. Also most interesting to hear that her work these days is focused on helping people over come swimming phobia. I'd love to watch her do that work. I would be ever so much in your debt if you could help arrange that.
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Last edited by terry : 07-26-2012 at 10:49 AM.
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